Flores is a small village located on an island in a lake. Many travelers visit Flores to travel to the ancient Mayan city of Tikal. On arrival in Flores, it seems to be a destination where you can quickly see everything because it is not that big. We stayed 2 days in Flores and we can tell you that it is a nice destination to visit.
If you want to know things to do in Flores, where you need to stay, where you can eat well, and more useful tips, you are on the right page. Discover all our tips for Flores, Guatemala here.
Things to do in Flores?
Flores is a small village where you can do some fun activities. The main activity that you should not miss is visiting Tikal. Many travelers visit Tikal and then continue their journey. This is of course fine, but Flores is more than just a base for a visit to Tikal. Read below our 5 recommended activities to do in Flores, Guatemala.
Tip: use the map below to see where the best things in Flores are located. Click on the top right corner to enlarge the map. If you click on the star symbol next to the title, you can save this map to your Google Maps account. You can show or hide different categories on the map. You can use this map to navigate when you are in Flores.
#1 Visit Tikal from Flores
Guatemala’s most popular activity and the best thing to do in Flores is to visit the world-famous ancient Mayan city of Tikal. Travelers all over the world travel to Guatemala specifically to visit Tikal. Tikal is about 1-hour drive from Flores.
We have written an article about Tikal where you can read about the best way to visit Tikal if you need a guide, where to stay, and more useful tips. In short, you can read below how you can visit Tikal from Flores. You can read detailed information about Tikal here.
From Flores, you can visit Tikal with this tour. The advantage of the tour is that a guide is present to give you information about the complex. Everything is also arranged, such as transport, which is easy.
It is also possible to visit Tikal independently if you prefer. You can buy tickets for Tikal on the spot at the entrance.
How to get to Tikal: You can buy a bus ticket for Tikal at one of the travel agencies in Flores. The buses leave in the south of the island just before the bridge towards Tikal. A return ticket costs 80 quetzals ($10 per person).
#2 Enjoy the sunset in Flores
A fun activity to do when you are in Flores is to enjoy the sunset. There are a few important Flores tips that you should follow to get the most out of it.
You can buy a drink and snacks at one of the supermarkets before the sun goes down. Then walk west to find a place to sit with a view over the water and the setting sun. Flores is an island surrounded by water, so the sunset is beautiful because the horizon is not blocked.
If you prefer, you can also visit one of the bars which have an open terrace from where you enjoy the view. We spent one evening at Sky Bar and recommend it. You can sit here comfortable, the view is beautiful and the cocktails are delicious. We recommended trying the mojito cocktail.
#3 Relax by the water at Jorge’s rope swing
If you’re staying a bit longer in Flores, it’s fun to visit Jorge’s rope swing. Here you can relax by the water, but the main reason to visit it is because of the rope where you can drop yourself into the water at a great height. If you do it right you can reach a height of about 10 meters above the water.
At Jorge’s rope swing they have a small restaurant where you can order food and drinks. By boat, you can sail from the north of the island to Jorge’s rope swing for 25 Quetzal ($3 per person). Tickets can be bought on-site for 30 Quetzal ($4 per person).
#4 Take a walk on the island
Flores is a small island where you can take a nice walk. Before you start the walk, we recommend that you first visit café Cool Beans. Here you can enjoy the best coffee in Flores and you can get a free hiking map of Flores. If you follow this map you will visit the main attractions on the island.
During this walk, you will walk along the water, through narrow streets, and pass typical Latin American squares. When you go for a walk at dusk you will see many swallows. Be careful where you walk because of the poo of the swallows.
#5 Visit Yaxha
If you want to visit more places of the Maya besides Tikal, this is possible by visiting the ruins of Yaxha. Just like Tikal, Yaxha is a large complex, only Yaxha is a lot less touristy. In addition, it is located along the water, so you can also see animals that live along the water. The complex seems to be very unspoiled in terms of nature and is recommended to visit for travelers who love to discover more cultures.
We did not visit Yaxha because a visit to Tikal was sufficient for us. We recommended visiting Tikal because the history and buildings are way more impressive. Our advice is to determine on the spot whether you want to visit Yaxha after you have visited Tikal. If you would like to know more about a Yaxha tour you can read more information via the link.
How many days do you need for Flores?
Flores is not a huge place but there are still a few things that are worth doing. We recommend staying 2 days (2 nights). In 2 days you can visit Tikal as a day trip and do the other activities in and around Flores.
When your schedule allows it, you can consider extending your stay by 1 night to a total of 3 nights. When you prefer to do slow travel then it is worth considering this because of the long travel times in Guatemala. In our opinion, this is not necessary but that is up to you.
