Flores – A Unique Island City

When my boyfriend and I decided to spend a couple days in Guatemala as part of a larger Central America vacation, I did a ton of research on where to stay in Guatemala that was close to the Tikal ruins. Reading through a bunch of travel blogs, I saw the city of Flores repeatedly mentioned as the best place to stay, and I can’t say enough good things about it even though we were there for under 24  hours.
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Flores is located on the southern shore of Lake Petén Itzá which is about 92 kilometers (1 hour, 30 minute drive) from the Belize border and 65 kilometers (1 hour drive) from Tikal. In all reality, we could have chosen to stay somewhere near the border or at a resort closer to Tikal, but we wanted to explore the country with the little time that we had.screen-shot-2017-01-24-at-9-30-36-am
Most of the city itself is located next to the lake, but I highly recommend staying on the Island of Flores which is connected by a small isthmus to the main city. It will take you only about 30 minutes walking at a brisk pace to walk around the entire island, but there are plenty of quaint bars and restaurants tucked in every side street.

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Photo Credit: Audley Travel Group


WHERE TO STAY

Hotel Casona de Isla
Calle 30 de Junio, 17001 Flores, Guatemala
Website
The hotel itself and the grounds around it (it has a pool and it’s right on the lake) but we had an “interesting” experience. Our room was extremely small, with dingy wallpaper and outdated furniture (there was one of those ‘massage beds for $50, which we were super bummed didn’t work!) There were the bars on the windows too which wasn’t the most inviting. That being said, I did peep into other rooms on the property and they seemed just fine. We apparently were given the worst room in the place, but we were only staying for 1 night, so we just cut our losses.
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FOOD & DRINK


Food Stalls on Calle Sur y Centro América
Once you cross the isthmus you’ll reach the very first intersection which has a lot of food stalls and carts – Definitely a must if you want to try some local street-meat.

La Danta Cafe & Restaurant
15 de Septiembre, Flores, Guatemala
Website / TripAdvisor Link
We came here for a late-night dinner and drinks and enjoyed a traditional meal of chicken, rice and vegetables along with a few rum cocktails. Get a table outside for an unobstructed view and lakeside dining that’s only steps from the lake.
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Sky Bar
Calle la Union 20, Flores 17001, Guatemala
TripAdvisor Link
We stumbled across this rooftop bar after dinner one night and immediately loved the laid-back atmosphere of the place (reggae music included!). we grabbed a seat right out on the patio and enjoyed a cigar with our drinks (and yes, they sell cigars at the bar). The view of the lake is INCREDIBLE and the bar staff was very friendly. If you get cold easily, definitely bring a light jacket with you.

El Matano
Go here for breakfast!

La Gardenia (Hotel Las Gardenias)
On Highway Km. 30 | main road to Tikal, El Remate 17022, Guatemala
TripAdvisor Link
This hotel restaurant is located on the main highway to Tikal and offers a great view of the lake. We can here after visiting Tikal for lunch and all the water bottles they would sell us. Good food with chicken and rice + hot sauce.
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About Kailee Crawford

I'm an Oregon-born travel addict living in New York making the most of my vacation days. I started this travel blog to keep track of my bucket list and it's morphed into a journal of my adventures and recommendations for things to see, do, eat and drink. My hope is that I can help other travelers find their way. I want to try everything once and to live a life without regrets or missed opportunities. I call my philosophy on life the "the death bed philosophy" - I want to be laying in my death bed reflecting on all of the things I've done and seen in this world, not the things I wished I had done. It's not meant to be morbid, just a reminder to take risks, go out of your comfort zone and live life to the fullest. ♫♫♫♫♫ "You were only waiting for this moment to be free" --- "Blackbird" by The Beatles This quote is undoubtedly my favorite quote because it's a reminder of the infinite opportunities available to us. That in each moment there is an opportunity to find true happiness, and a sense of freedom when you're doing what you love. Freedom to explore, to create, to improve oneself, and to find fulfillment even during the 9 to 5 grind. ♫♫♫♫♫ I'm an incredibly pensive person with a wide variety of interests. In addition to traveling, my guilty pleasures include wine, food, music, art, languages and history. I grew up a nerd, watching The History Channel and reading The Lord of the Rings with my Dad. I'm driven by my pursuit of knowledge and growth and most passionate when I'm able to be creative. ♫♫♫♫♫
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