Flores was our first stop in Guatemala, it is a convenient location to use as a jump off point for many of the surrounding Mayan sites and national parks, as well as being a very tranquil setting amongst what can be quite a bustling country.
Flores is also a very appealing location due to its picturesque setting in lake Peten Itza. The small island streaked with quaint cobbled streets and scattered with colourful buildings, makes you feel like you are somewhere else in the world.
The lake itself is clean and warm and with numerous small piers it makes for a perfect location to cool off in the afternoon sun. There is a large variety of fish in the lake along with turtles, we were lucky enough to see a baby turtle come up for air as we were relaxing on the pier one afternoon. However, as luck would have it we didn’t have the camera with us!
Flores is very much catered towards tourism, with numerous accommodations, restaurants, tour agencies and souvenir shops. However, one downside we found was a lack of hostels with cooking facilities meaning we had to eat out for every meal.
Although cheaper than Belize, having to eat out does add a certain strain to the budget, even when we found a nice and inexpensive place to stay at Café Arqueológico Yaxha, which encompasses rooms, a restaurant and a tour service.
The cafe is run by a German architect called Dieter who is very passionate about Mayan ruins, their restorations and preservation and is more than happy to share his knowledge and organise tours.
During our stay in Flores we had planned to visit El Mirador through a 5 day hike but as it was low season it was hard to organise a group for the days we wanted. In order to make costs affordable we needed another 4 people to join us on our dates as the price ranges were from $450 per person with only the 2 of us, down to $250 per person for groups of 6 or more.
So instead we settled for a day at Tikal and a day in Yaxha, with the other couple of days spent relaxing by the lake and working out where to go next.