Where to stay in Guatemala: 20 unique bucketlist places to stay

Where to stay in Guatemala, the country of lush jungle, Mayan temples, colonial towns and active volcanoes? This Central American country has some of the most unique places to stay, making your Guatemala trip an unforgettable experience. We camped on volcanoes, spent the night in lodges in the middle of the lush jungle and slept in unique tree houses. Read more about the most special places to stay in Guatemala, inspiring you to visit this beautiful country in Central America.

Acatenango Fuego Vulcano | Old Town Outfitters | Guatemala

Must-do: camping on a volcano

#1 The Acatenango volcano at Antigua for an unforgettable hike and overnight stay on the most famous volcano in Guatemala. Wake up to the rumble of a volcano, unzip your tent and see a huge eruption. That’s waking up on the Acatenango. The Acatenango Volcano has fantastic views of two other volcanoes, the massive Agua and active Fuego. We stayed in a base camp above the clouds where you can only get to by hiking all the way up. On a ledge overlooking the eruptions of the Fuego, the tents are lined up with a lovely campfire in the middle. Breathtakingly beautiful!

#2 The Pacaya volcano at Antigua for a night tour to lava flows and roasting marshmallows in the dark. The night hike to the top of the volcano in the dark was one of the most spectacular things we’ve ever done. The huge lava flows from the top down, the lava splashes from the crater and the thick clouds of smoke. Wow!

Acatenango Fuego Vulcano | Old Town Outfitters | Guatemala

Where to stay in Antigua Guatemala

As one of Guatemala’s most popular destinations, Antigua is packed with beautiful hotels and hostels. It has both low-budget options and stunning luxury hotels, and both modern trendy hostels and authentic historical places to stay. When looking for where to stay in Antigua, you can choose for a hotel in town or a unique place to stay in the hills around it. We couldn’t choose and stayed in a beautiful lodge overlooking Antigua and its volcanoes, after which we spend some days in town ánd camped on two active volcanoes. You might not have enough travel time in your itinerary to spend a week in Antigua, but if you do have the time: go for all three options as we did!

The best hostels and hotels in Antigua:

#3 Earth Lodge (outside Antigua) for a beautiful hotel with huts and tree houses built against the hills around Antigua. The view over the city and the surrounding volcanoes is phenomenal. The gardens, the vegetarian restaurant, the yoga classes, the hikes from Earth Lodge, the hammocks and the sauna will make your stay unforgettable.

#4 Selina Antigua for one of the trendiest hotels in town. There are both dormitory rooms and spacious private en-suite rooms, as Selina combines a hostel atmosphere with hotel comfort. The stylish hotel also has a lovely outdoor swimming pool and yoga classes are given on the roof terrace.

#5 Ojala Hotel for a unique place to stay in Antigua with a unique interior style that combines modern with historical elements. Ojala is both a hostel and a hotel with comfortable private rooms and nice dormitories. The beautiful courtyard and prime location make this a perfect choice for Antigua.

#6 Casa Santo Domingo for one of Antigua’s most unique hotels. In addition to being a beautiful luxury hotel, Santo Domingo is also a spa and archaeological museum, housed in an old convent with historical exhibits. The hotel has a swimming pool and beautiful gardens.

Earth Lodge | Antigua | Guatemala

Where to stay at Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan offers cozy hostels, beautiful luxury hotels and stunning resorts with a view over the lake. Most travelers choose the villages of Panajachel, San Pedro or San Marcos as a base to explore the famous lake, as these villages are packed with great restaurants and hotels. But there are also smaller villages around the like, such as Santa Clara or San Juan, for a more local experience and even more great places to stay at Lake Atitlan. We chose to spend some nights in San Marcos, which we think is the best village on Lake Atitlan to stay, and then picked a stunning hotel in a more remote location to experience both.

The best hostels, resorts and hotels at Lake Atitlan:

#7 Balam Ya (between Panajachel and Santa Catarina Palopó) for beautiful lodges right on the lake. You can grab kayaks and SUPs for free and with an on-site jetty you can get straight into the lake from Balam Ya

#8 Tzampoc Resort (Santa Catarina Palopó) for a beautiful resort on the shores of the lake. With an outdoor swimming pool, hot tub, gardens and terraces, sauna, restaurant and bar, this is the perfect place to unwind by the lake.

#9 Eco Hotel Uxlabil (San Juan) for a great eco-hotel on the lake with a swimming pool and beautiful gardens. Free kayaks are available at the private dock for guests to take out on the water. All rooms have a balcony overlooking the lake.

#10 Lush Atitlan (San Marcos) for one of the most photogenic hotel options at Atitlan. The hotel offers a phenomenal view of the lake and is beautifully built from natural materials and with calm tones.

#11 Atitlan Sunset Lodge (near Santa Cruz) for one of the most famous hotels on Lake Atitlan. You can only get to Atitlan Sunset Lodge by boat and that remote location adds to the magic of this special place to stay. There are free kayaks to go out on the lake.

