Slowing down in Flores

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Up into Guatemala’s northern region. A part of the country known for its rustic nature, heavily traveled ruins, and its reputation (at least in the rural parts) for being a bit more wild than the rest of the country. Our two nights on the lake island of Flores were a good beginning, but we plan to come back and see more of this region before our trip ends.

Flores is positioned on Lake Peten Itza, a long and narrow lake peppered with islands and touted as the second largest in the country. Most islands are uninhabited, others may contain a single village. Flores is an exception- it is an easy place to arrive in and find a guesthouse. It is small, with a rustic boutique feel that suggests memories of europe’s cobblestone paths. The town has a slower, relaxed feel to it compared to the mainland town of Santa Elena. The views of the lake and neighboring towns on the mainland are postcard glimpses.

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The main square is home to a beautiful central church, which has a dedicated local attendance and appears to act as the meeting place for Flores and it’s neighboring areas. Food stalls, a small sports court, and a line of vendors pattern the square. On Sundays a steel drum band sets up outside the gate, and people dance on the brick plated street and between little concrete benches.

The streets on the island are worthy of meandering walks without the risk of a traffic related accident. This was a nice change for us after hiking through the mainland towns to get here. Once over the bridge, everything seemed to calm down. It’s that type of place.

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