For most tourists, Flores is a launching pad to visit Tikal, the extraordinary Mayan ruins located deep within the jungle. While Tikal was my main reason for visiting Flores, for me it was also a great place to just chill out and really relax. After a rather tiring 32 hour journey, I was happy to slow down and take a few days to regain my energy. And with this view from my room, it didn’t take long.

View from My Flores Balcony
View from My Flores Balcony

Located in the middle of a lake, the island is tiny. It took me about 15 minutes to walk all the way around it. But what makes it magical are the narrow cobblestoned streets that form a maze through the centre of the island. I lost a day just wandering around the lanes and admitting the colourful architecture.

Nearby is the rather noisy town of Santa Elena that is best avoided unless absolutely necessary. I ventured in one day to visit the Ak’tun Kan Caves, also known as La Cueva de la Serpiente (the cave of the serpent), which is about a 30 minute walk each way. The limestone cave is very dark, so I wouldn’t suggest going in without a guide. You may got lost, or worse, miss something. Inside there are stalactites falling down from the roof, and several formations that resemble everything from an elephant to a a whale’s tail. Thankfully I didn’t see a snake, although legend has it that a large one inhabits the cave.

Unfortunately it was also too dark for me to get any decent photos. While the caves were interesting, they’re not essential viewing in my opinion.

I was far happier sitting on my balcony and just watching the world go by, so that’s exactly what I did!

The rest left me re-energised and ready for my next adventure, Antigua.

Chilling out in Flores, Guatemala
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