Avoid staying in Esquipulas ’s low-budget accommodations, as they are the hideout of large groups of men from elsewhere in Central America, including gang members, who hang out in these parts seeking to make their way north.
Esquipulas is somewhat close to the Honduran border and so has become a transit point for illegal immigration.
The first option in this category is the Hotel y Restaurante Aposento Alto (3a Avenida 10-66 Zona 1, tel. 7943-1115, $20 d), where the rooms have hot water, cable TV, fan, and fluorescent lighting. The restaurant downstairs serves inexpensive Guatemalan and international dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Among several options facing the park from the southwest is Hotel Posada Santiago (tel. 7943-2023, 2a Avenida 11-58 Zona 1, $20 d), with comfortable rooms with hot-water bath, cable TV, and fan. One double room has a view of the basilica and there is a good restaurant serving Guatemalan and international fare in the lobby.
At the upper end of this price category is Hotel Villa Zonia (10a Calle 1-84 Zona 1, tel. 7943-1143, $25 d), very close to the bus terminal and surrounded by budget accommodations. The smallish rooms have private bath with cable TV and hot water, but there are better values elsewhere. The single room prices, in particular, are a rip-off.
An excellent value in this price category is Hotel Portal de la Fe (tel. 7943-4124, info [at] portaldelafehotel [dot] com, $34 d), with 29 attractive, spotless rooms with comfortable beds with wrought-iron headboard, ceiling fan, and private hot-water bath. Rooms are distributed on three floors around a pretty courtyard fountain lit from above by an opaque roof opening. Nightly rates include free half-hour use of Internet. It’s on the main street heading into town (11a Calle) on the right.
Another good value is IV Centenario (tel. 7943-1751, info [at] ivcentenariohotel [dot] com, www.ivcentenariohotel.com , $34 d), also along 11a Calle toward the park, in a colorful building painted in shades of yellow and blue with rooms built around the swimming pool. All have cable TV and hot-water private bathroom.
Facing the park from its southwest side is popular Hotel Payaquí (tel. 7943-1143, $50 d), where there are two restaurants, one by the swimming pool, the other with a big-screen TV. They serve Guatemalan and international dishes including sandwiches and steaks. Meals are in the $5–8 range. Rooms are comfortable and spacious and include a fully stocked minifridge, fan, and private bath.
Next door is the also-popular Hotel El Peregrino (tel. 7943-1054, $30 d), featuring cheerful rooms with fan, cable TV, and private bath. In-room furniture includes a plastic table and chairs.
Directly behind, on 1a Avenida, is Hotel Vistana al Señor (tel. 5958-8426, $40 d), in a modern colonial-style building with comfortable beds and an upstairs sitting area with chairs and umbrellas.
The attractive Porta Hotel Legendario (9a Calle y 3a Avenida Zona 1, tel. 7943-1022, www.portahotels.com , $75 d) has 42 rooms, including standard and deluxe rooms as well as suites, in a large building centered around the swimming pool. All are comfortable and spacious. There are a restaurant and bar. Online rates are substantially higher. Try to book by calling directly if you can.
The other option in this category is Hotel El Gran Chortí (tel. 7943-1148, Km. 222 on the road into town, $85 d), where the rooms have all the usual comforts you’d expect to find in this price category. There are a nice restaurant and swimming pool.