San Marcos de Atitlan | Lago de Atitlan | Guatemala | The Orange Backpack

Where to stay in Quetzaltenango

When looking for a place to stay in Quetzaltenango – or Xela as the locals say – you’ll probably end up at the best boutique hostel in Guatemala. As one of the least visited destinations in Guatemala, Quetzaltenango is not yet on the tourist radar and therefore does not have an overwhelming selection of luxury hotels, hip hostels and boutique hotels. Yet it has one of the best places to stay in Guatemala and there are a number of great alternatives if this hotel is fully booked.

#12 Mucha Arte Hostal for Guatemala’s best boutique hostel with stylish interior and hospitable owners. The rooms are spacious and attractively decorated, as you would normally expect from an expensive boutique hotel. However, the prices of Mucha Arte are a lot lower than you can expect from a boutique hotel, as it is a hostel rather than a hotel. There are both dorms and private rooms, but you do share a bathroom (and kitchen). Mucha Arte is a popular base for the many travelers who stay a little longer in Xela and we totally understand, as it is the perfect home away from home.

Quetzaltenango Parque a Centro América

Where to stay in Rio Dulce

Where to stay in Rio Dulce? Where to stay in Rio Dulce? The lush jungle, howler monkeys, lakes, river, tropical atmosphere and beautiful nature of the Rio Dulce region make this one of the most special places in Guatemala. A visit to Rio Dulce is not complete without a beautiful place to stay in this lush green environment. You won’t find these in the villages, but hidden in the jungle on the river banks. During our stay in the region, we visited several of them and collected the best jungle stays in Rio Dulce for you!

The best hostels, lodges en hotels van Rio Dulce:

#13 Boatique Hotel & Marina for the absolute best place to stay in Rio Dulce. Guests stay in wooden and thatched cottages on the water and in the middle of the jungle. In the evening, everything is beautifully lit with lights for a magical atmosphere. The magical Boatique Hotel & Marina is a beautiful jungle paradise you shouldn’t miss when visiting this area.

#14 Hotellito Perdido for a popular and idyllic hotel in a secluded waterfront location in the jungle between Rio Dulce and Livingston. Just beyond the lake El Golfete, but before the canyon, the popular Hotellito Perdido is located on a tributary of the Rio Dulce river. Far removed from civilization, it is the perfect place to relax and unwind.

#15 Finca Tatin for a unique place to stay on the Rio Dulce river, not far from Hotellito Perdido. It offers a budget-friendly dormitory, but also beautiful cabins made of natural materials. There is no WiFi, so guests can completely disconnect from their daily life.

#16 Tortugal Boutique River Lodge for a beautiful boutique hotel near the village of Rio Dulce and the fortress. There is a diving platform, guests can use the kayaks for free and sun loungers are waiting for guests on a floating sun terrace in the water. All rooms have river views, making this a perfect place to stay in Rio Dulce to fully enjoy the riverside area.

Boatique Hotel and Marina | Rio Dulce | Guatemala

Where to stay in Flores and Tikal

The popular Isla de Flores offers budget-friendly hostels, beautiful luxury hotels and everything in between. As one of the most popular destinations in Guatemala, there are many places to stay in Flores, located on a lovely peninsula in Lake Petén Itzá. But the area also offers beautiful luxury hotels on the lake and it is worth considering whether you wouldn’t rather spend your days at one of those stunning and secluded locations than on Isla de Flores. These options are among the most beautiful hotels in Guatemala with a beautiful secluded location in nature, offering a wonderfully relaxing, peaceful experience. A third option is booking a hotel at the famous Mayan city of Tikal, so you don’t have to book a Tikal excursion from Flores but can just head into the park from your jungle lodge.

The best hostels, resorts and hotels in Flores and Tikal:

#17 Hotel Isla de Flores (Flores) for probably the most beautiful hotel on Isla de Flores and with a central location in the middle of the island. It has an outdoor swimming pool on the roof terrace (!) and an on-site restaurant.

#18 Zapote Tree Inn (San Miguel right opposite Isla de Flores) for a popular hotel in San Miguel right opposite Isla de Flores and therefore only a short boat ride from the peninsula. With an outdoor swimming pool, a beach, a library, a restaurant and a bar, Zapote Tree Inn has everything you could possibly need.

#19 Bolontiku Boutique Hotel & Spa (at the lake) for a beautiful boutique hotel near San Andres and a 15-minute boat ride from Flores. The hotel offers a beautiful outdoor pool overlooking the lake, a small beach, a swimming pool, a bar and an exotic garden. Bolontiku is the best place for an unforgettable experience at Lago Petén Itzá.

#20 Hotel Tikal Inn (Tikal) for the most popular hotel at Tikal National Park with a location in the middle of the jungle. Guests stay in bungalows with palm frond roofs in the jungle or at the pool. This hotel is the most popular option at Tikal because of its good value for money. It is therefore often fully booked, so make sure to book your stay well in advance.

Hotel Jungle Lodge Tikal