Flores is a colorful little island in the middle of a lake. Many tourists visit Flores mainly to use it as a base for visiting the ancient Mayan city of Tikal. Flores doesn’t immediately appear on arrival as one of the top destinations in Guatemala. We had the feeling that this was a transfer / departure base and that there is not much to do yourself. However, after two days it turned out that there are plenty of fun things to do in Flores. In this article we share our top 5 things to do in Flores Guatemala so you can have a fantastic time in Flores.
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How do you get to Flores?
Flores is easy to reach from different places. Most travelers come from Semuc Champey, Lake Atitlan or Antigua. It’s very easy to travel to Flores from Semuc Champey. In Semuc Champey you can buy a ticket for a minivan at any accommodation.
If you are traveling from Lake Atitlan or Antigua you have two options: the bus or plane. The plane is the most comfortable only you pay about $120 for this per person. A luxury bus, on the other hand, will cost you between $42 to $48. In Lake Atitlan and Antigua there are plenty of travel agencies where you can buy a bus ticket. During our trip we heard good stories about Fuente del Norte (Maya de Oro), Linea Dorada and Autobuses del Norte. It is wise to dress well, because it can sometimes be very cold in such a bus.
How many days to stay in Flores?
For Flores you need at least 2 nights. This allows you to view Tikal in 1 day and discover Flores yourself. If your travel schedule allows it, it is recommended to stay longer. How long, of course, depends on what you want to do, but 4 nights is enough.
Top 5 things to do in Flores Guatemala?
We have compiled a top 5 things to do in Flores Guatemala from very popular activities to more unknown activities. If you have time do them all, because this is very nice. The best tip we can give, which is an obvious one:: visit Tikal and don’t skip it!
#1 Visit Tikal from Flores
The most popular activity and for sure one of the best things to do in Flores is to visit the world famous ancient Mayan city Tikal. There are people all over the world who travel specially to Guatemala to visit Tikal. So be sure to visit Tikal, because it will definitely be one of your highlights of your trip. We made a whole article about Tikal were we give you all tips you should know when you visiting Tikal.
#2 Enjoy the sunset in Flores
The sunsets on the island in the middle of a lake are beautiful. Recommended is to go to the Sky Bar. This is the best place to watch the sunset while enjoying a mojito. But when you want to eat in a good restaurant you have to go to Los Amigos, the food there is delicious. Enjoy this beautiful thing to do in Flores.
#3 Relax by the water at Jorge’s rope swing
On the north side of the lake is Jorge’s rope swing. It is a nice place to spend an afternoon and relax by the water. Beside a springboard and a rope to swing on, there is not much to do. They have a small kitchen where you can order some food and drinks. You can get here by boat. The total cost for the boat and entrance is approximately 30 quetzal, approximately $4.
#4 Take a walk on the island
Floris is a small island that you can easily walk around in an hour. It’s fun to walk along the water or discover the narrow streets and typical Latin American squares. It is also an idea to visit cafe Cool Beans. There they serve the best coffee from Flores and you can use good Wifi for free. At the bar you can ask for a walking map of Flores, this is fun and this ensures that you have seen everything. If you like swallows go for a walk when the sun is going to set. Watch out for the poo!
#5 Crazy about ruins? Then visit Yaxha
If you are really interested in the entire Mayan culture then you can consider a visit to Ruins of Yaxha. We didn’t do this ourselves, because we found a day visit to Tikal sufficient. Advice is to check after the visit of Tikal if you still feel like visiting Yaxha. If you are sure you can already book your ticket of course. We recommend the tour below:
Yaxha Private Day Tour | $90 per person
Where to stay in Flores?
Despite the fact that Flores is a small island, there are plenty of choices. We recommend Hostal Don Cenobio and Hostel Villa del Lago. The rooms have are decently priced plus they are respectively rated 9.5 and 8.5 on booking, which is really good. We advise you to book in time with Booking, because both accommodations are quickly booked. At both hostels you have the option to adjust your reservation 24 hours in advance via Booking, so you maintain your flexibility during your trip.
Hostal Don Cenobio
With a 9.4, Hostal Don Denobio scores excellent on Booking.com. What is really great about this hostel is the roof terrace with beautiful places overlooking the lake. The rooms are very big and neat. The staff is very friendly and happy to give you good advice on what to do in the area.
Price per night from:
$ 12 dorm | $ 19 double room
Hostel Villa del Lago
Hostel Villa del Lago scores well with an 8.5 on Booking.com. They have two roof terraces from which you have a beautiful view of the lake. The beds here are very pleasant and the rooms have air conditioning. In addition, the breakfast is very good.
Price per night from:
$ 50 double room
Your next destination is Tikal, read this Tikal travel guide. If you don’t stay at Tikal because you visit Tikal as a daytrip you travel back to Antigua, which means it is the end of your travel in Guatemala. From Flores you can also travel to Rio Dulce or Livingston (read more information in our travel route through Guatemala). Other option is to travel to Bacalar in Mexico.