Coppola's La Lancha

The Director's Guatemalan Resort is a Gateway to the Tikal Pyramids

Perched on Guatemala's glassy Lake Petén Itzá, Francis Ford Coppola’s La Lancha resort (pictured above) beckons to intrepid travelers intent on conquering the nearby ruins of Tikal. Latticing up the steep slope in pairs, each of the ten white adobe, thatched-roof bungalows is replete with carved teak furniture, Mayan rugs and terraces featuring panoramic views of the expansive lake. Coppola himself cites the morning chorus of local howler monkeys as a source of inspiration, but the obvious lure of the resort is its proximity to the storied city of Tikal. Set in the Petén Basin, the excavation site is dotted with thousands of ancient stone structures dating back to 300 BC, which peek through mounds of moss and loam. Built around 700-900 AD, the monumental pyramid temples, uncovered by the University of Pennsylvania in the 1960s, loom cinematically, conjuring ancient and pop cultural history: the view from Temple IV famously served as the exterior of the rebel base in Star Wars


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