San Miguel Lookout View of Flores

Flores, Guatemala Travel Guide: Tikal Base Town

For travellers coming from Belize, Flores will be probably be your 1st stop in Guatemala in order to visit Tikal – find out what to do and where to stay in our Flores, Guatemala Travel Guide.

Flores, Guatemala Travel Guide: Attractions

To us here at DIY Travel HQ Flores is more of a base town for visiting Tikal than an attraction outright.

The cobblestone streets and central park are nice to walk around, but your time is better spent elsewhere – there are many places to visit in Guatemala.

Also consider visiting San Miguel across the lake if you have time.

Flores Cobblestone Street

Flores is comprised of many ring roads, and the center is filled with cobblestone streets.

  • Parque Central

Parque Central is the heart of Flores.

The highlights include the gazebo in the middle, a lively basketball court, and the white church named Nuestra Senora de los Remedios.

Flores Parque Central Gazebo

Parque Central is lush with vegetation, and has great views from the hilltop.

Flores Church Nuestra Senora de los Remedios

This white-washed church is the focal point of Parque Central.

  • Peten Itza Lake

The other obvious attraction ‘around’ Flores is Peten Itza Lake.

The nicest spot to enjoy the water is the midpoint of the Flores – Santa Elena causeway.

There is a mini-island with piers for fishing and ferries to other locations.

The lake has risen recently, and half the docks are now under water.

Flores Lago de Peten Itza Rising Over Dock

“Under the water. Down by the sea.” That’s where Flores is headed if the lake keeps rising.

Keep an eye out for ducks that pop in and out of the water as they hunt for fish.

  • Santa Elena Market

Santa Elena market is where to go if you want a cheap meal during the day, or you need to replace lost or broken items.

This a local market so don’t expect to find any souvenirs – for that, head straight to the famous Chichicastenango market.

Santa Elena Market

Visit the Santa Elena market for everyday items, but not souvenirs.

Flores, Guatemala Travel Guide: Accommodation

The most popular place in Flores to stay is Los Amigos.

They have a nice courtyard and common facilities, but charge Q70 / $9.65 per large dorm.

The cheapest place to stay is Hotel Mirador del Lago.

Flores Hotel Mirador del Lago

Hotel Mirador del Lago is the cheapest accommodation in Flores.

For Q70 / $9.65 you can get your own single room.

Sharing a double room will cost you Q55 / $7.55 per person, or Q45 / $6.20 in a 4-bed dorm.

The Wi-Fi router is in the rear communal area, so try to get a room nearby.

Flores Hotel Mirador del Lago Dorm

Dorm rooms have their own bathroom, and lockers.

Flores, Guatemala Travel Guide: Food & Drink

All packaged food and drinks in Flores is overpriced.

They take the island mentality and charge more to ‘import’ the goods across the 200 meter causeway.

For this reason, head to Santa Elena to stock up on sodas, beer, and snacks.

It is also common for set meals to be Q15 / $2.05 at the market in Santa Elena, and Q25 / $3.45 and up in Flores.

Santa Elena Market Set Meal

It is cheaper to buy set meals in Santa Elena.

The one exception and good value meal in Flores is the nightly food market along the western waterfront.

A handful of vendors gather and sell:

  • Tostados (3 for Q5 / $0.70)
  • Tamales (2 for Q5)
  • Tacos dorados (3 for Q5)
  • Custard dessert in cup (Q5)
  • Slices of cake (Q10 / $1.40)

Many other things are on offer – you really can’t go wrong with the prices and variety.

Flores Night Food Market on El Malecon

The nightly food market is a must for anyone staying in Flores, Guatemala.

One of the strangest places we ate was Pollo Campero.

They have merged fast food with waiter service, and in our opinion seems a bit odd.

Flores & Santa Elena Pollo Campero

Pollo Campero: Where fast food meets waiter service.

The cheapest place we found to drink was a small bar on 15 de Septiembre with liter bottles of Brahva (Q10 / $1.40), and cheap cocktails for Q20 / $2.75 and under.

They also offered a set pasta meal as well.

Flores Cheap Drinks

Enjoy a quiet night out with cheap beer and cocktails.

Flores, Guatemala Travel Guide: Scams

Do not choose travel agents or tour operators based solely on price.

Read reviews first to make sure previous customers were not taken advantage of, or short-changed.

This happens frequently in Flores so we recommend the DIY travel method as much as possible including hiking El Mirador without a tour.

Flores Welcome Sign

Welcome to Flores!

Flores, Guatemala Travel Guide: Transport

Getting to Flores involves reaching Santa Elena first.

Consider purchasing your ticket directly to save money, and to make sure you aren’t taken advantage of by a less than honest travel agent.

  • Microbuses to Tikal should not cost more than Q70 / $9.65 return. Check out our post on Tikal for more information.
  • Regular microbuses ply the route to Melchor de Menchos (Q30 / $4.15) to cross into Belize. Visit our post Benque to Melchor de Menchos Border Crossing for more information.
  • Fuentes del Norte runs regular buses to Rio Dulce (Q65 / $8.95).

Look into options to Guatemala City and other cities at the Terminal Nuevo de Autobuses.

Melchor de Mencos Guatemala Microbus to Santa Elena

Microbuses to Santa Elena from Melchor de Mencos leave regularly. Grab the first row in the back for more room.

Flores, Guatemala Travel Guide: Getting Around

It is possible to walk anywhere in Flores & Santa Elena.

The bus terminal in Santa Elena is 2 km away from Flores, and a tuk-tuk costs Q5-10 / $0.70-$1.10 depending on the number of people and bags.

Santa Elena to Flores Tuk-Tuk

Tuk-tuks will take you from Santa Elena to Flores for Q5-10, or you can walk 2 km.

 

***The Final Word – Flores is your best base for visiting Tikal as it has ample infrastructure for tourists.***

Which town did you use as a base for visiting Tikal?

5 Shovels

Super easy DIY travel around city centres

Visited in July 2016