Not so much a hotel as a professionally run equestrian center, Unicornio Azul (tel. 5205-9328, www.unicornioazul.com, $33 d) enjoys a spectacular location on the grassy plateau atop the rugged Cuchumatanes from where you can embark on horseback rides as short as one hour to as long as several days throughout the sprawling countryside.
About 25 kilometers northeast of Huehuetenango, the operation consists of 11 well-cared-for horses, stables, and wonderful accommodations meticulously managed by its French-Guatemalan owners. Prices for rides range from $80 for one day to $970 for nine days, though they vary depending on the number of riders in a group.
The accommodations here are rustically beautiful, consisting of five rooms housed in two separate tiled-roof houses. All of the rooms are distinctly decorated and furnished with unique touches such as gorgeous lamps fashioned from Honduran Lenca pottery. At night, gas lamps provide wonderful ambience, though there is electricity for showers and cooking.
Room rates include breakfast and one hour of horseback riding. Lunch and dinner are served family-style and cost $7 each. If you’re not keen on riding, there are also mountain bikes for exploring the rugged roads and trails all around.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com