If you are interested in spending the night adjacent to the entrance to the Yaxha Nakum Naranjo Park then you should consider staying in this place. Hotel Ecolodge El Sombrero is located about 1 mile from the Yaxha ruins, It offers comfortable rooms though you have to understand that you are right in the middle of the jungle so you won’ find modern commodities like TV and internet access.

If you like the outdoors and especially if you are interested in tropical ecology then you will enyoy spending an additional night so you can do bird tour, Lake Yaxha tour, in addition to the Yaxha archaeological site tour.

From the hotel you can travel to 3 main attractions of this part of Guatemala:

  • The Yaxha ruins, Early Classic and Late Classic pyramids
  • Topoxte Island, Post Classic ruins out in Lake Yaxha
  • and Nakum, mostly Late Classic: Acropolis, temples, palaces.

Yaxha and Topoxte are right in the shores of the Lake Yaxha. The hotel offers boat trips to both Yaxha and Topoxte, Or you can hike to Yaxha on foot, or hitch a ride, or drive if you have your own vehicle.

Yaxha is one of the large ruins after Tikal and El Mirador, and if you are into archaeology we definitely recommend you go there.

Be sure to have a Yaxha-area licensed guide with you for entering the park.

This hotel is a nice place to stay if you are wanting to get away from modern life.

What to expect at Ecolodge El Sombrero hotel

If you are going to whine and complain because there is only electricity from solar panels (so it is turned off at night) then you did not realize what is a jungle experience. If you are going to expect a plastic-fantastic big-city hotel; or a “resort experience” then you are a tad out of touch with reality.

I have stayed at the Ritz Carleton Millenia in Singapore (a corner suite). And the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, also in Singapore. Plus Shangra-la brand hotels in different cities in China. Yaxha is Yaxha, and I am totally content with the “Yaxha experience.” If I want to stay in the Ritz Carleton, I will fly to Singapore again. But frankly I prefer rural areas in Guatemala and rustic hotels surrounded by local flowering plants. Ironically, while in Singapore, and Dubai, one of the most common plants is frangipani: this is Plumeria species, a plant native to Mexico, Guatemala and further south.

And I definitely prefer the roar of howler monkeys at 4 am in Yaxha, than traffic noise in hotels in big cities. Besides, the rooms are larger than most urban hotels in Switzerland (where I enjoyed visiting many times). Every country has its own special experiences, and in Guatemala, staying overnight in Yaxha is worth making the reservation.

Contact info and Reservations for the Hotel at Lake Yaxha

  • eMail: info@ecosombrero.com
  • Phone numbers: (502) 7861-1687, (502) 7861-1688, (502) 7861-1691.


Hotel El Sombrero Eco Lodge

Rest area in the middle of the jungle. Photo by Melanny Quiñonez (FLAAR) with a Canon EOS 6D EF50mm f/1.8 STM, ISO 100

Hotel El Sombrero Eco Lodge Hotel El Sombrero Eco Lodge

The bedrooms are really nice and comfortable. Photo by Erick Flores (FLAAR) with a Canon EOS-1D X Mark II EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM, ISO 1250

Also the views were really nice and there was a boat available for the guests. Photo by Melanny Quiñonez (FLAAR) with a Canon EOS 6D EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM, ISO 400

Hotel El Sombrero Eco Lodge Hotel El Sombrero Eco Lodge

Hotel's restaurant and bar. Photo by Melanny Quiñonez (FLAAR) with a Canon EOS 6D EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM, ISO 1250

Rest area with hammocks. Photo by Melanny Quiñonez (FLAAR) with a Canon EOS 6D EF50mm f/1.8 STM, ISO 320

Hotel El Sombrero Eco Lodge Hotel El Sombrero Eco Lodge

The bedroom entrance. Photo tooked by Melanny Quiñonez (FLAAR) with a Canon EOS 6D EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM ISO 1250

Signage for rooms. Photo tooked by Melanny Quiñonez (FLAAR) with a Canon EOS 6D EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM ISO 2000


Nakum is very different yet definitely worth the visit

Nakum is not up on hills; Tikal and Yaxha are on hilltops. I visited Nakum in the 1970’s and when I noticed it was being severely damaged by looting, I returned for several days to make a list of the damage and to update the map done by earlier explorers. At Yaxha we worked at for five seasons; Nakum we had no funding for plus we had so much to do at Yaxha. So we spent only a week at Nakum. We are scanning our 1970’s information so we can publish what we found in a PDF as soon as possible.

In the rainy season, to get to Nakum you may prefer riding a horse (if they are still available). I walked once back and forth. With a Dodge Power Wagon, even its 4-wheel drive did not get us far in the 1970’s. So in the rainy season, avoid having your vehicle mess up the road.

In subsequent years, other archaeologists started projects at Nakum so today it looks totally different. If you like to explore “non-touristed” Mayan ruins, we suggest consider Nakum. Then return to Ecolodge El Sombrero on the shores of Lake Yaxha to rest and relax.

Nakum is very different yet definitely worth the visit

I have visited Naranjo only once, to see which ruins of Guatemala might be good locations to bring tour groups. But if you really want to see and learn about everything, you can consider visiting this part of the park. Just be sure to plan in advance, have transportation that has experience reaching here, and realize that the dry season may be the best time.

We also recommend that you always be with a local guide.

There is so much to see around Lake Yaxha and Nakum, that these places will keep you busy. However it was great that Guatemalan individuals and organizations added Naranjo to the area protected by the initial Yaxha Nakum park.


Updated April 2018 after staying two nights here this month.
First Posted January 2007

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