Central + South America Guatemala ancient cities lost in the jungle, indian markets, cultural richness, uncharterEd rainforest Think of Central America – its richness, strangeness and great beauty – and then imagine it in its most concentrated form. That is Guatemala: a place of fantasy; ancient cities lost in the jungle, towering smoke-ringed volcanoes, teeming Indian markets, vibrant colour, uncharted rainforests, amazing cultural richness and deep indigenous tradition, and a sense of excitement and exploration that is rarely possible today. Once the preserve of the backpacker, Guatemala now has several excellent small hotels and posadas, creating a unique network from which our clients can explore even the least visited regions without sacrificing the basic comforts. Stories Places to Stay Highlights Location Stories As every one of the holidays we create is truly tailor-made, all of our clients come back with different and interesting stories. We love to hear from our clients on their return to find out about their most memorable moments. Our Destination Experts are also always travelling to our extraordinary destinations and every trip allows us to refine and add value to our clients' future experiences. Vibrant Colours of Guatemala When our client, Tony Frazer-Price, was discussing his up-coming trip to Guatemala, many of his friends told him it was too dangerous to go. He dithered, but with our advice and careful planning he was very glad he visited and left having had a fantastic experience. Getting under the skin of Guatemala allowed him to see its vivid colours, warm people and the country's ancient ruins. Find out more Taking on ‘Chichi’ Sophia Constant visited Guatemala's buzzing Chichicastenango market. She was blown away by the size of the market with hundreds of make-shift stalls all connected through winding alleys spreading to eternity. She was overwhelmed by the colour and creativity, and left with the feeling of being completely immersed in something 'real'. Find out more Places to Stay At cazenove+loyd, we have no vested interest in the hotels, lodges, boats, trains and tented camps which we select. We only choose what is right for a particular client. We visit each destination in our three regions on a regular basis and have detailed conversations with our clients on their return so our choices are continually refined. Here are just four c+l reviews. This is by no means a prescriptive list, but hints at what we look for and value in places to stay. Casa Palopo Casa Palopo is an authentic colonial home newly restored into a stylish boutique property. It is one of our favourite hotels in Guatemala, beautifully positioned overlooking Lake Atitlan. The setting is truly spectacular but it isn't just its location that makes it wonderful. The atmosphere is charming and the decor is designed to evoke Guatemala's Mayan heritage. Only a couple of hours from Antiqua, Lake Atitlan is a must when visiting this remarkable country. Find out more La Lancha Located near Tikal, La Lancha is set in one of the world's wilder and most beautiful spots. The owner, Francis Ford Coppola, fell in love with the beauty of Guatemala and wanted a simple, authentic, yet equally luxurious property to reflect this passion. Hidden in the rainforest, in an elevated position overlooking Lago Peten Itza, the lodge is both the perfect place to get away and relax or to indulge in the numerous adventures awaiting you in the Peten region. Find out more Bolontiku Just a few months old when Destination Expert, Sophia, visited in May 2014, Bolontiku is a new hotel in the Flores region of Northern Guatemala. Perfectly located for visiting the legendary jungle ruins of Tikal and Uaxactun nearby, it’s the luxury hotel that Flores has been lacking as a base for exploring these Mayan wonders. It’s still finding its feet but from our experience, this is part of the teething process and we’re keeping a close eye on it. Hopefully very soon, their willingness to both please and succeed will pay off in their favour – and ours. Find out more Panza Verde This has always been one of cazenove+loyd’s favourite little secrets. It is without a doubt our front-runner in the city, situated right in the centre of stunning Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Guatemala’s most beautiful colonial cities. Just off the main street, make your way through painted wooden doors into an unexpected little oasis; a lush, green garden, where plants and flowers are abundant in the traditional inner courtyard of this charming and alluring hotel. Find out more Highlights For over 20 years we have been creating the best luxury tailor-made holidays, we know our countries inside and out and really know how to get under the skin of each one and the best way to experience them. Explore Antigua Antigua is the best preserved colonial town in Guatemala. You feel like you are in Mexico but 50 years ago. It has lovely small hotels set in cobbled streets and a vibrant bar and restaurant scene, which makes it perfect for anyone looking for a few days to relax. Find out more Tikal Tikal is hidden deep in the jungle and well-preserved, it is the most famous Mayan site in Guatemala yet Tikal still has that just discovered atmosphere. Find out more Relax at Lake Atitlan Lake Atitlan is a beautiful, natural lake fringed with villages and markets, it is a lovely area to visit by car or by boat and is fantastic area to relax away from the towns and watch the world go by. Find out more Exploring the Local markets The local markets in Guatemala are a weekly meeting point for many of the communities, they are full of vibrant colour and bustling with locals and tourists alike. Find out more Location We know Guatemala better than most. The possibilities are endless and ever-changing. On the map below, we have plotted some of our current favourite places to stay, some c+l highlights and a few pertinent client stories. And you can see if there is a team member travelling in that particular country and link through to them and what they are up to, so you can get them to call you on their return. Best time to visit Guatemala Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Best time to go Best visited from December to June when the heat is drier especially for sightseeing around the Mayan sites. Guatemala combines well with both Mexico and Belize. Meet the Team Central + South America Jack Johnny Milly Chris Sarah We'd love to hear from you Our well travelled Destination Experts have extensive first hand knowledge of their destinations and can open doors that others simply can’t.