Accommodations and Food
El Estor has a variety of comfortable accommodations, all in the budget category. Hotel Vista al Lago (6a Avenida 1-13, tel. 7949-7205, vistalago [at] intelnett [dot] com, $20 d) is an attractive, clean lodging overlooking the lake. Housed in an old wooden building dating to 1815 and originally owned by an English-Dutch business partnership, it is supposedly the original “store” that gives El Estor its name. All rooms have fan and private bath, but the best ones are those on the second floor fronting the lake.
Cabañas Chaabil (west end of 3a Calle, tel. 7949-7272 or 5544-1066, $20 d) has four attractive wooden rooms with private bathroom, mosquito netting, and fan.
Under the same ownership as Hugo’s Restaurant,
Hotel Ecológico Cabañas del Lago (tel. 7949-7245, $30 d) is peacefully set aside on its own lakeside oasis one kilometer east of town in Barrio La Corroza. Its seven rooms housed in large, attractive bungalows have ceiling fan and private bath. There’s a private beach and a dock for swimming and sunbathing. A small restaurant serves local food and cocktails, which you can enjoy in its pleasant lakeside setting. The owners can bring you here from Restaurante Hugo’s in the center of town.
Right on the town’s central park, Posada de Don Juan (5a Avenida 3-08, tel. 7949-7296) has simple, clean rooms housed in a cheerfully painted concrete building built around a parking lot courtyard. Rooms with private bath cost $9 d and rooms with shared bath cost $7 d. All rooms have fan.
From the central park 1.5 blocks toward the lake is the motel-style Hotel La Playa (2a Calle 4-23, tel. 7949-7407), housed in a neocolonial concrete building (or a pink and green wooden annex) with simple, clean rooms with shared bath ($5) or private bath ($8) and fan.
Four blocks from the park on the road heading out to Lanquín and right on the lakeshore, Posada Valle Verde (tel. 5901-8907, www.posadalasmarias.com) has rooms housed in large, wooden A-frame cabins, including dorm beds ($4), shared-bath doubles ($10), and doubles with private bathroom ($20). The restaurant/bar serves Guatemalan and international dishes. Trips to the Bocas del Polochic Wildlife Refuge can be arranged through the hotel, which is under the same ownership as the Posada Las Marías in Lanquín.
Chaabil (west end of 3a Calle, tel. 7949-7272 or 5544-1066, all meals daily, lunch and dinner $4–9) means “good” in Q’eqchi’ and the food here lives up to its name with family recipes specializing in seafood served in a pleasant thatched-roof dining room with quaint handmade wooden furniture and right on the lake.
On the plaza, Café Portal (5a Avenida 2-65, tel. 7818-0843, 6:30 a.m.–10 p.m. daily) and Restaurante Hugo’s (tel. 7949-7245, all meals daily) serve a wide range of Guatemalan and international dishes, including vegetarian dishes and fast-food munchies such as burgers and sandwiches.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com