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“One of the best !!!!”
Review of Chaltunha Hostel

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Chaltunha Hostel
Ranked #8 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Flores
Reviewed August 7, 2012

Got a pleasure of staying there for 3 weeks and those 3 weeks was the best 3 weeks of my life. Had a wonderful view of the island of Flores had an amazing swimming pool. The owners are great wonderful persons. Treated me like family.
The food was great and delicious. The rooms was very confortable and quiet.
Like i said if i could go back to Guatemala this is the hotel i would stat in. No doubt about it. I recomended for anyone going to Peten.

  • Stayed: February 2012
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Thank bzanotto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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144 - 150 of 170 reviews

Reviewed August 4, 2012

I found this place via someone in San Ignacio. He gave me a little paper which said: CHALTUNHA HOSTEL, FLORES, restaurant bar swimmingpool free pickup etc .
When I arrived in Flores, I had to go to the office, which was in a coffee bar. They did not speak English and they were not friendly but I understood they called the hostel. After half an hour finally the owner came. He took me on a walk to the public dock, than on a boat and than we had to hike up the hill because "the car didn't work". When we finally arrived the price was not 40 Quetzal as mentioned on the paper but 55 Q. I got my room which was clean and the shared bathroom was okay. But then I wanted food.. There was clearly no bar or restaurant and when I asked about it, the owner told me that it was too slow, the tourism, so they had to close it. Hmm... I had to go back hiking down the hill, taking a lancha, and walking to town of Flores to get some food. This was okay during the day but not during the night. Around 6PM it gets dark and San Miguel, overside the lake is not touristic so I didn't feel safe to walk there on my own. When I asked whether I could eat something at least there, the wife didn't really respond but after insistence she made something very weak. And there were no sodas or water refills either available. So that was a poor and frustrating night. Than the electricty felt off almost 5 times in the evening and they had no back up generator. But I heard that electricity often fells off in Flores, so you really need it overthere. So... I waited to go back to the room, which was located in the back of the garden because it was too dark. But even when the electricity worked, it was tooo dark. So I asked for a flashlight and used my own, I really needed two! Because there were bats, frogs, lizards, bugs, gekkos and other insects in the night. Using the bathroom after dark was not recommandable seeing these conditions.
In the morning I did the Tikal Sunrise Tour, which Niel, the owner booked well for me. BUT the lancha driver charged me 20 Quetzal in stead of the usual 3 Quetzal for a boatride because it was so early. That way, my tour became suddenly more expensive. I charged this cost back to Niel, because normally it was included he said. I told him to get better cooperation with those people. They can't rip off his tourists all the time?! (They did similar things later too).
The swimming pool was very green, something was definately wrong with it. I don't know what. But first the owner told me it was because of the rainy season (which did not even started!) and later he told me something about the color of the painting which was just green. Obviously none of that was true?!! So no pool service either.
Than another time, I was showering after the Tikal trip in the afternoon and when I came out of the shower in the shared bathroom, suddenly the owner stood there again! He was watching me or something, I don't know. He told me he thought it were locals using the shower (because there were indeed some locals running on the hostel area sometimes). NOT NICE!
After 2 nights I was happy to leave the hostel. I had to wake him up for the check out at 9 AM, they were still sleeping! You see, that is no hostel service!!!!
SO: my conclusion is that this was a very poor experience.
A good advice: I went to LOS AMIGOS HOSTEL in the center of Flores, because I met some people who stayed there. I had a breakfast and lunch there and both were excellent. The rooms were basic but the service was outstanding. I booked all my transfers there to get out of Flores and got the best advice and prices there. And the smoothies are delicious!
So: go to LOS AMIGOS HOSTEL and don't let yourself fool like me.
Maybe a last thing, which was good about Chaltunha: the view.. That's the only thing unfortunately..

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank Julie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2012

I happened upon this hostel through Trip Advisor, and I'm so glad I did! Chaltunha is a lovely property across the lake from Flores. Some people may be hesitant to stay across the lake, but don't be! It's a two minute boat ride and costs about 50 cents (often less) to cross. Budget to spend a couple dollars to cross the lake during your stay, and you'll be happy you found such a great spot at Chaltunha. Neil and his wife, Beatrice, are the owners, and they are absolutely lovely people. You will go there as a guest and leave feeling like a friend. They will give you great information about the area, and you'll have lots of opportunities to interact with the locals, should you choose. Neil is also from Belize, so in addition to giving you great information about San Miguel, Flores and Tikal, he'll also be able to offer information about Belize if your trip is taking you that way. The cabins at Chaltunha are lovely. I stayed in a private cabin with private bathroom, and I am happy to report the showers are hot! And did I mention the little dog? Coco, their chihuahua is the cutest dog EVER. I seriously wanted to take him home with me. All in all, it was a wonderful stay, and I highly recommend it.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Heather R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2012

We stayed with Neil in march and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Flores is a charming little town, but staying across the lake in San Miguel with Neil afforded one of the most beautiful views in all our trip. Neil, his wife, baby and dog were charming hosts and we spent hours chatting about their experiences in Guatemala, Belize and the States.

