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Expat Exchange - Pros & Cons of Living in Flores 2024
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Pros & Cons of Living in Flores

By Betsy Burlingame

Universal Tax Professionals
Universal Tax Professionals

Summary: If you're considering a move to Flores, this article discusses the pros and cons of living in Flores.

Thinking about moving to Flores? Below we highlight some of the pros and cons of living in Flores.

Guatemala, a country known for its rich Mayan history, diverse landscapes, and vibrant culture, is home to the charming island town of Flores. Nestled in the heart of Lake Petén Itzá, Flores is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of tranquility, adventure, and cultural immersion. However, like any place, living in Flores comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. This article will delve into the pros and cons of living in this picturesque Guatemalan town.

Pros of Living in Flores

One of the most significant advantages of living in Flores is its stunning natural beauty. The town is surrounded by Lake Petén Itzá, offering breathtaking views and a plethora of water-based activities. Whether you enjoy swimming, kayaking, or simply watching the sunset over the water, Flores provides ample opportunities for nature lovers.

Another advantage of living in Flores is its proximity to several historical and archaeological sites. The most notable of these is Tikal, one of the largest and most important Mayan ruins in the world. Living in Flores means you have easy access to this UNESCO World Heritage Site, allowing you to explore and learn about the rich Mayan history at your leisure.

Despite being a small town, Flores boasts a vibrant and welcoming community. The locals are known for their warmth and hospitality, making it easy for newcomers to feel at home. There are also several volunteer opportunities available for those looking to give back to the community. Organizations like the Petén Health Project and the ARCAS Wildlife Rescue Center offer rewarding experiences for volunteers.

Living in Flores also means immersing yourself in the rich Guatemalan culture. The town is known for its colorful buildings, cobblestone streets, and traditional festivals. The annual Flores fair, for example, is a week-long celebration featuring parades, music, and traditional dances. It's a great way to experience the local culture firsthand.

Lastly, the cost of living in Flores is relatively low compared to other tourist destinations in Guatemala. From housing and utilities to food and entertainment, you can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank. For instance, a meal at a local restaurant typically costs less than $5, and monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is around $300.

Cons of Living in Flores, Guatemala

While Flores has many advantages, it also has its share of disadvantages. One of the main drawbacks is its remote location. The town is located in the northern part of Guatemala, far from the country's main cities and airports. This can make travel to and from Flores quite challenging and time-consuming. For example, a bus ride from Guatemala City to Flores can take up to 10 hours.

Another downside of living in Flores is the limited job opportunities. The town's economy is primarily based on tourism, which means most jobs are in hotels, restaurants, and tour companies. While this might be ideal for some, it can be a disadvantage for those looking for jobs in other sectors.

While Flores is generally safe, like any other place, it has its share of crime. Petty theft and pickpocketing are the most common types of crime, especially in crowded areas and during major festivals. Therefore, it's important to take precautions and stay vigilant, especially if you're out late at night.

Another potential downside of living in Flores is the language barrier. While English is spoken in many tourist areas, Spanish is the primary language in Flores. If you don't speak Spanish, it can be challenging to communicate with locals and navigate daily life. However, this can also be seen as an opportunity to learn a new language and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Lastly, while the cost of living in Flores is relatively low, the town lacks certain amenities and services that you might be used to in larger cities. For example, there are no large supermarkets or shopping malls in Flores. While this might not be a problem for some, it can be inconvenient for those who prefer having a wide variety of shopping options.

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William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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