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Where to Stay, Who To Call

Plan your ecotour to Guatemala to see Amazon parrots with BIRD TALK’s exclusive contact list

By Rose Gordon

As guests of the Guatemalan National Tourist Institute (INGUAT) during the 2nd annual International Bird Watching Encounter, we were fortunate enough to stay in some of the best accommodations. Our first night in Guatemala City we stayed in the posh Real InterContinental Hotel, a luxury hotel by most standards, but with rooms starting at an amazingly low $100 per night. Its central location makes it easy to explore the city and nearby Antigua, a historic area.

While in the Pacific coast city of Retalhuleu where we took side trips to Finca Patrocinio and the Chicabal volcano, we stayed at Hostales del IRTRA, an amazing resort-like hotel made up of individual villas themed by location. There was an African villa, one modeled after Indonesia, China and another of Mayan origin. Although it was located across from what is reported to be the largest amusement park in Central America, our group had their eyes trained on the trees and sky — and the pool.

After staying in Retalhuleu for a couple of nights, we boarded a plane — a very small plane — for Flores, Peten, in northern Guatemala. Here the brightly-colored houses reminded me of something from a hillside village in Italy. From Flores, we journeyed toward Tikal National Park, stopping by the El Sombrero Eco-Lodge and Restaurant where we had a delicious lunch of chicken and tortillas and then boarded a boat to cross Lago Yaxhá where we viewed the Topoxte archaeological site which is still being excavated.

The Peten area, although somewhat rural, includes numerous accommodations from hostels to camping to bungalows, especially in the immediate vicinity of Tikal and the Yaxha ruins. This is also where a season of “Survivor” was filmed.

Plan Your Trip

During my week-long trip in Guatemala, I met numerous tour operators and stayed in excellent accommodations. Here are just a few.

CAYAYA Birding 
Knut Eisermann

El Sombrero Eco-Lodge &
Yaxha, Peten
(502) 7861-1691

Guatemalan Tourism
Guatemala City
(502) 331-1333

Hostales del IRTRA
(502) 7722-9100

Hotel Tikal Inn
Tikal National Park, Peten
(502) 7926-0065

Jungle Lodge
Tikal National Park, Peten
(502) 2476-8775

La Via Maya – Bitty Ramirez
Guatemala City
(502) 2339-3601

La Casa De Don David
El Remate, Flores, Peten
(502) 5306-2190

Los Tarrales Reserve

Operador Latino
Irene Rodriguez
(502) 6634-1138

Patrocinio Plantation
Mario Arturo Aguilar  
(502) 7771 4393

Tessa Tour Operator for
Guatemala, Mayan World &
Central America
Estelle Rosales

Turix Activo
Victor Juárez
Guatemala City
(502) 2327-5444

U.S. Embassy Guatemala City
Avenida Reforma 7-01, Zona 10
(502) 2326-4000

Via Venture

**For the full article, “Birding Guatemala,” please see the March 2007 print edition of BIRD TALK magazine.**

Posted: January 10, 2007, 5 a.m. EST

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Where to Stay, Who To Call

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Reader Comments
Thanks! I either travel to Central or S. America for my yearly birding trip. I will make a note of some of these places.
Donna, St. Louis, MO
Posted: 10/17/2012 8:13:23 PM
sound like a good travel place to go
Ricky, broadview hts, OH
Posted: 5/3/2011 12:23:43 PM
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