Hostel Review: Flores – Hotel Casa Del Lancandon

The island of Flores is so small that any place to stay on the island will probably do.  That being said you may want to shop around for a place or a room with a view that you prefer.  I stayed 4 nights at Hotel Casa Del Lacandon.  The rooms were definitely cramped and the beds were not the most comfortable, but the price was right.  I shared a small room with two single beds and private bathroom for less than $7 each.  I also stayed in another cramped room for two nights on my own for $9 per night.  A few of the rooms in the rear had great views of the lake.  If you didn’t have a room with a view you were only steps away from a magnificent view from the terrace.

The showers had plenty of hot water and the wifi was reliable.  These two things, along with the spectacular terrace view make Hotel Casa Del Lacandon a nice budget option for backpackers.  The owners are nice and also speak a little English.  They offer laundry service and meals at the terrace cafe.  I needed a place to store my computer the day I visited Tikal and the owner kept it locked up in his room.  Not an ideal place in my mind, but it was my best option at the time and it worked out well in the end.

Tikal

Tikal are Mayan ruins located deep in the jungle of northeastern Guatemala.  The road into the park enters Tikal about 11 miles from the ruins.  The ruins are quite spread out through the park and despite heavy tourism the jungle atmosphere makes for a pleasant experience.  Many of the ruins remain uncovered and you can see current excavations taking place.  It’s possible to climb some of the structures in the park and to see stunning panoramic views with the tops of pyramids jutting out above the jungle canopy.  The history of the ruins dates back to 400 BC and ends around 900 AD along with the general decline in Mayan civilization.

I took an organized day tour from Flores to Tikal and this is what I experienced…

Upon entering Tikal the shuttle drove by a pack of pisotes. The shuttle stopped at the inn before we began our tour into the jungle. At the entrance there are a few restaurants, two museums, campground, ticket booth, the visitor center and the licensed tour guides. After showing our ticket we walked for about 5 minutes into the park and we came to the photographic map of Tikal.

path in Tikal

photographic map of Tikal

After walking another 10 minutes or so we came to our first structures in the park, complex Q. Complex Q was built to commemorate the end of an era (almost 20 years). Two temples were built, one representing the sunrise and the other representing the sunset. The temples have a staircase on each side. On the north side of the plaza is a building Continue reading

A Day In Flores

view of the lake from the shore

view of the lake from Flores island

Wake up. Throw on some clothes and flip-flops. Wander over to Cool Beans for some breakfast along the shore. Pop open your laptop and take care of your online chores. Go for a quick dip in Lago Peten Itza or take a lake cruise. Walk up the hill for a cheap lunch from the fast food stands and fruit vendors. After lunch shop around for your transport/tour to Tikal and maybe pop across the lake to San Miguel, San Andres or San Jose and have a look around. Clean up for a nice dinner on the island and some drinks afterwards at any of the shoreline bars. Be sure to call it an early night so you can wake up at 4 in the morning for your 1 hour ride to Tikal. Repeat as many times as necessary.

Flores, Guatemala is a small and peaceful island that you could walk completely around the perimeter within 30 minutes. There are several restaurants, cafes, and bars to choose from. There are also many budget accommodation options. It is located about 40 miles from the famous Mayan ruins of Tikal and makes a good base to stay at if you plan to visit the ruins. Continue reading

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