The trip from Xela to Flores was a long one – 13 total hours spent in a bus. We chose an overnight bus ride so it wouldn’t be too bad but nothing replaces sleeping in a real bed. At least we saved on a hotel room for that night. Regardless, we arrived in Flores at 6AM when the rest of the country was still waking up. It’s a tiny little island surrounded by Lago Petén Itzá. The first thing we noticed once we arrived was the dramatic change in climate. Xela was pleasant with cool breezes during the day and chilly at night (as it’s surrounded by mountains). By contrast, Flores was hot and humid. All. Day. Long. After finding a suitable hostel, we started exploring, scouting out several coffeeshops but none really seem to hit the spot. Apparently, we had been spoiled by Xela. Since we got to Flores on a Saturday and had missed the 4:30AM shuttle to Tikal, we decided to explore Flores all day and then head out to Tikal the next day. It was a good decision.
Seeking sufficient physical activity, we went running but quickly realized that Flores was too small to get a long run in. And it was getting really hot. And it was only the morning. The heat quickly turned exasperating. Nevertheless, we decided to venture out across the lake into a little village on the shore called San Miguel. We had read that there was a beautiful beach and some Mayan Ruins that you could hike to and of course, we couldn’t say no.
This was our own little concoction – vanilla milkshake (with macadamia nuts!) with a shot of espresso poured in. We’re brilliant. Obviously.The hike to the beach and ruins was definitely an interesting one. We read directions out of the guidebook we were using and they seemed to be correct but the distances listed were WAY off. On paper, it seemed like the hike would take maybe thirty minutes – it actually took us closer to an hour. But we eventually found the beach!
And it was worth the hike. Given how hot Flores is year-round, it was no surprise that the water was considerably warm. It was the perfect temperature. The shore was especially rocky, which made it difficult to walk on, but we adapted and crab-walked our way deeper into the water.