1. Explore the Mayan Kingdom of Tikal
2. Eat and drink with locals at La Galleria del Zotz
Flores isn’t short of cool watering holes or cafes, but for an authentic experience head to La Galleria del Zotz. This hole in the wall restaurant has the cheapest beer on the island, and the food is also delicious. For only Q15 – 25 you can enjoy an enormous meal that will keep you going for hours, and the chilled ambiance will have you coming back again and again. Be sure to try the traditional breakfast, too!
3. Hire a canoe
5. Explore the ruins of Uaxactún
Uaxactún is a Maya ceremonial centre, and while the pyramids and temples here have been uncovered, they haven’t been restored to the extent of Tikal. Here you can explore the oldest astrological observatory from the Mayan world and wander through the jungle-covered grounds.
6. Swing on Jorge’s rope swing
On the north shore of Lake Peten Itza is Jorge’s rope swing, which you can reach by public boat or kayak. Run by a friendly family, this is a great place to hang out: you can jump into the lake from the rope swing, eat in the restaurant, and if you don’t want to head home after, you can nap in the hammocks outside.
7. Eat pupusas at Pupseria Excelente
Pupusas are thick corn tortillas stuffed with a variety of fillings then fried until the surface is crisp and the inside soft. While they’re traditionally from El Salvador, Pupusas are are everywhere in Guatemala and Flores is home to one of the very best pupusa restaurants.
8. Learn Spanish
Thanks to the clear local accent, Guatemala is one of the best places in the world to learn Spanish. If you want to brush up on your skills, Eco Escuela de Español is a community-based language program in the San Andrés, the next village from Flores. You can stay for a week with a local family with daily classes, lodging and three meals a day for just $150.
9. Visit Yaxhá
Yaxhá is the third-largest Maya ceremonial city in Guatemala, and once was home to more than 20,000 pepole. Over 400 buildings, five acropolises, and three ball courts have been discovered here, and from Temple 216 you can admire stunning views of Lake Yaxhá. A word of warning, however: the lake is home to a large group of crocodiles, so make sure you look from a distance!