Located 63km from Tikal on a small peninsula of Lake Petén Itzá, Flores island is the governing center of Petén, Guatemala. During Maya times, the city was known as Tayasal, one of the last known cities conquered by the Spanish in the late 1600s. The modern town of Flores was built over the ruins of Tayasal.
Easily circled in one hour by foot, the colorful colonial buildings and stone streets make Flores a pleasant island to stroll around. Numerous hotels, restaurants, shops and travel agencies are found here. It is separated from the congested, dusty mainland towns of Santa Elena and adjacent San Benito by a short causeway. In Santa Elena you will find banks, malls and The Mundo Maya international airport, with daily flights to and from Guatemala City and Belize.
Although Flores is generally considered the starting point for visiting Tikal and the surrounding area, the village of El Remate on the opposite lakeshore is gaining popularity, due to its more convenient location to Tikal (30km) and quieter, relaxed atmosphere.
Collective tourist shuttles and local buses depart to Tikal everyday starting at around 4am, almost every hour until 11am and returning to Flores in the afternoon between 12 noon and 5pm.