A list of all the campgrounds, hostels and hotels that we stayed in while in Guatemala in January, February, March, August, September and October 2014.
El Remate, Peten: Gringo Perdido Ecological Inn – (01.17.14) We had wanted to visit Tikal and knew that you were not allowed to bring dogs into the National Parks (unless you hide them, which Neli flat out refuses to do) so we thought we’d see if we could find a good place to stay in Remate where we could leave her for the day. It ended up there as no one around who we trusted to watch her for the day so we ended up skipping Tikal altogether – PROS: beautiful spot, right on the eastern edge of Lago de Peten Itza, electric hookup, sink area by showers for washing dishes – CONS: pit toilets with no doors (?!), cold shower was a trickle of water out of a pipe coming out of the ceiling, entire place was deserted so none of the hotel facilities were open (restaurant etc), no internet, too far from town to walk for supplies so make sure you bring everything you need – 50 GTQ/person/night – GPS: 16.994455 N, 89.715643 W
Ixobel, Peten: Finca Ixobel Hotel Ecological – (01.18.14 – 01.22.14) When we got here, it had been raining for two weeks so the campground was a muddy mess, the manager let us park in the driveway in front of the hotel instead – PROS: beautiful campground/farm/hostel/hotel, electric (available with an extension cord where we were parked, if you park in the campground the only outlet is in the bathroom palapa), in-house bakery means amazing fresh bread daily, honor system food and drinks, hot showers, you can pay for everything (camping, food, drinks) at the end on a credit card (5% credit card fee) – CONS: free wifi only available in a corner of the common area and didn’t work most of the time, no where to wash dishes (there might be a sink in the campground area?), pretty limited lunch menu which if you stay for more than a couple of days you will get sick of (we ended up eating “out” a lot because there was no where to wash dishes except at the dorm bathroom), “all-you-can-eat” buffet dinner is actually portioned out for you (still a ton of food) and they served leftovers three nights in a row, should a “big group for a wedding” show up be prepared to be completely ignored by the owners – 35 GTQ/person/night to camp plus 10 GTQ for electric/night – GPS: 16.303861 N, 89.416415 W
Lanquin, Alta Verapaz: El Retiro Lodge – (01.24.14 – 01.29.14) They don’t actually have a spot for overlanders to camp, but let us park in their driveway. – PROS: Beautiful campground/hostel right on the river, friendly owners and staff, delicious food and huge portions (55 GTQ for veg dinner, 65 GTQ for meat-eaters), easy access to tours to caves and Semuc Champey, clean bathrooms, warm showers, free wifi in the restaurant, quick walk into town if you need supplies, you can set up a tab at the restaurant and pay for everything at the end on a credit card (10% credit card fee) – CONS: As mentioned before, not a great camping spot with your rig (driveway location means you hear every tour bus and passenger bus that pulls into the driveway starting at around 7 am), no kitchen sink area, no hookups – 30 GTQ/person/night – GPS: 15.580973 N, 89.975666 W – NOTE: We took Franja Transveral del Norte to Route 5 from Ixobel which is currently being paved but is essentially a gravel/rock path through the mountains. The drive took us about 7 hours. There is a longer (distance) route that is mostly paved for those of you not wanting to off-road for 7 hours.
