Jungle Lodge Hotel Tikal is one of three hotels located inside Tikal National Park. Located behind the park rangers’ hut, it is definitely the closest location to the main entrance of the National Park, about 0.6 miles (1 km) to the excavated main square of the Tikal ruins.
Remodeled bungalows with intricate Mayan designs are some of the first things you see while walking down the cobblestone path that connects the main road to the lobby where you will check in.
The hotel compound, now part of the Jungle Lodge Hotel, was originally built to accommodate the University of Pennsylvania team of archeologist that started the excavation of the newly rediscovered Mayan ruins in the mid 1950s. The nearby airport was built to support the assignment; however, when Tikal National Park was officially given UNESCO Heritage Status in 1979, the airport was deemed to be causing too much disturbance to the area – both to the ruins and to the wildlife. All air transport activity moved to the Mundo Maya (Tikal) International Airport in Flores, about an hour drive from Tikal National Park.
The Room: All you need are the basics
There are two types of rooms – twin and double. Don’t expect much from these rooms – they come with only the basics that you need for staying overnight: a comfortable bed, safe environment, and a ceiling fan. There is no air conditioning. Showering right before going to bed helps you cool off for a good night sleep.
Bathrooms are shared at the end of the building, and they are very clean. Each room has complimentary toiletries and two towels, which can also be used at the pool.
Most rooms face the lush garden that borders the hotel property and the tamed jungle. You can definitely hear the wildlife, mainly the crickets and occasional owls or howling monkeys nearby!
The Relaxing Swimming Pool in the middle of the Jungle
Jungle Lodge Hotel is the only hotel in Tikal that offers a swimming pool for guests to enjoy. It’s basic, but definitely a big plus after a long, hot hike at the park. It’s a great place to relax. Pool furniture is available for lounging and reading and the bar can provide service – no need to go to the restaurant.
Food at the Jungle Lodge Hotel Restaurant
You can purchase breakfast and other meals at the restaurant across from the main lobby. They sell great food for a reasonable price by western standards. You can order breakfast between 6 and 9am with free coffee or tea. I recommend the “Guatemalan Breakfast,” fresh local fruit or juice (I got both), as well as scrambled eggs with tomato sauce, black beans, fried plantains, corn tortillas and cheese. You get all that for 50 quetzals – just a bit less than $7.00 US.
I really enjoyed going into the nicely decorated restaurant, where each dining table was topped with clean and organized tableware – table manner etiquette seemed appropriate here! You could almost mistake the restaurant as a place where the English serve High Tea. The staff is very attentive and speak English perfectly.
In the nearby Tikal compound, there are a few other restaurants you can choose from. All three hotels have their own and the food prices across the area are similar. I highly recommend Jungle Lodge Restaurant, even if you’re not a guest.
Jungle Lodge Hotel offers concierge services, as well as laundry facilities that you can use.
The nearest airport, the Mundo Maya International Airport, is located in the nearby town of Flores, about an hour drive from Tikal. The Jungle Lodge Hotel provides shuttle service if needed. It needs to be pre-arranged and costs about $13 one-way.
Despite their location in the middle of the jungle, they take credit cards for payment, as well as the Guatemalan quetzal and US dollars.
Things to know while staying at the Jungle Lodge Hotel
Jungle Lodge is green: According to the sign posted in each room, Jungle Lodge is committed to staying green. Because of this, they only run the electricity twice a day: from 1-2 in the afternoon, and from 5-10 at night. The only exception is the main lobby, where the electricity runs credit card transactions and Wi-Fi.
Wifi is always on: Wi-Fi is runs 24 hours a day and it is password protected; however, t’s available only in the lobby and the restaurant area – not into the rooms.
It’s not the only hotel: Jungle Lodge is the cheapest of all three hotels inside Tikal National Park. It’s a hybrid of a 3-star hotel and a budget hostel. The average price for a single person is about $45-50. Another hotel, the Hotel Jaguar Inn, offers a limited amount of hammock sleeping that is much cheaper than Jungle Lodge Hotel.
No smoking: This is a smoke-free establishment.
To tip or not: Although tipping (referred to as propina) is not part of Guatemalan culture, you may want to consider to leave 10% if you receive great service from any restaurants or tours you take.
Information at a glance
Jungle Lodge Hotel
Parque Nacional Tikal, Petén
+502 7861 8775
+502 2477 0570
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