Hotel Nitun was delightful and a real find. We were brought to the hotel by moonlit boat, which was a nice relaxing way to arrive. There were only 4 rooms and only one other room was filled, so we had a very private personal experience. The owner was a former Guatemalan coffee farmer with a Masters Degree in Eco-Farming from the 1970's, when no one else was doing Eco-farming. He retired to Flores 20 some odd years ago and has been running Nitun for the last twelve years. He was highly educated and knowledgeable about both ancient mayan culture and modern Guatemalan history and was also our guide to Yaxha. He was quite an eccentric character with a unique insightful perspective that was quite different from your standard tour guide, which we really appreciated and enjoyed. Meals here were the best we had the entire trip. Although the menu was limited (a fixed menu for the day - even though I'm sure they would prepare something else if we were to ask), the cook was the best and everything was the best freshest ingredients prepared individually for us. We had fancier meals but none more satisfying. The other people who stayed here were more adventurous interesting people and we had many interesting conversations. We much preferred it to Hotel La Lancha, which was very nice, but nothing out of the ordinary. At Nitun, the room was nicer, larger and very private in the woods, access to the lake was by a private swimming dock near the room instead of the lake being a very long far steep hike down a muddy path, the food was much better, the company more interesting, and the owner a delightful personable character - all around a more special experience. We liked it much better than La Lancha which was more like a very nice standard resort hotel - remind me to always take the advice of my travel agent in the future.
Doing a sunset at Yaxha was one of the best days. We had the archeological site virtually to ourselves in the afternoon and the unique perspective and commentary by the owner of Nitun was special. We spent hours learning about mayan history while at the same time watching parots, toucans, oro pendulas (gold pendulum birds), spider monkeys, howler monkeys and every kind of local plants and animals. We were allowed to climb above the tree tops to the apex of several fantastic mayan temples with spectacular views of the forest, wildlife and sunset. At the last temple top the guide brought wine and cheese and we rested and snacked watching the sunset to the song of the birds and the howler monkeys.
Tikal was a bigger more complete archeological site, but we had to share it with hoards of other tourists like ourselves. The young 25 year old Viaventure guide was extremely knowledgeable and well trained and provided us with excellent and different information about the Mayan culture. We definitely enjoyed and appreciated our day at Tikal but will always remember the day at Yaxha as more different and special.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ni'tun is a small Guatemalan boutique lodge located within our own private reserve on the shores of beautiful Lake Peten Itza. We offer personal service, friendly staff, knowledgeable guides, drivers and tour operators. Kayaking is a must. We pride ourselves as being passionate about our cuisine. Local ingredients are used in our fusion meals. All itineraries are tailored and many destinations in the area can be visited. It is a peaceful spot to relax and be immersed in nature. Favorite amongst guests is chatting over dinner with other travelers and us, the owners. We are far away and near enough Flores island and we operate our tours and expeditions privately to the main sites, both for one-day tours as for longer camping expeditions throughout Peten, Belize, Honduras and Mexico. Collective tours to Tikal also available. Our main aim is to share our culture with travelers and to support sustainable activities that involve local communites as well as protected areas. Through low impact eco tourism, we are able to support our conservation projects. ... more less
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