Flores and Tikal with kids

What to do in Flores and Tikal with kids? Located in northern Guatemala, the town of Flores is colorful, small and super lively. The old part of Flores is located on an island in Lake Petén Itza. It is connected to the mainland by a causeway. The island-based part, is the part you want to be in for a nice visit to this city. There is plenty to do in the atmospheric historic center on the lake. There is a bit of a backpacker vibe and at the same time it is also very suitable here when traveling with kids. In addition, Flores is the ideal starting point for a day trip to the famous Mayan city of Tikal. In this blog, we list all the children’s activities of Flores and Tikal!

Best travel time Flores and Tikal with kids

In Flores, the temperature is actually the same throughout the year and is around 30 degrees. So it is actually always very hot in Flores. Nevertheless, there are two seasons in Flores and the best travel time to visit Flores with kids is from November to May, when it is the dry season. That does not mean you cannot visit Flores in our summer months (June, July and August), but you can expect more rain.

In Flores, rain falls throughout the year and you have to be a little lucky with the days you visit the city. Usually it is a short heavy shower. If you go in the rainy season, then there are more showers, but everything is a lot greener and, because of the off-season, the prices are also less of a stretch. So there is something to be said for every season to visit Flores with kids.

Transportation to and in Flores and Tikal

Flores can be reached by car or by bus. Given its location, chances are you’ll have to travel quite a bit for it, but it’s well worth it. Once in the city, you do everything on foot. Sometimes this is a climb, but also just fine with kids. Take advantage of the water cabs to explore Flores further.

You pay for this water cab per boat and not per person. So if you go by boat with several people, then the amount per person becomes a lot lower. Tikal you then visit by car or bus. Of course, you can also go to Tikal on an organized tour. Then you don’t have to arrange anything yourself. That can be easy with kids, though.

Children’s activities Flores

#1 Walk through the city

Walk with kids through the colorful historic center of Flores. As mentioned earlier, the city of Flores is actually located on a small island. Within that island, you can safely move around freely and it feels like that right away. There is a lovely vacation atmosphere in the old center with numerous quaint stores and restaurants.

Pastel-colored and brightly colored cute houses alternate. You will also find a beautiful church and other colonial buildings. If you bring a ball you can find a sports field near the church, where the kids can have some fun. That way, you also make quick contact with the locals. You do that a lot faster with kids anyway.

The people of Guatemala are mainly descended from the early Mayans, and you can particularly see that the women here are still beautifully and very colorfully dressed. Therefore, you can already sit on a bench and enjoy the locals walking through the village.

Flores and Tikal with kids

#2 The boulevard of Flores

Flores has a pleasant promenade on Lake Petén Itza. Many good ice cream stores can be found on this boulevard. There are also many food stalls where they sell delicious local food, such as the fruit Rambutan which is highly recommended. It is orange/red colored fruit with a prickly exterior. You break open the fruit and what remains is a kind of lychee.

On the promenade there are also many restaurants. Many of them also have floors, and there is a reason for that. In fact, from the promenade you can watch the beautiful sunset. At San Telmo or Terra Skybar, you’ll have a great view during sunset. Be sure to get here on time, though, because it can get pretty crowded with people here just before the sun goes down in Flores.

Flores and Tikal with kids

#3 San Miguel

A crossing of less than five minutes by water cab and then you are in San Miguel. Just the inexpensive boat ride across the lake is fun when traveling with kids. You pay, as we mentioned earlier, a flat fee per water cab, making it cheap with a family (+/- 2 euros per person).

On the shore, there are plenty of boats with boaters happy to take you across. In San Miguel, you can then stroll around and sit nicely by the water for a drink or lunch. You will have a nice view of the promenade and the historic center of Flores across the street.

Flores with kids

#4 Swimming at El Chechenal

Especially when traveling with kids, water fun is always a good idea. And although the center of Flores is on Lake Petén Itza, you won’t go into the water here. This you do at El Chechenal. Here is a small beach and picnic tables in a shady wooded area. If you want to eat something here you have to bring it yourself, because there is no food available here. Cold drinks thankfully do.

