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Monday, November 19, 2018

Marry Here: Guatemala

Words by Shana Kinnerup

Tucked into the jungles of Guatemala is unexpected luxury. A short drive from the Mundo Maya Airport will find you winding through dense jungle and unpaved roads, akin to a scene right out of “Jurassic Park.”

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The drive delivers you to the awe-inspiring lobby of the boutique Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel Museum and Spa. With just 19 private overwater bungalow suites, you are destined for an unforgettable experience.

The one-of-a-kind property is spread across 300 lush acres, which play host to an animal sanctuary. The property also sits on Laguna Quexil, a private body of water where guests can kayak, partake in a sunset cruise or even accompany hotel staff to “Monkey Island.” As the namesake indicates, the island is a rescue home to many small primates where daily feeding interaction affords guests an up-close animal interaction. An on-site museum, exclusive to the region, provides a deep reflection of Guatemalan history. Many of the rare artifacts belong exclusively to Las Lagunas.

This South American adventure sets you and your guests at arm’s-length to two of the most ancient and popular Mayan ruins. Charter a van for your party and take in the authentic Guatemalan countryside on a 90-minute drive to Yaxhal. This Mayan ruin is the less crowded of the two sites and provides an easily followed foot path through the temples and villages. You cannot help but feel the rich history in the air. A climb to the top of the main Yaxhal Temple will force some inward reflection and you’ll leave with a sense of balance you didn’t know you needed. 

After a short drive in the opposite direction of Las Lagunas, you will arrive at the Tikal Mayan Ruins. The more tourist-populated of the sites, these ruins are undergoing active archaeological digs and restoration, an incredible sight to see. Also occupied from 600 b.c., Tikhal National Park provides paths leading through many ceremonial centers, temples and royal dwellings. The temples adorning this massive park are spectacular, surreal and quite literally majestic. It’s an experience you and your bridal party will never forget. 

Las Lagunas is a one-of-a-kind property that truly offers an incredible nature-adventure destination for the eco-eager couple. The combination of oversized luxury bungalows, on-site gourmet dining and lavish hotel grounds should put Las Lagunas at the top of your destinations “short” list. 

Don’t Miss Activities:

Wildlife Animal Sanctuary Tour
These guided ATV tours take you through the property. You will see not just wildlife, but encounter the different types of terrain that Guatemala has to offer.

Dock Dinner
This is a truly “water top” experience for a smaller party. With 360-degree views of the lake and jungle, the setting is romantic and impressive.

Spa Treatments
The newly added luxury spa offers full services, a relaxation pool and a place to have those muscles calmed after a long day hiking the ruins.

Photos courtesy of (in order of appearance): Daniel Lopez Perez Photography (1st & 4th), Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel (2nd & 3rd).

This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Spring/Summer 2018 issue. You can order a copy here.

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