Where to stay in Tikal?


For three decades I have been staying at the (Hotel) Posada de la Selva, lovingly known as the "Jungle Lodge." This delightful hotel was developed by Antonio Ortiz and is now carefully operated by his sons. The attractive grounds were landscaped by Mr Ortiz's wife.

I have also had memorable evenings in each of the other two hotels, the Hotel Tikal Inn and the Jaguar Inn, but I must admit I always gravitate to the Jungle Lodge, especially now that it has full-time hot water!


Jungle Lodge
Jungle Lodge

When planning your trip to Guatemala please realize that many hotels add the name "Tikal" to infer that they are at the ruins (most are far outside) but the Posada de la Selva (Jungle Lodge is the English translation) is the only first class hotel actually within the national park. Many travelers also plan to stay at least one night on the island of Flores. Here you can find dozens and dozens of hotels (new ones every year). I have been a guest at the Hotel Maya International of Rafael Sagastume many times in the 1970's, but I have lost contact as that hotel chain expanded and nowadays tend to book into one of the hotels of the Ortiz family, namely the elegant new Isla de Flores, in the center of the island.


When you are in town, take a boat ride across the lake about sundown, and enjoy the view from the top of the pyramid of the Maya site of Tayasal. If you select to stay on the mainland, Santa Elena is generally preferred for overnight guests (rather than San Benito). I have enjoyed the Jaguar Inn in Santa Elena, a hotel of the same friendly owners as the Jaguar Inn of Tikal, Edmundo Solis. They also have the best selection of books in the area.


The ISLA DE FLORES hotel can be booked through any travel agent. Since it is owned by the same family as the Posada de la Selva/Jungle Lodge, you can book through them. www.hotelisladeflores.com


When you visit Tikal be sure to hire a guide. You can get guides at the airport, at the National Park, or in most hotels and travel agencies. The Guatemalan guides know the local flora and fauna and can help you get a fully Guatemalan experience for your vacation.


New page format posted July 15, 2009
posted Jan. 1998, revised March 3, 1999