Truth At The Speed Of Light
Accomodations/Bed & Breakfast
"Return to Truth" 8-day Retreat
Guatemala is a developing nation and as such, especially outside of a few major cities, most accommodations are very modest and simple. It is often a treat to have hot water showers, and an inside bathroom is a luxury.
In the rural areas, like many villages around the lake, it can be even worse. The typical housing is concrete block (if you are rich) or mud or adobe, or even sometimes bamboo or corn stalks as your walls, with dirt floors and tin or plastic roofs.
San Pedro la Laguna, where we will be, is a bit different as it has catered to travelers for decades and although you will still find locals living in their houses of mud, there are many lovely hotels (although they generally cannot be compared to Western standards).
We are fortunate however, because at the foot of the Volcano San Pedro (inactive) poised on the water front, is Casa del Lago, a beautiful Spanish mission-style Bed & Breakfast.
It was built by a wealthy Guatemalan attorney from one of the cities and more resembles Western standards than most I have seen. We have rented at this hotel for the retreat and training.
There are 8 lovely and large bedrooms (and one for the on-site manager), each with a private bath and nice showers with unlimited hot water.
These are not the "suicide by shower" plastic on-demand shower heads found in most places that are lucky enough to have hot water in the developing world, but part of a whole-house gas hot water system. Can you say "Ahhh"?
A few of the rooms have bathtubs even, which is pretty much unheard of in hotels in Lake Atitlan. All have television with cable and DVDs. And views... beautiful views that go on and on and on.
Since it is also very private and tranquil, you may feel comfortable wandering around and relaxing in one of several living rooms, or the dining patio with fireplace... or one of many outside patios and terraces all with stellar views. Perhaps soaking in the massive stone, hand-built jacuzzi will be where you spend leisure time? Or playing pool, riding bikes or kayaking. Swimming from the private dock or sunbathing is also an option.
Latin America can be quite noisy as many of you may know... from impromptu parades and processions, to loud music celebrating family occasions to the typical firecrackers set off to celebrate important dates, it is definitely alive.
Casa del Lago however, is different. It is tranquil and about a twenty minute walk from the village and "Gringolandia". You will have to deal with lots of birdsong though, and the occasional tuk-tuk moterized 3-wheel taxis that you can take everywhere for 5 Q... the equivalent of about 60 cents in US dollars.
All in all, it is a beautiful and welcoming place, with excellent and friendly staff and very peaceful. The walk into town and the market is gorgeous and a favorite part of many peoples' day. Watching the shoreline is very interesting too....
You will find an interesting phenomenon at the lake... every 50 years or so, it begins to rise (a lot!) and no one is sure why. The elders believe it is just Mother Nature rebalancing herself and putting people in "their place" for every time it does this, the houses built by foreigners, right on the beach, become submerged. Everyone loses property and you can see this in the pics of the hotel too.
Check out the pics above, and feel free to email with any questions.
At stunning Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
April 1-9, 2013