Rooms are very reasonable. The A-frame rooms are basic but comfortable and well screened from bugs. The food was reasonably priced too but it was delicious and served looking out over the lake and Flores.

Bear in mind whilst Neil's place is well presented, the setting is rustic. Flores was our first stop in Central America proper so on getting across the lake to San Miguel we were a bit concerned to start with, but the locals are charming and the donkeys and chickens roaming about the town are part of the ambiance. As another reviewer said, taking the little boats back and forth (5 minute trip, around 20 cents by memory) across the lake made our stay.

And just to second what was said about the touts that get on the tourist shuttle at the Guatemalan border- ignore them. They really are rip off merchants. Just put on your sun glasses and tell them you don't need a place as you are staying with friends. They quickly lose interest. Ignore what they say, you will be able to go to an ATM and arrange your Tikal excursions in town or through Neil. The prices in town don't vary much from place to place and they all use the same buses, but buying from an agency in town or from Neil is much cheaper than what the bus touts offer.

Another tip: make your reservation and email Neil for a rendez-vous. He will arrange a boat across the lake and then take you and your luggage up the hill. Another guest who was staying at the same time as us didn't do this and she ended up dragging her own luggage up.

Sorry it took 5 months to write the review Neil, Farah and I really enjoyed our stay. Hope you and the family are well.

Room Tip: All the rooms set back from the main house/restaurant so bring a flash light.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Adrian J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2012

Its just a hostel you say, but its set around beautiful grounds opposite Flores island in San Miguel (it takes 5 mins to cross by taxi boat, available whenever needed). It has a great pool, fantastic views, really smartly (and quite expensively) designed wooden bungalows, which all seem new and are set around one end of a large block of land. Each room just has simple furniture / bathrooms, but open windows covered in mesh nets mean its like being in an eco-lodge, in the forest but right on the edge of Flores central. With Flores being only a tiny town in any case, we recommend this place really highly as an alternative value option. Plus the owners are very lovely to boot and they have cheap beer. We wish it plenty of success.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank JB478
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2012

We stayed here for 3 nights at the end of February and absolutely loved it. The hostel is set on the hillside overlooking Flores - the views are stunning and the cabanas are immaculate and located in a small orchard behind the pool. It's a short boat ride across the river from Flores to San Miguel, and the ride really does add to the stay. We got to know the local boatmen and it was great heading across the lake for dinner at sunset. Initially we were a bit daunted trying to find our way there but we emailed Neil the owner in advance and he came to meet us from the bus on arrival. Neil and his family are fantastic, great company and Neil is really knowledgable about the area and Mayan history. He also booked our trip to Tikal for us and our onward trip to Semuc Champey. We did take a chance on this hostel as it's only recently reopened so not many reviews to go on but am so pleased that we did. It was one of the highlights of our trip- it's an absolute gem and can't recommend enough!

Room Tip: Contact Neil in advance with any questions/concerns as he'll respond really quickly.
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank RosieEast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2012

We came to this place after we read good reviews...but it was the worst place i have ever been... in the road to the room was no lights..and when we saw the room we saw many bugs on the sheets and everywhere... when we told the manager we want to leave..he took from us 100Q!!! dont go there!!!!the worst place i have ever been!!!

  • Stayed: April 2012
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Thank asafff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chaltunha Hostel

Address: San Miguel, Flores 17001, Guatemala
Location: Guatemala > Peten Department > Flores
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Flores
Price Range: $18 - $20 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chaltunha Hostel is a family operated hostel in Flores, Guatemala. Born with the idea of share our little paradise with all the travelers who will enjoy the outdoors and rural lodgings.Built in 2005, Chaltunha Hostel offers a diversity of accommodations bungalow type. Each on elevated floorboards with well-ventilated canvas roofs, and full screens. You can enjoy peaceful relaxation on your private sheltered porch, while viewing the undisturbed tropical forest. Comfortable beds with clean linens, pillows, towels and blankets will assure a good night’s rest after a fun-filled adventurous day. ... more   less 
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