Where to stay in Flores?
Even though Flores is a small island, there are plenty of options for finding suitable accommodation. This is because Flores is one of the most popular destinations in Guatemala as it is the best place to visit Tikal.
Based on the price-quality ratio, we recommend the following two accommodations. Due to the popularity of Flores, it is recommended to book accommodation as soon as you can.
Budget + great value for money:
Hostal Don Cenobio
If you are on a budget, Hostal Don Denobio is a good place to stay. From the roof terrace of the hostel, you have a nice overview of the area. You can stay in a dorm or a double room. Both options are good. Many travelers are positive about this hostel because of the staff, they do everything they can to make your stay as pleasant as possible.
Comfortable rooms + good breakfast:
Hostel Villa del Lago
We stayed at Hostel Villa del Lago and recommend this hostel. The nice thing about this accommodation is that they have two roof terraces from which you have a beautiful view over the lake. The rooms are also very neat and the beds are excellent. The rooms are also air-conditioned, which is often not the case in Guatemala. Finally, the breakfast is extensive. For us was a good place to discover Flores and Tikal.
Where to eat in Flores?
Due to its popularity, there are plenty of dining options in Flores. We recommend Los Amigos Hostel (restaurante), Cool Beans, Restaurante San Telmo and Sky Bar to visit.
Los Amigos Hostel has a restaurant that in our opinion the best place is to eat in Flores. We liked it so much that we went back here a few times. The cuisine is Indian-oriented. We found the nice thing about this place that they try to prepare the dishes as healthy as possible. You have many options here, our recommendation is to try one of the curries. In the morning you can enjoy muesli bowls with chia seeds, grated coconut, and fresh fruit. On average it costs 100 quetzals ($13 per person) to eat here.
Cool Beans is a nice place to have breakfast or lunch. In the morning you can order a kind of pancakes with fresh fruit and in the afternoon a sandwich with egg. If you want to eat cheaper in the evening you can also visit Cool Beans. For breakfast and lunch, you will spend about 50 quetzals ($6 per person) and for dinner 70 quetzal ($9 per person).
San Telmo is the most atmospheric place to sit because it is small. Here you can order typical Caribbean dishes that you often encounter in Guatemala. We tried something different and enjoyed the salad with nachos. This is surprising and nice and fresh. If you’re a big eater, it’s better to go for a dish that’s more filling, like a pizza or burger. It costs +/- 85 quetzals ($12 per person) to eat here.
Finally, in activity #2 you could read that a drink at Sky Bar is recommended during the sunset. You can enjoy your time from the terrace while enjoying a cocktail.
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 on such a bus.
If you travel to Guatemala by plane and you are looking for a car to rent, you can rent it through Rentalcars. We use Rentalcars when we want to travel by car to discover new destinations. They’re easy to use and book with.
When is the best time to visit Flores?
You can visit Flores and Guatemala, in general, all year round because of the pleasant climate. Guatemala has two seasons, namely the dry season (November to April) and the rainy season (May to October). The rainy season is also great for traveling in Guatemala because there are only a few hours of rain per day.
Please note that the high season in Flores is between November and April. During this period, prices are higher compared to the rainy season. Also during the school holidays of the US and Europe in July and August, it is busier than usual, causing prices to rise.
Flores what to do FAQ
1. If I stay in Tikal, how can I best prepare my itinerary for Flores?
This of course depends on what you want to do in Flores. Assuming you travel from Semuc Champey to Flores you will arrive in the evening. It is best to travel to Tikal the next day and stay in Tikal. This allows you to return to Flores the day after and you can use the afternoon and evening to discover Flores. We recommend that you travel to your next destination the next day.
If you stay in Tikal, your program for Flores will look like this:
- Day 1: arrival in the evening in Flores | stay in Flores
- Day 2: morning travel to Tikal | stay in Tikal
- Day 3: afternoon return to Flores from Tikal | stay in Flores
- Day 4: travel to your next destination in the morning from Flores
Want to see more of Guatemala?
If you follow our Guatemala itinerary, Tikal is your next destination. When you visit Tikal as a day trip from Flores you can continue your journey to Rio Dulce, Livingston, Semuc Champey, or Antigua.
We traveled from Flores to Mexico to the village Bacalar which is located in the south of Yucatan. This is a great place to visit because you can combine a visit to two countries during your trip. You can buy a ticket for the bus at one of the travel agencies in the village.
What do you think of Flores? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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