Semuc Champey Natural Monument, Alta Verapaz: Dry camped in the parking lot – (01.30.14) PROS: Almost in the park so you can get in before the tour groups show up, the guides sleep there so fairly secure, small mayan children will sell you ‘chocolate’ – CONS: Electric to run the bathrooms is on a generator so most of the time there is no lights or water, no hookups – 50 GTQ/person entry into Semuc plus 10 GTQ/person to park/camp – GPS: 15.536695 N, 89.955496 W
Salama, Baja Verapaz – Ariel and Marleen’s: (01.31.14) After our brakes died and Ariel came to our rescue, he invited us to camp on his property for the night – PROS: We had a place to stay when we thought we were doomed, walking distance to the beer shop and grocery store, Marleen made us dinner – CONS: none – Free – GPS: not given as this is a private residence
Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepéquez: Hotel EuroMaya Suites – (02.01.14 – 02.08.14) Victoria’s parents came to visit us and put us up in a hotel for 8 nights! – PROS: Hot showers, free wifi, good breakfast, free subterranean parking down the street, two floors for Neli to run around in, easy walking distance to everything Antigua has to offer, we got to hang out with Lorna and David! – CONS: The upstairs shower took forever to get hot – 75 USD/night during the week, 95 USD/night on Friday and Saturday – Address: 7a Calle Poniente #43
Panajachel, Lake Atitlan: Jenna’s Guatemala River B&B – (02.05.14) While Victoria’s parents were in town they also treated us to a night on Lake Atitlan – PROS: amazing breakfast included, good location in Pana, pretty grounds (hanging orchids were especially beautiful), fast, free wifi, super comfortable bed, honesty bar, clean bathrooms, 3 super friendly dogs live on the property – CONS: our room had strange paintings on the walls (felt like the eyeballs were following us), when we went out for dinner we returned to find Neli was gone and after freaking out found a tiny note from Jenna to say that Neli was barking and disturbing everyone else in the B&B so she had taken Neli back to her yurt (first time in over four months we’ve had a complaint about Neli even making a noise) – 65 USD/couple – Address: Casa Loma, Calle Rancho Grande
Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepéquez: Tourist Police – (02.09.14 – 02.14.14 and 08.02.14 – 08.06.14) PROS: Safe and secure (it’s a police station!) dry-camping minutes away from Parque Central – CONS: Basically a dusty parking lot, ice-cold showers and dirty bathrooms – FREE – GPS: 14.555146 N, 90.739775 W – NOTE: The rules for camping where changed in January 2014 to include, but not limited to: only older campers or families, no entry after 10pm, no entry if you are visibly intoxicated, a limit of 5 nights. We stayed 6 nights and it didn’t seem like anyone was going to ask us to leave. Our advice to other overlanders, try to get in and if they won’t let you camp ask if you can park there instead as most hostels and hotels do not offer parking. *** UPDATE: As of May 2014, we hear they are allowing campers of all ages ***
San Pedro La Laguna, Lake Atitlan: Corazon Maya Spanish School – (02.15.14 – 03.01.14) We stayed at Corazon Maya for two weeks and took Spanish classes – PROS: Affordable yet quality one-on-one spanish classes, quiet part of town but walking distance to ‘Gringolandia,’ free wifi, secured parking – CONS: shared showers were cold (we heard the casitas with showers had hot water), running water to wash dishes was hit or miss – 75 USD for 4 hours of private classes for 5 days, 60 USD for 3 hours of private classes for 5 days, 30 USD for smallest casita (stove but no fridge, sink, or private bathroom), the more expensive casitas have more amenities and are still dirt cheap – GPS: 14.688463 N, 91.265873 W – NOTE: They let us stay an extra night for free in the casita because there was no one moving in. They were also going to let us camp in the parking spot at apparently no charge, pretty cool.
San Pedro La Laguna, Lake Atitlan: Cafe Chuyasnayi – (03.02.14 – 03.07.14 and 08.07.14 – 08.23.14) After leaving Corazon Maya, we headed over to this coffee shop to camp for another week – PROS: electric (if you have a long extension cord), fast wifi (with purchase), lots of room to spread out, great location close to Gringolandia, gated but not locked lot, pool, awesome coffee – CONS: bathrooms were pretty grimy, cold showers, local high school swim class starts at 7 am in the pool – 250 GTQ/week – GPS: 14.693333 N, 91.269028 W
San Juan La Laguna, Lake Atitlan: Hotel Chi-Ya (08.24.14 – 10.01.14) we rented a small bungalow apartment on the shores of Lake Atitlan halfway between San Pedro and San Juan – PROS: Amazing view of the lake and the Indians Nose, hot water showers, quiet location, free parking – CONS: Almost 100 stairs from the house to the driveway and then a steep uphill walk to the highway, nowhere good for the dogs to run around – 350 USD/month – GPS: 14.69615 N, 91.27847 W
Huehuetanengo, Huehuetenengo: camped in parking lot of Hotel Fuente Real (10.02.14) – PROS: a good stop for the night on the way to the Mexican border, use of bathrooms all day and night, fast free wifi, electric included if you have a long cord – CONS: no showers – 120 GTQ/night – GPS: 15.29228 N, 91.48525 W