Central America

Detour to Flores Island

We went to Flores Island after Caye Caulker and planned to visit San Pedro once we returned to Belize. Neesha was super interested in visiting Guatemala and I wanted to surprise her by booking this trip. During our one-week trip to Belize and Guatemala, our time in Flores Island was our favorite. AND it was way cheaper than Belize!

Sexuality, Gender, and Race

We didn’t stay in Flores Island for an extended period of time but while we were there, we felt completely safe. Flores Island is typically known as “the gateway to Tikal” , so it is a heavily tourist island. While we interacted with the locals (street vendors and restaurant owners), we were treated with respect and they worked with us as we struggled with our Spanish.

Belize City to Guatemala 

Before we went to Caye Caulker, we bought our tickets from a tour vendor at The Marine Terminal in Belize City. We paid 100 USD roundtrip from Flores Island to The Marine Terminal.  If you have the time, I encourage you to walk around the Terminal and see if there are other deals. I was too overwhelmed by the amount of people selling tours so I bought tickets from the first person I spoke to. The bus will depart from The Marine Terminal and will return to the same location on your way back, providing access to ferries and taxis.

Waiting to cross the border.

It was a five-hour ride from Belize City to Flores Island but it took a little over six hours due to our long wait at the Belize-Guatemala border. When we arrived at the border, I became nervous because I never crossed a border via land. We had to get off the bus and walk to the immigration building – we were approached by many folks trying to make a buck by directing us to the right direction. I was a bit panicky when everything wasn’t clear cut so when a teenager helped us out, I was more than happy to give him a tip.

The cost of the visa is 30 USD – I’ve read from other travelers that there is a good chance that you’ll get scammed. We didn’t have that experience but be cautious. After exiting Belize, we waited on another line on the Guatemalan side to have our passports stamped. By the time we were done with immigration, our bus was on the other side waiting for us to board it.

Since Flores Island is too small of an island for buses to travel into, we switched from the bus to a smaller van that took us across the bridge. Be warned, you will be approached by many individuals selling tours. We did not buy any tours and opted to wait until we got to our hostel.

Los Amigos Hostel

We stayed at Los Amigos Hostel in a private room. The hostel is beautiful with a chill vibe. Our private room was in a separate building down the block which included a rooftop. It wasn’t the worst experience I’ve had at a hostel, but I wouldn’t stay here again. The walls were paper thin, and we saw plenty of cuter hostels/B&B’s around the island. The food and drinks at the hostel were decent but there are plenty of cheaper restaurants ran by locals to choose from. I recommend walking around the island to look for restaurants or grab some food from street vendors (delicious food!).

Flores Island

Flores Island

Flores Island

Tikal

We originally went traveled to Flores Island to visit the Tikal National Park, an ancient Mayan city. We bought our Tikal tour from the hostel and it costs 100 USD for the both of us. We could’ve easily taken a cab to Tikal ourselves, paid the entrance fee (150 Q/USD 20), and did our own tour and saved a LOT of money but we did travel with ease and with a tour guide (necessary to truly grasp the beauty of Tikal).

Tikal was beautiful, despite the rain. It was amazing to learn Mayan history from our super informative tour guide and to climb on some of the temples. Our tour lasted about 4-5 hours and we did a LOT of walking that day. By the end, we were completely exhausted and ready to call it a night but it was worth it!

Tikal, Guatemala

Learning about the Mayans and the history of Tikal made our experience more valuable. We were truly amazed by what we heard. Click here to learn more about Tikal!

Would you visit Flores Island? Tell us about your adventures!

 – Nancy

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