This little gem of a hostel (Hotelito Perdido) turned out to be one of our favourite places in Guatemala. Beautiful thatched roof bungalows dot the riverfront property hidden amongst impressive, thick tropical gardens. Colourful birds and butterflies frequent the many flowers and there are many fantastic places to sit, relax, and enjoy the nature. There was even a rare monkey sighting! Hotelito Perdido is in a protected jungle. Their power is solar and they have a very small impact on the surrounding environment. This is obviously good for the environment but also allows guest to feel quite connected to the jungle around them. Its a small, intimate spot with only a handful of cabins and some dorm beds.
When we visited, Hotelito Perdido was flooded. There had been torrential rain nonstop for 4 days the week before, plus rain every night since, and no one, including the locals, had ever seen the water as high as it was. As mentioned in the previous post, Federico, the boat Captain could push his small launcha almost all the way up the (normally) walking path because of the water levels. The dock was entirely under water and the bathroom of the cabin closest to the river was flooded!
In normal circumstances, we learned from Juan, the affable manager, that there would be lots of great places to sit and wile-away the afternoon. There are hammocks on a covered part of the dock and lounge chairs on another. While we were there a hammock house was being built right on the water's edge, which I can imagine would be a lovely place to swing the day away. The space could also be used for yoga, if you were so inclined. The private bungalows all had beautiful wide terraces with chairs and hammocks on them as well. We loved our time at Hotelito Perdido, water and all, but I can only imagine how much we would have enjoyed getting cozy in all these other spaces sans fishes.
We were at Hotelito Perdido in late November and the weather was perfect. Juan, thought the morning was a bit chilly at about 20 degrees, which makes me very happy not to be there when he would consider it hot. It was humid and the moist air definitely made drying things difficult. And, since J and I had tipped our double kayak in a very unfortunate, embarrassing (J: we weren't actually embarrassed) incident, we had a whole lot of things that were both muddy and wet.
You can rent double kayaks for a very reasonable Q50 per half day. From the hostel, it is about a 1.5 hour paddle down the quiet river to a waterfalls. Well, the waterfalls itself is apparently up a very, VERY muddy path, that we didn't quite successfully traverse on account of the aforementioned mud and my lack of interest in continuing to sink/fall clumsily into it. Plus, J was bitten by a spider that we realized was definitely, probably, maybe starting to effect his mental state. Or maybe he's just always a 'stick-in-the-mud.' (Pun intended). All these excuses to distract you from the fact that I'm really just a whimp who doesn't like mud. Unless its that kind of 'healing' mud from a sacred sink hole or mysterious cave with a whimsical name that you get all slathered up in so you can look all adventurous and cool on facebook. That mud is acceptable. Otherwise slippery, bug filled jungle mud that tries to suck you in with every step, like this mud- makes me cranky. Thankfully we had the pleasure of sharing this misadventure with an amazing couple from Montreal (blog). Stephan and Chantal are an inspiring, newly retired pair who live a fantasy life split between their cottage and travelling (aka: our dream life). Spending time getting to know them was one of our favourite Guatemalan memories and certainly influenced how much we enjoyed our time at Hotelito Perdido.
Chantal and Stephan travel slowly and like to rent an apartment with a kitchen if they're going to stay longer than a few days. In our opinion, this it an ideal way to immerse yourself in the community while still having your own space. We hope to one day follow their example, travelling slower and staying places for longer. Thankfully, we get to look forward to following their blog when we're back home and they're still living the 'dolce vita' here in Central America!
In fact, in addition to Stephan and Chantal, all the staff and volunteers of Hotelito Perdido itself were a treat. Friendly, helpful and funny, we were lucky enough to share this jungle gem with people who significantly enhanced our time there. And then, there was the food. Oh the food! It was delicious. Homemade bread featured strongly on the menu, which is a-ok with me, who's love of gluten rivals only my love of chocolate. It was soft, tasty and served with your choice of garlic or roasted tomato butter. Oh la la! Dinner was family style (Q70pp) and changed every night. The first night was a Spanish omelet (which turns out is made with potatoes) accompanied by a variety of yummy sides. The second night was chickpea patties with a wine and onion sauce and a whole different variety of flavourful sides. Breakfast was between Q25-Q35. We liked the eggs, beans and roasted tomato option which came with, you guessed it- homemade bread (Q35). The portion was huge. There is no way you'd be hungry anytime soon. Lunch was a variety of delightful, thick sandwiches (Q35), which, had we been hungry enough at lunch time, were big enough to share. The coffee was really good (Q10) and the beer (Q15) kept refreshingly cold in an icebox.
Being smack dab in the middle of the jungle comes with more surprises, some more welcome than others. A monkey swinging through the trees at the water's edge- amazing. A ginormous, hairy poisonous looking spider lurking in our cabin for 2 nights before J finally points it out- not so joyous. Hotelito Perdido staff sending you emailing you photos after you've moved to the next town of super-sized spiders solely for the entertainment value of your freak-out: hilarious.