Encouraged by the popularity of upscale eco-tourism in Costa Rica, nearby Belize and Guatemala have eagerly followed suit. Situated in Guatemala’s Maya heartland, La Lancha is a resplendent retreat where the rainforest meets the sparkling waters of Lake Petén Itzá.
Francis Ford Coppola’s 10-room boutique lodge offers instant immersion into the best of Guatemala. Eye-level with the forest canopy, the enclave teems with colorful birdlife and charismatic howler monkeys. The authentic Guatemalan gastronomy delights, falling nothing short of experiential. The bold tapestries and fascinating masks adorning the interiors define a true sense of place and contribute to an ambience of cozy and unpretentious luxury.
In close proximity to the majestic ruins at Tikal, the Indiana Jones excitement here is palpable. At least two days should be dedicated for excursions to these renowned archaeological sites. Besides lending insight into the demise of pre-Columbian Maya civilization, the wonders of Tikal rise to glory in the middle of a national park, granting more opportunities for superb wildlife viewing.
Three hours east of La Lancha, in Belize’s Maya Mountains, Coppola’s Blancaneaux Lodge peers over the serene Privassion Creek. In a region robust with mysterious caves, dramatic waterfalls, hiking trails and other exalted Maya sites such as Caracol, Blancaneaux is a playground for honeymooning outdoor enthusiasts. Following rewarding days in the field, the on-site Thai spa and private plunge pools of the Deluxe Cabanas are two fabulous options for recharging your batteries for the next day’s adventure.