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Chimino's Island Lodge

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Punta de Chimino Laguna Petexbatún, Sayaxche 17010 Guatemala
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Punta de Chimino Laguna Petexbatún, Sayaxche 17010 Guatemala
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Santa Elena Airport39 miSee all flights
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39Reviews3Q+A3Room tips
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I had an amazing time at Chiminos. I loved the river journey, the breathtaking scenery, the kind hospitality and the Aguateca ruins. The food was simple but it all tasted great, and there was plenty of it. I’ve travelled extensively and the views from the cabins and the river were exceptional. I’ve visited many ruins in Guatemala and Mexico but the setting of Aguateca is different- it’s rugged yet accessible, excavated but beautifully overgrown,it’s totally isolated and it’s unlikely you’ll find any other tourists there! If this is your thing, be sure to make the trip. I don’t think the three of us had any real complaints over three days- we loved having our own boatman, we enjoyed seeing crocodiles and many beautiful birds, and felt well looked after at the lodge. We also visited Crater azul which was far, but cool, glad we went. Yes, the lodge could use some investment in repairs and TLC on the bridges to get to the rooms, the bathroom off the kitchen and a couple other things, and I sincerely hope the owners make it because this is a spectacular place that I hope stays around for many years to come. Still, these elements were part of the special charm of the whole experience. I highly recommend Chiminos!
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Wonderful friendly hospitality provided by Alejandro and team. The place is on the laguna completely off the beaten track and only accessible by 1 hour boat trip but well worth it. Great home-cooked food with lots of local fresh fruit and veg. We explored Aguateca and then kayaked at sunset. Our huge bungalow looked across the Laguna. Bliss!
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+1
A hostel experience in the jungle in the middle of the monkeys and the Mayan site of Chiminos not to miss. The service is friendly. Perfect to visit the Mayan sites of ceibal and aguateca. I recommend it
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I stayed here for one night together with my guide and our boatman (all in different bungalows) whilst visiting the nearby Mayan sites of Aguateca and El Ceibal. The lodge is accessible only by boat from Sayaxché along a tributary of the Río la Pasión. This establishment will divide opinion. If you are a ‘jungle junkie’ who enjoys listening to ‘the sounds of the jungle’ in an isolated location and who does not mind basic accommodation, this is the place for you. My most important advice would be “Bring a torch (flashlight) or some other form of artificial illumination”. If, however, you prefer to stay in comfortable hotels in an insect-free environment, then stay away! My guide told me that, on several occasions, his clients had simply refused to stay here and had demanded to be taken back to the Flores area. My wife was supposed to accompany me on this excursion but was forced to remain in Flores because of illness. She would have been one who insisted on being taken back to Flores. The lodge is located on a promontory protruding into Lake Petexbatún, so is or was an artificial island. It is where the Mayan elite from Aguateca were able to separate themselves temporarily from the general populace. They achieved this by excavating a channel across the isthmus to render the ‘island’ less accessible. In other words, it was a Mayan version of Mustique in the Caribbean. There is an unexcavated Mayan site here with a clearly identifiable ball court. Accommodation is in separated thatched bungalows. I stayed in bungalow 2 which, as well as a king-sized bed, had three additional single beds. The property's web site shows a faithful representation of the inside and outside of the bungalows. There is no WiFi. First, the positives. The establishment is very remote and peaceful, and has good views across Lake Petexbatún. The staff (of whom I believe there are four) are exceptionally friendly and accommodating. The establishment is clean and tidy. The food is good. Meals are taken in the open restaurant next to the cooking area and overlooking the lake. For dinner, my guide and I had squash soup and fresh fish (carp?) from the lake. However, if you need your creature comforts, you may not enjoy your stay here. The bungalows do not have windows as such, just mosquito screens in place of glass. There are no curtains. Electrical power is provided by a generator and is only available for three separate 2-3 hour periods per day. The electrical wiring of the bungalows looks somewhat suspect. I did not succeed in having a shower which was completely warm for its entirety. Lights were extinguished at about 21:30 for the 'curfew'. Paths are illuminated until the generator is switched off. You do get a warning that the electrical supply is about to be switched off. The lights go out, come back on briefly and then complete darkness. Fortunately (and unusually, I believe), there were no mosquitoes when I was there – it was too cold. I needed to make use of the three additional blankets in my room. I continued to read my Kindle after ‘lights out’. My Kindle showed that there was a significant variety of insect life in the room. The bug population was attracted by its light! In summary, I quite liked the place but just for one night. Would I return even if I did return to Guatemala? Probably not. My main motive for staying here was to visit Aguateca and El Ceibal, and I have now achieved this.
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In some places a brush of paint does more harm than good. Yes, the lodge is not upto modern day standards, but it would loose all of its charm if it were! Slightly more than an hour by boat from Sayaxche you travel back in time to the days when explorers discovered ruined temples in the jungle. The boatride itself is a true experience. Do not tell anyone, one day they might consider making you pay extra.There howler monkeys haven't been scared away by heavy traffic noise, the cabins themselves are still hidden in untouched tropical forest. All have riverview. Fishermen come by in the morning to sell the catch of the day to the cook. Walk around the island and feel enchanted. We loved every minute! Regrettably we were not aware ( and did not have enough time) of the possibility to visit the Mayansite of Aquateca a short boattrip from the lodge. The staff could not have been nicer. So was the boatsman.
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LOCATION
GuatemalaPeten DepartmentSayaxche
NUMBER OF ROOMS
6
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Frequently Asked Questions about Chimino's Island Lodge
Which popular attractions are close to Chimino's Island Lodge?
Nearby attractions include Aguateca (1.4 miles).
What food & drink options are available at Chimino's Island Lodge?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant during their stay.