Flores is a slow-paced island community with pastel-colored buildings and friendly people …
Situated on an island on Lake Petén Itzá, Flores is connected by a causeway to it’s sister town of Santa Elena and is 45 minutes by road from Tikal and less than a 2 hour drive from the Cayo District in Belize.
Explore streets flanked by handi-craft stores and charming houses, many of which are small hotels, guesthouses and restaurants. Flores and Santa Elena are the region’s transportation and services hub and the natural starting points for a visit to the Petén’s interior.
Good places to eat are easy to find in Flores. Order up your favorite international cuisine or go Guatemalan if you’re looking for a taste adventure.
The shops stay open well into the evening and you can purchase colorful hand-made garments, fabrics and other take-home items, including local hard-wood carvings fashioned after indigenous wildlife.
Things to do around Flores
Video Highlights – Ride in a 3 wheel tuc-tuc to Santa Elena and visit the always bustling market place. It was the day before Christmas Eve and like many places it was packed with shoppers. Return to Flores; take a short tour of Lake Petén Itzá.
Lake Petén Itzá
Going anywhere on Lake Petén Itzá is a very pleasant affair. You can hire a “launcha”, a wooden motorboat captained by a launchero, to boat around the lake. Worth stopping at, ARCAS, El Mirador and El Museo.
The Asociación de Rescate y Consevación de Vida Silvestre (ARCAS) is a wildlife rescue center. Animals being cared for include – macaws, green and yellow parrots, jaguars, howler and spider monkeys, kinkajous and coatimundis that have been rescued from smugglers in the illegal pet trade.
At the center, the animals are rehabilitated for their hopeful release back into the wild.
Motor to San Miguel and hike up the steps to “El Mirador” (The View) for an unforgettable panoramic view of Lake Petén Itzá. On the other side of the island there is a secluded beach area, “la playa”, for swimming.
The museum is located on a small island, a short distance from Flores. On display is a personal collection of Maya and other artifacts.
Walk or take a 3 wheel taxi (Tuc-Tuc) for less then a dollar and cross the island causeway into Santa Elena and experience the bustling streets of Santa Elena and it’s sprawling market areas. Here you can try your hand at bartering for locally produced fabrics, phone accessories, sunglasses, watches and other local and regionally produced items.
Cuevas de Actun Kan
At the edge of Santa Elena town, there is an easily accessible (by taxi) cave attraction, which is maintained by INGUAT. It is quite large and takes around 45 minutes to have a good look around and complete the well-lit, circular route. A flashlight is provided to explore unlit areas. Well-marked trail system highlight some interesting formations that resemble animals and people, plus plenty of stalactites and stalagmites.