The fun colored wooden jetty from which you can jump into the water is the highlight here. A nice place for a family to have a good time in the heat of the day. You get there by taking a water cab from the shores of Flores or San Miguel. We combined it with a visit to San Miguel. First by water cab to San Miguel and there we caught another water cab to El Chechenal.

Another place to go in Flores with kids is Jorge’s Rope Swing. This is another small boat ride from Flores, and older kids can swing into the water here with a rope. At this place you can also order some food and drinks. A nice place in the Flores area to cool off.

Flores with kids

#5 Day trip to Maya city of Tikal

If you are traveling around Guatemala, a visit to the ancient Mayan city of Tikal is probably high on your list. Nor is it for nothing that this city is on the Unesco World Heritage List. From Flores, several tours depart daily here. The bus travels to the park entrance in about 1.5 hours. By visiting this park with a guide, you will get additional info about the past life of the Maya and be led to the most beautiful ancient ruins without getting lost.

Indeed, the Tikal national park is nearly 600 square kilometers in size and located in lush jungle. The jungle experience makes a visit to Tikal extra special. We saw a crocodile and a turtle in the water, 2 species of monkeys in the trees, a toucan, several other beautiful birds and curious nose bears everywhere. Spotting all these animals makes it a very fun adventure for kids. A guide will also help you with this. Without him, we probably wouldn’t have seen everything.

You walk about 4 hours through the park where the ruins of the palaces and temples keep surprising you. It is possible to climb some of the ruins. Climb Temple II (38 meters) for a great view of Temple I and “The grand plaza. Climb Temple IV (65 meters) for stunning views of Tikal.

Tikal with kids

Be sure to bring your own food and drinks, as there is not super much to be had around Tikal. You do have a little store at the entrance where you can buy some food and drinks. In addition, it is smart to bring mosquito spray, since you will be walking through the jungle with the kids. It is also wise to keep the kids well-lubricated with sunscreen and possibly bring a hat or cap against the heat. Especially in the middle of the day, it can be very hot and you regularly walk in the sun.

For an organized tour from Flores including a guide, you pay about Q200 (+/- 24 euros). This does not include admission. Admission costs Q150 (+/- 18 euros), but kids under 12 get in free. Be sure to bring your passport, as you will be required to provide official identification at the entrance. You have different tours that you can book at different times.

Thus, you have tours, which include seeing the sunrise of Tikal or just the sunset. On the first tour you leave very early and on the second tour you are home very late. You can of course just go to Tikal during the day with kids. For more information on an organized tour from Flores with kids to TIkal, take a look here.

Tikal with kids

Family-friendly restaurant Flores and Tikal

You can find great food and drink in the Flores area with kids. You have several nice family-friendly restaurants in Flores where you can go with the family. We list below some of these family-friendly restaurants in the Flores area.

Wafles&Tocino; ideal for breakfast or lunch. Delicious waffles with sweet or savory toppings and a variety of fresh juices. You can sit inside or outside with kids.

Los Amigos; this is a restaurant and hostel at the same time. Yet you feel very welcome here with kids, too. Super cozy space with murals and colored lights. The menu also offers plenty of European options for when the kids want something simple to eat. They even have bitterballs there.

San Telmo; this family-friendly restaurant is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat while watching the sunset.

Family-friendly hotel Flores

You can stay in Flores with kids just fine. You have several nice family-friendly accommodations in the region. We looked at the top rated accommodations in each price range and have listed them below. Click on the blue link for more information.

Budget hotel: Zapote Tree Inn

Mid-range hotel: Hotel Quinta Maya

Luxury hotel: Bolontiku Boutique Hotel & Spa

For the entire list of family-friendly hotels in Flores, take a look here.

About the author: this adventurous family took a 5-month trip around the world in 2022 and have visited more than 20 countries together. You can follow their adventures on their Instagram page fouropeenreis.

Scroll to Top