Continuing upstream, on the south bank of the Río Dulce, is another tributary known as the Río Lámpara. You’ll see a small island known as Cayo Quemado at the mouth of this small river. This area is seldom explored, though a new jungle camp has put this remote area on the map.
The exquisite little jungle lodge, El Hotelito Perdido, (tel. 5725-1576 or 5785-5022, www.hotelitoperdido.com, dorm beds $4, bungalows $13-20 d), lies on the quiet banks of the Río Lámpara hidden away (as its name implies) from civilization. If you’re looking for an exotic, affordable escape to the outer limits of civilization, El Hotelito Perdido might just do the trick.
The accommodations are built in typical thatch roof jungle style and include a dorm and shared or private bath bungalows with typical Guatemalan fabric accents. Solar panels provide electricity, while rainwater is collected for showers. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner ($1.50-5.50) are available at the hotel’s restaurant and include a variety of dishes including vegetarian fare.
There’s a nearby waterfall for exploring in addition to gorgeous views of the Río Dulce canyon from the grounds, kayaks for rent, hammocks for lounging and a swimming dock. Other activities include full-moon kayaking trips to nearby hot springs, jungle hikes, and bird-watching.
To get here, hitch a ride on any of the boats heading in either direction between Río Dulce town and Lívingston. They should have no problem dropping you off here. The lodge also offers a pick-up service for $4 per person from the Lívingston municipal dock.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com