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Central America Flores (Guatemala)

If you are thinking to go to the Mayan ruins of Tikal, Flores is your best bet for accommodation and a base-camp. Apart from that this spectacular island connected by a bridge with the mainland, is a beautiful place to stay. A maze of pasted houses, small hotels (most of them with a lake view) and narrow curvy streets that lead to the main square with a church. All of that surrounded by calm waters of lake Petén Itzá and shores filled with jungle. The place served as a shelter for many years to Itzáes after their expulsion from Chichén Itzá (Mexico). It was perhaps the last major Maya ceremonial center after the conquest. However in 1697 the Spaniards destroyed the entire city, leaving nothing from the old temples and pyramids.
The climate is hot, very humid and showers are common.
What here: Most people come to visit Tikal or other ancient Maya cities. But you can also rent a boat and visit some of the other islands, there is one with a zoo worth seeing or go to the beaches (perhaps slightly better than the piers at Flores). You can climb up to a lookout on the other shore to see Flores almost from the bird´s view or just walk around the island and enjoy the views. If you cross the bridge and keep walking straight through Santa Elena (another town) you will get to a big fruit and vegetables street market.

Where to stay:
Low budget travelers will appreciate Hotel Union (pretty lake views, at the west shore of Flores) or Hotel Petenchel (right next to the bridge, no views but nice garden). Both hotels offer double rooms with private bathroom at around 20 USD.

Should you look for something nicer, I suggest you try Casa Amelia (very friendly and helpful service) or Casona de la Isla (with a small swimming pool). price ranges from 35 - 70 USD for a night.
How to get here: By bus from Guatemala City (AND or Línea Dorada). Even thought they are first class, do not expect much luxury. The journey takes about 9 to 10 hours. You can also take a small plane from Guatemala City. Other buses come from Belize City or Río Dulce.