Saturday, February 06, 2016

Flores, Peten, Guatemala

While the deck replacement job on our boat was progressing (slowly) we took 4 days off to visit Flores and Tikal. It was a 4 hour bus ride to Flores where we spent one night. The old part of the city is built on an island in Lake Peten Itsa. It is now joined to the newer part of the city on the mainland by a causeway. Flores was originally the Mayan town of Noh Peten and was populated by the Itsa Mayan tribe that relocated here from the Yucatan the 13th Century. It was the last Mayan state to hold out against the Spanish conquerors until 1697. They razed the Mayan city and built over it. It looks very much like a Mediterranean town with brightly colored wooden and stucco houses. This is a popular resort community in Guatemala and many daily flights connect it with Guatemala City. There are lots of very good hotels and restaurants to choose from. We stayed at Isla de Flores Hotel and it was great. You can check it our on or We got the cheapest room at $79 per night and it was very comfortable and attractive with air conditioning but not much of a view. Rooms with views and balconies are available for not much more. We had dinner at Casa de Enrico's, a favorite of Daphne's (owner of our Marina Tortugal) and thought it was amazing. It's small with tables overlooking the lake and we ended up spending the evening talking to the couple at the next table and the owner, Enrico. The food was excellent and the owner so gracious and charming. It was a night to remember! And so was our lunch the next day both for the quality of the food and the view (not for the company as we were alone). Terrazzo was highly recommended on Trip Advisor and no wonder - take a look at the picture of our avocado salad here. Beautiful view from their second floor terrace. Just walking around this tiny island is fascinating. Saturday night was busy with people all enjoying the restaurants and walking the streets. Street vendors sold local foods down by the water and we've heard from many folks that it is both delicious and safe to eat. However we wanted to sit down and have a long relaxing meal. On Sunday we felt like the only people up in the morning until we found the cathedral on the top of the island - packed with people. After the service they had a charming ceremony for the first communion boys. Besides the church there is a park and a evidently well used basketball court! We'll be back to Flores another time for a few days of R & R! But now we were heading on to Tikal - covered in my next blog post.
Our hotel Lago de Flores

The sun filled charming lobby

We were sorry we didn't have time to take a tour around the lake - 

This pink flamingo usually goes on a front lawn!

High water levels on the lake have flooded the first ring road

Luckily you can still walk on the sidewalk

Narrower roads run uphill from the lake

This photo give you an overview of the island

The Terrazzo Restaurant where we had a wonderful lunch

Luckily we shared this fabulous avocado salad and then a pizza
Rooftop terraces on some of the homes provide extra living space and beautiful views.

It was Sunday and we watched this happy First Communion group

Here looking up at the alter - same scene

The hard to find the alley leading Enrico's at night

Sunday was such a quiet day especially in the morning

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