Few holidays to Guatemala don’t include time spent in Flores and, with so much to see and do, it can often be a case of deciding what you’re going to miss out on.
Detailed below therefore is our opinion as to ten of of the top things to do in Flores.
Without doubt the biggest draw in the Peten region, the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Mayan site of Tikal is located around an hour’s drive from Flores. Such is its appeal that many visitors simply fly down from Guatemala City for the day although, unless you’re in a crazy rush, that’s not something we would ever suggest.
Ixpanpajul Natural Park
Less than 30 minutes’ drive from Flores, Ixpanpajul Natural Park is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, especially in regards to birdlife, although most visitors, and especially families, are drawn by the Skyway walk or, for the more active, the Tarzan Canopy zipwire adventure.
On a similar scale to Tikal, but with much less in the way of excavation having been undertaken, the main draw of a visit to Yaxha is the comparative lack of visitors. Visitors will often have large parts of the site entirely to themselves.
Located just a short drive from Flores, and set within the vast grounds of Las Lagunas hotel, Monkey Island is a popular add-on to a visit to Tikal although it’s also well worth visiting in its own right.
Lake Peten Boat Trip
You don’t have to get in a car to enjoy Flores and its environs as, from the island, it’s both easy and great fun to negotiate a private jaunt on Lake Peten with one of the numerous water taxis. An hour should be enough but it’s entirely up to you.
Ceibal & Pasion River
For those who like being on the water, and who haven’t tired of visiting Mayan ruins, a trip to Ceibal along the Pasion River is a great day out. It’s around an 90 minute drive from Flores to Sayaxche, the start point for the journey, and chances are you’ll have the ruins entirely to yourself.
Aguateca & Laguna Petexbatun
Like the aforementioned trip to Ceibal & the Pasion River, this full day trip involves driving to Sayaxche from where one heads in the opposite direction to beautiful Laguna Petexbatun and the atmospheric Mayan ruins of Aguateca. It is also possible to turn this into an overnight trip with accommodation at Chiminos Island Lodge.
Located on two islands just east of Flores, tiny Petencito Zoo is probably better described as a rescue centre for abandoned and injured wild animals. Although limited in scale and in need of investment as far as the enclosures are concerned, it’s well intentioned and the setting is lovely. (Photo Courtesy of Martin Haeusler).
Flores Night Market
Although Isla de Flores isn’t short of bars and restaurants, if you want to sample local, authentic and cheap Guatemalan cuisine then be sure to take in the Night Market. Make sure you turn up before it gets dark too, as the sunsets can be amongst the most spectacular in Guatemala.
Isla de Flores
Quite aside from the region’s numerous attractions, Isla de Flores itself is a delightful place to while away one’s time. Impossibly picturesque and charmingly laid back, it also boasts a decent spattering of bars and restaurants, making it a great place to simply hang out and soak up the atmosphere.
In addition to these ten recommendations, one of the most adventurous options for things to do in Flores is to trek through the jungle to the great Mayan city of El Mirador. It’s not somewhere we’ve made it to yet but you can read all about it here from Karolina Mackova.
For ideas as to how you can incorporate Flores into your holiday, please visit our Guatemala Itineraries page, give us a call on 01580 764796 or drop us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org