Flores – Gateway to Tikal
After a day of intense travelling, during which we crossed both the Belizean and Guatemalan borders, we arrived in Flores. The attractive town is located just over an hour away from the ancient ruins of Tikal. It was dark by the time we arrived and also pouring with rain. We eventually arrived at our hotel, soaking wet. It took us a long time to find it considering the island was so small! We checked in to Hotel Mirador Del Lago. And didn’t waste any time in heading to the restaurant across the road for dinner.
We discovered the island of Flores to be a peaceful place. Furthermore, it was home to some cool cafes to chill out in and scenic lake views to enjoy. The buildings were colourful and we could cover the whole island comfortably on foot. In fact, we liked it so much we decided to extend our stay.
Tikal – Mayan Ruins in the Heart of the Jungle
Of course, our main reason for being in Flores was to visit Tikal. One morning, we left town on the 4.30 am shuttle bus and by six-thirty am we were in the heart of the jungle. Tikal is larger and more spread out than Palenque and Chichen Itza and we spent several hours exploring the area.
We climbed up Templo IV, the highest of the Mayan temples. We waited for the mist to clear so that we could see the other monuments poking out above the canopy of the jungle. Furthermore, we saw coatis, spider monkeys, toucans, hummingbirds and turkeys and even thought we heard a jaguar!
Feeling like Intrepid Explorers!
Tikal felt a lot wilder than the other Mayan sites we had been to, probably because it’s necessary to travel through twenty miles of jungle to reach it. Indeed, it was a very cool experience and we loved exploring the ancient ruins hidden away in such a beautiful natural setting. Indiana Jones, eat your heart out!
Flores – Restaurants Galore!
Back in Flores, we caught up with some writing and made the most of being in one place for five nights. We went to a couple of great restaurants. In the lovely La Luna, we got a complimentary shot of rum after an excellent lunch. We had breakfast in San Telmo, a funky and colourful place with imaginative décor that overlooks the lake.
There were a few restaurants we didn’t even get around to trying. In fact, for such a small island, there was certainly a good choice of eating establishments. Flores was a nice introduction to Guatemala and it made a perfect base from which to visit Tikal.