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.
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.
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