El Hotelito Perdido
Home - A little information about our lodge
Accommodation - What we offer to make your stay as comfortable as possible
Activities - Things to do and see in the area
Getting Here - Travel directions from all over Guatemala
Gallery - Some photos of our lodge and from around Guatemala
Rio Dulce - Some information about the area around our lodge
Guatemala - Some information about this beautiful country
Get in contact - Make a reservation or just ask for more information
Prices - Check out a summary of our prices
Links - Find some other great places to stay in the region
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About Guatemala

Guatemala is located in Central America, bordering Mexico to the north and west, Belize to the northeast and Honduras and El Salvador to the east. The Pacific Ocean is located in the south. The Guatemalan landscape is comprised of tropical rain forests, wetlands, mangrove swamps, mountains, over 30 volcanoes (3 of which are active), hot springs, Caribbean coasts and black-sand Pacific beaches. Guatemala is a great place for jungle hiking, climbing volcanoes, water-rafting, sailing and learning Spanish.

Climate

The climate of Guatemala differs greatly depending on the area. With the influence of two oceans and the change of altitude, you will experience a variety of conditions even within a small area. The Guatemalan dry season (for most of the country) is from December to April. The Pacific coast is roasting hot and humid with temperatures as high as 38°C. In the highlands it is usually bright and warm during the day but at night, the temperature drops noticeably. In the jungle, depending on the season, the climate can range from hot and humid to hot and dry.

Practical Information

Time: GMT –0600
Dialing Code: 502 (there is no area code and all numbers have 8 digits)
Electricity: 115–125V, 60Hz
Currency: Quetzal (Q)
Exchange Rate: 1 USD roughly equals 7.5Q

Highlights

Most travellers start their visits to Guatemala in Antigua, a charming colonial town and the former capital of Guatemala. Antigua is a fantastic place to relax and take Spanish classes. After Antigua a popular place to travel to is Panajachel, on Lago Atitlan, with breathtaking views of the surrounding volcanoes. In Panajachel you can catch a boat and explore the local villages of Santiago de Atitlán, San Antonio de Palopo, San Pablo La Laguna, and more. You have the opportunity to observe how indigenous people wear beautiful traditional clothing and preserve their culture. Panajachel and the nearby villages are great places to buy high-quality hand-made souvenirs.

The biggest 'artisania' market in the region is in the highlands town of Chichicastenango ("Chichi"). Another attraction in Chichicastenango is the impressive church of San Thomas. Built in 1540, this is where local people practice a mix of the Catholic religion and Mayan rituals. In the market you can find ceramic crafts, jade carvings, masks and beautiful hand woven textiles.

From Chichi there are direct buses that will take you to Quetzaltenango (called Xela by locals), a fine place to learn Spanish and a great base camp to plan trips to surrounding villages and natural attractions. The local villages are less affected by tourism and therefore less commercial than the villages around Atitln.

Another place to visit is the remote mountain village Nebaj, hidden in the Cordillera de los Cuchumatanes. To get to Nebaj, you must travel down a long dirt road from either Chichi or Huehuetenango, but the trip is completely worth it. Stunning views, picturesque waterfalls and complete tranquillity are the rewards for the hard travel. The Ixil Maya population strongly preserves their traditional ways of dress and pure way of living, because they experience relatively little modern influence.

Retalhuleau, which is on the way to the Pacific coast, is not a popular tourist destination, but the non-traditional explorer might be interested in the active archaeological dig, Abaj Takalik, featuring large Olmecoid stone heads.

The Pacific coast is rough and hot. A favourite place for many travellers is Monterrico, with its unique black volcanic sand beaches and the wildlife reserve Biotopo Monterrico-Hawaii. Swimming is hazardous due to the large waves and powerful undercurrent. On a typical weekend, Monterrico is crowded with people coming from Guatemala City. During the week it is enjoyably peaceful.

Another interesting town is the central Guatemalan mountain village of Cobán. A special attraction in the area is Semuc-Champey, with its turquoise lagoons and limestone bridges over Rio Cahabon thrashing into the underground caves. It is a beautiful natural wonder; a paradise.

The laid-back, Garifuna town of Livingston is unique for its Afro-Guatemalan culture combining Mayan, Asian, European and African influences. Livingston is accessible from Rio Dulce or from the Caribbean port of Puerto Barrios. The lively town offers great punta music and a wide variety of exceptional seafood (best in Guatemala), such as the famous Tapado soup.

In the north of Guatemala you will find the sacred and vibrant Mayan ceremonial centre of Tikal, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. With high pyramids rising above the canopy of the jungle, Tikal is one of the most powerful sites in all of Guatemala.

If you don't wish to journey across the country by bus, you can book a flight to Flores. Most hotels in Flores have organised minibus trips to Tikal.

To learn more about Guatemala, check out the Lonely Planet Guidebook.


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