where to stay:
Posada los Encuentros: A quaint bed and breakfast, off the beaten path from the city of Panajachel. A relaxing atmosphere and adorable decor make this the perfect place for travelers looking to unwind with some peace and quiet to take in the gorgeous sights of Lake Atitlán. The well-kempt, gorgeous gardens are sure to bring a smile to your face as well! A volcanically heated hot tub, comfortable rooms, and hammocks galore to relax in. Room prices being at $36 USD/night. http://www.losencuentros.com/Welcome_Posada_Los_Encuentros,%20Atitlan,%20Hotel,%20Tours.html
Laguna Lodge Eco-Resort & Nature Reserve: A tranquil, romantic place to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of Lake Atitlán. Enjoy a bottle of wine while watching the sunset on your private, lakeside patio- a truly unique experience. Small and quiet with only 8 rooms, the city must be accessed by boat- which you can set up with the front desk staff. Hike the unique nature reserve path (only accessible to guests) through the mountains and with overlooks of the lake. This is an eco-resort and the electricity is powered by solar, so expect dim lighting and limited electricity. Gorgeous, spacious rooms with luxurious beds will make this a perfect getaway. Room prices being at $230 USD/night. http://telagunalodge.com/
where to eat:
Las Lagartijas Restaurante y Tienda: Somewhat of a “hole in the wall” restaurant, but do not be deceived by the outside of this place. A complex menu with vegan options and the owners are beyond friendly and welcoming. Located in the Santiago area of Lake Atitlán, this small and informal space is one you’ll be coming back to during your stay on the lake. Choose from burritos to delicious quesadillas, all topped with homemade salsas.
Cafe Sabor Cruceno: Probably some of the most delicious food you will come across while trekking through Guatemala. This restaurant in Santa Cruz La Laguna is part of a culinary school that teaches locals to make traditional dishes with flair. Not only does the restaurant serve up gorgeous dishes made of fresh foods, but the culinary school gives vocational training and practical skills to the local people. We recommend trying out everything you possibly can on the menu. Delicious!
who to tour with:
Atitlan Sustainable Travel: Visit multiple Mayan villages around different parts of the lake by boat while learning about culture and everyday life with a bilingual tour guide. You will visit the villages of Panajachel and San Juan la Laguna/ During your tour you’ll also visit an organic coffee farm- after all Guatemala is known for its coffee. Tour prices begin at $65 USD/person. http://www.atitlan.com/san-juan-eco-tour.php