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“Great experience for a night” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Complejo Cultural y Ecoturistico Cuevas de Candelaria

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Complejo Cultural y Ecoturistico Cuevas de Candelaria
Comunidad de Mucbilha I | Chisec, Alta Verapaz, Chisec, Guatemala   |  
Hotel amenities
Paris, France
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“Great experience for a night”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2011

You come here for the location, the nature surrounding you and the spectacular caves. But do your homework and read about this place and make sure it's for you. We loved the nature and gardens all around, the fact of having to walk in a little mud path for 10 minutes giving the impression you're in this little Eden, the staff (it does help to speak some Spanish) who were extremely polite and the tour of the caves blew us away, we've never been in caves that massive and that beautiful. Dinner was simple food but very good. Bring your own mosquito repellent and flashlight (not sure how you would think of coming to the jungle without). The rooms are rustic to say the least and I agree with one other review that the mosquito netting could use replacing, but we were there at low season for mosquitos and didn't see any. Bathrooms are outside and shower worked perfectly. Again, you don't come here for the comfort of a 5 star hotel, you come for other reasons but this was by far one of the most rememberable places we stayed at during our two weeks in Guatemala.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
villecresne
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2010

This place is just amazing, the atmosphere is really enchanting, birds, plants, flowers, the river, everything is there to relax.

I am a professional of turism so I'm quite able to evaluate a hotel and this is a great one. The place is very clean, we went there twice and everytime they got the room ready only when we arrived to make sure the sheets and towels were fresh (tropical humidity).
It is a nice 10 minutes walk to get to the hotel so there is absolutely no urban noise, the garden is fabulous, and as a French native I can guarantee that the food has a real French flavour.

The bathrooms are funny and well thought, even if there are no doors or windows nobody can spot you from the outside in an intimate situation as the trees hide the widowless openings. Hot water is guaranteed day and night as it is not electrical but with propane so I don't get it when others complain about it, maybe they just did not know how to use it... We've spent about 8 nights total in this place and there was one black out during which they gave us candles. Of course do not forget your flash lights, but a well advised traveler knows that it is essential when travelling in developping countries mainly in forest areas.

Our host Sergio was nice and helpful, he is a great source of information (he is kind of shy so do ask). I was sick when we arrived for our second stay but they took very good care of me bringing me food in the room, giving me medecine, I got the chance to be treated with a mayan herbal tea and recovered within a day. All this at no extra cost !
In addition they operate this place the most ecological way they can. You'll wake up to the sound of the tucan and other birds. We got the chance to visit the "aldea" (mayan community) that is a nice 20 mintues walk from the hotel. Our ten-year old little guide (Sergio's daughter) showed us plants and animals on our way.

As of the rates, the accommodation is a little bit expensive but compared to what we got at other places it worth it. The only negative ;pint would be that they got only single size beds so it's a little bit tight to sleep with your partner, but at least the beds were very comfortable (once again compard to other places). Food: main dishes are affordable but pastries are a little bit overpriced but soooo good.

Guatemalan react to your attitude, be respectful and you'll get it back. Arrogance and "gringo attitude" is not welcome, this explains some bad situations.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coban
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2008

I found the employees rather indifferent but not surly. We had phoned for a reservation but whoever takes reservations hadn't passed the information on ... nonetheless the place was empty so that was okay. The accomodations and grounds are nice. The food is okay but VERY expensive. But the cave ...

The cave is the most incredible thing I've ever seen in my life, and I'm a caver from way back (a member of the NSS). I can't even begin to describe it to you, but I understand why the Popul Vuh says this is the entrance to the underworld. This place should be a must on your visit to Guatemala (after this no other cave here is worth visiting, and I know them all, I live in Guatemala). If you don't want to spend the night, you can just blow in for a few hours, pay Q30 per person entrance fee plus another Q20 to pay the guide, and tour the cave in an hour and a half; and then leave. You can bed down in Raxruja (Cancuen Hotel has been recommended to me but I don't know it personally).

You can get to Candelaria by taking a Raxruha camionetia from INJAV in Coban (2 hours); or north from Lanquin en route to Peten. The caminonetia driver will ask you which of the three Candelarias you want to visit. There are 2 other places where you can enter the cave which are run by locals (the entire system is 35 kms long). I don't know these so can't recommend them. I presume that Daniel (the French owner of the Complejo) copped the best portion.

Stayed April 2008
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2008

Upon arrival by car, we were told we had to park our car in a separate parking lot across from the hotel, and had to walk 700 meters to the hotel. We arrived at night and the gentlemen helping us with the luggage, just had 2 small flashlights lighting the pathway for 20 guests.
We checked in, and as the receptionist showed us our bedrooms we were told that washrooms were not included in each room (even though we called beforehand when we were reserving, asking if there were private washrooms in each room and they said "YES"). We were misinformed and lied to and yet the receptionist refused to give us an explanation. Just as any guest who was lied to, we were upset about it and insisted for an explanation. The receptionist said he would see what he could do for us. When he came back he said "These are the only rooms, you can take them or leave". We were upset by his tone of voice and the way we were treated and disrespected. We wanted the refund of the deposit before we left. The receptionist then called two security guys with big rifles on hand. We were literally threatened to either leave (and they would not refund our deposit of Q1300) or take it as it was. Mind you, we had seven children and an expectant mother in our group. Yet, they did not care and literally threatened us. Fortunately one of the gentlemen who helped us with the luggage was more understanding of our situation and was able to diffuse the situation by calming both sides.
Since we had nowhere to go,we were tired and it was in the middle of the night (it was 9 pm), we had no choice but to stay there with fear for our lives.
We had to have dinner there because we were starving, so we asked for the only dish in their menu: beef stew with spaghetti. The spaghetti was hard and we just had 4 pieces of overcooked beef. It all came out very expensive. We asked for the receipt and yet again, the receptionist (seems this guy was the one in charge of things there) refused to give us one, saying it was not possible at the time. We have never experienced anything like this. Can you say "Tax Evasion". As of this date, they have not sent us the receipt which exceeded Q1300.00.
At around 10:30pm, all lights were turned off so if you had to use the washroom outside, you had to use the moonlight to shine your rocky path. They did not provide any flashlight or advice to bring any.
They claim in their website that they offer hot water: not true. All washrooms had 3 foot walls around them and a curtain for a door. There's no privacy at all. The towels they provided us were damp and dirty.
With all these problems I suggest you avoid this place and go somewhere else, where they won't threaten you with guns, lie to you, and give you very bad service.
The only positive things were the tour guides at the caves and the beauty of the caves.

  • Liked — Caves and the tour guides
  • Disliked — Receptionist, food and accomodation arrangements.
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Complejo Cultural y Ecoturistico Cuevas de Candelaria

Address: Comunidad de Mucbilha I | Chisec, Alta Verapaz, Chisec, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Alta Verapaz Department > Chisec
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Specialty lodging in Chisec
Also Known As:
Complejo Cultural y Ecoturistico Cuevas De Candelaria Guatemala/Chisec

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