Among the first places you’ll come upon after crossing the causeway leading into Flores is Hotel La Canoa (tel. 7926-0853), where 10 rooms, all but one with private bath, go for $11 d. The room with shared bath goes for $4 per person. All rooms have firm beds, though the fluorescent lighting can be somewhat dreary. A bar directly underneath the rooms can make things noisy.
Farther down the same street is Hotel Playa Sur (tel. 7926-0351, $7 d). Its 10 clean rooms feature firm beds, fan, and make a stab at decor.
Another option in this part of town is Hotel El Faisán (tel. 7926-3438, $11 d), with ceiling fan, cable TV, and acceptably firm beds. The electric hot-water heaters, however, look a bit scary.
Hotel Mirador del Lago (Calle 15 de Septiembre south of Avenida Flores, tel. 7926-4363) is a good value at $11 d in somewhat plain rooms with firm beds and fan. Its 32 rooms are spread between two buildings on opposite sides of the street. Two rooms on the top floor with lake views go for $16.
The eight rooms at Posada de Don José (Calle Fraternidad, tel. 7926-1371, laposadadonjose [at] hotmail [dot] com) offer firm beds, cable TV, air-conditioning ($20 d) or fan ($11 d), electric hot water, and some attempt at decor in a nice family atmosphere. In-room lighting is fluorescent. Guests have free use of the kitchen and there is a tranquil hammock area on the second floor overlooking the lake.
Calle Unión holds a high concentration of lodgings in this budget category. A popular option is Hospedaje Doña Goya (tel. 7926-3538), where rooms with shared bath and fan go for $11 and those with private bath cost $13 d. Guests gather at the rooftop terrace with lake views at sunset.
An annex just a few houses down, Doña Goya the 2nd (tel. 7926-3540), features rooms with slightly more comfortable beds and fan starting at $11 d. Rooms with private bath, air-conditioning, cable TV, and lake views rent for $25 d.
For the best value in town head to Flores’s hostel, Los Amigos (Calle Central next to ProPetén, tel. 5584-8795 or 5521-2873, www.amigoshostel.com). This backpacker’s paradise features a restaurant/bar, security lockers, broadband Internet, and laundry service among its well-rounded list of amenities. The friendly Guatemalan and Dutch owners can also help you plan your travels to other parts of Guatemala. For the ultimate in affordable lodging, you can sleep in a hammock for under $3 or in dorm beds costing $3.50. Private rooms with shared bath cost $8 d or $11 d with private bath.
Readers have informed me to beware of Hotel Casablanca (formerly known as Los Peches), on Playa Sur fronting the lakeshore. It appears there have been alleged instances of bag pilfering while guests are away on day trips.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com