Lake Peten Itza, Guatemala
Developed by the filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, La Lancha is a romantic hideaway perched on a hill under a canopy of trees overlooking Lake Peten Itza, about 45 minutes from Tikal. The main lodge, with its soaring thatched roof and splendid views, houses the restaurant where you can enjoy your meals surrounded by a myriad of birdlife including parrots, toucans, and the rare motmot. From the main lodge, winding paths lead down the slopes to the split-level pool and 10 guest casitas, each furnished with beautiful Guatemalan furniture and fabrics. A caveat: as an ecolodge, La Lancha has no air conditioning, TV, or in-room phones (talk about getting away from it all!), but it is a secluded, peaceful retreat that’s an excellent base for exploring the wonders of the ancient Maya.