Lake Peten Itza, Guatemala
Francis Ford Coppola's secluded jungle retreat, La Lancha, is a charming hideaway located on the unspoiled shores of Lake Peten Itza and the most comfortable base for visiting the ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal that rise majestically out of the rainforest.
At a Glance
Jungly hideaway located on the unspoiled shores of picturesque Lake Peten Itza
The most comfortable accommodation for visiting the incredible Mayan ruins of Tikal
Decorated with Mayan art and Guatemalan and Balinese furniture collected from movie director/owner Francis Ford Coppola's travels
A wide range of excursions can be organized such as fishing, lake trips, canopy tours, bird-watching, kayaking and mountain biking
Rustic chic style and laid back. Very in keeping with the natural surroundings
You are unlikely to miss your wake-up call here, as the jungle alarm clock, in the form of roaring howler monkeys, definitely provides an unusual start to the day.Scott Dunn team
Perched on a hillside and enveloped by a forest of parakeets and howler monkeys, the lodge is set above the turquoise waters of Lago Peten Itza. From the main lodge, winding paths lead to either lake view or rainforest view casitas. The accommodations are brightly decorated, with natural design features inspired by native art furnishings.
The main lodge, with its thatched roof and open views of the lake and jungle canopy below, offers local Guatemalan cuisine with an Italian twist.
Guided excursions of Lago Peten Itza will take you to the village of El Remate, famous for its wooden artifacts, and the island town of Flores which is scattered with colonial buildings and native architecture. A visit to the ruins of Tikal, buried deep in tropical rainforest, is a must. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 and is one of the most impressive of all the Mayan archaeological sites with over 3,000 structures to explore. It was, after all, the capital of a conquest state that became one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient Maya.
La Lancha features 10 stunning casitas with hammock decks and private bathrooms. Each casita is well equipped with modern amenities and boasts antique Balinese and Guatemalan furniture and large marble-tiled bathrooms.
Children are welcome at the hotel, and babysitting can be arranged upon request, but there are no specific facilities or interconnecting rooms.
La Lancha features a swimming pool, open-air bar and restaurant serving authentic Guatemalan cuisine, and gift shop selling painted masks, handmade ceramics and textiles.
Complimentary activities involve canoeing, hiking and birdwatching. Activities at an additional charge include fishing and kayaking at the lake, horse riding and walking trails through Cerro Cahui National Reserve.
Location & Directions
Lake Peten Itza, Guatemala
Set in the rainforest high above the shores of Lake Petén Itzá. In Guatemala’s largest and most northern department, the Petén, La Lancha is located an hour away from the Belize border and only a 45-minute drive from the magnificent Maya ruins of Tikal and the Maya Biosphere Reserve.
When to go
There’s no bad time for visiting Guatemala, though the rainy season makes unpaved roads more difficult from mid-May to mid-October, and into November and December in the north and east. Humidity, never low on the coasts or in El Petén, increases during the rainy season, too with May and June being the most hot and humid months. November to January is generally considered the best time to visit the Petén rainforest area as it is the cooler time of year and there are generally less mosquitoes. March to April is the dry-warm season when the weather is hot and dry. The higher temperature peaks are in April and also the lower precipitation averages. The height of the foreign tourist season is from Christmas to Easter. Things become acute around Christmas, New Year’s and Easter, when Guatemalans take vacations too so we do advise to plan months in advance.