On the way back from Tikal to Guatemala city, we spent an afternoon in Flores. The tiny town is built on a little island connected to the mainland at Santa Elena, where the airport is located, by a narrow causeway. It's just under an hour away from Tikal which makes it a great place to overnight when you're visiting the ruins, or explore if you have an afternoon to spare as we did.
The charming narrow streets full of colorful buildings are safe to walk around, some of the safest in the northern state of Peten in fact, and easy to navigate. To circle the whole island would take little more than 20 minutes so take your time exploring, poke your head into some of the little shops and doorways, and escape the heat in some of the great bars and restaurants.
We dropped our bags at the Jungle Lodge's sister hotel, Islas de Flores, which is new and if I were to ever return to the island I would definitely stay in! Then we headed to the Parque Central, a typical Spanish Plaza with an ancient church in the corner which quite frankly wasn't even worth photographing, before stumbling down the cobbles towards the water and a some refreshment.
On the way we almost crashed into a man selling satsumas out of his little ride on trolley so we bough a few and munched them on the way to "Cool beans" cafe.
I ordered a beer and made a beeline for the hammocks.
Having relaxed for a while and chatted to some other travelers drinking coffee and playing cards, we headed around the corner to check out the "port" - which was under water! I guess it doesn't take much to flood an island!
The locals didn't seem too phased though and it business continued as normal.
We escaped the streets just as the sun started to heat up for the middle of the day and found refuge at Il Terrazzo restaurant - on the terrace!
It's a gorgeous spot for lunch, serving simple but delicious Italian food and great cocktails. The avocado salad is MASSIVE!
Keen to work off our carb loaded lunch we carried on wandering around the island. We were now on the main "strip" looking across to some of the other islands and back towards the mainland, where the seafront road is littered with bars, restaurants, ice cream parlous and souvenir shops. It gets pretty busy and we happened to be there on a sizzling hot day so by mid-afternoon we found ourselves in serious need of a swimming pool….luckily we found one!
We negotiated a dip in the hotel's rooftop plunge pool, along with a few beers from the rather funky bar downstairs and happily spent the rest of the afternoon, watching the world go by from a birds eye view :)
As the sun started to sink behind neighboring buildings we gathered our stuff and headed to another terrace for sunset. There are some great options along the waterfront on Calle Union and they all offer this view...
And as the sun set, so did our time in Flores. Honestly, an afternoon is enough - onwards to Antigua!