The Maya International Hotel is directly on the shore of Lake Peten Itza, near the international airport that serves the island of Flores and the Maya ruins of Tikal. Of the several hotels in Santa Elena this is the one I would recommend. Other hotels are on the adjacent island of Flores.

The Maya International Hotel is part of the Villas de Guatemala chain. The other hotels are the Villa Maya (at the other end of the same airport that serves Tikal), the Hotel Villa Santa Catarina on Lake Atitlan, the Villa Colonial in Antigua, and the Villa Grande, Chichicastenango.

Maya International Hotel in Peten Guatemala

The Maya International is within walking distance of the island of Flores and actually within walking distance of the airport. Vehicles are readily available for the 1 hour drive to the Tikal National Park. Taxis can be hailed or called. Boats are available for the lake.

I have stayed at the Maya International many times since it was built in the 1970's and have housed many of the Maya study groups there that I lead to learn about Maya archaeology. The hotel grounds include quite a stand of water lily plants, the sacred plant of the ancient Maya. The water lily is major religious symbol of the Classic Maya cosmos, indeed was the focus of my Ph.D. dissertation, published as "Monster and Men in Maya Art," 1987, ADEVA, Graz, Austria (see

This is a rustic frontier area and if you are looking for a disco, bar, lots of action, tennis courts, etc, then you are in the wrong place. If you wish basic accomodations before or after your flight, the Hotel Maya International is certainly a convenient location.


  • In Guatemala (502) phone: (502) 2334-1818

  • Fax: (502) 2334-8134

  • E-mail:

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