Do you know that 90% of our lake Atitlan rental house clients are return visitors?

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Who visits lake Atitlan Guatemala before they find lake Atitlan vacation rentals in Guatemala?

Lake Atitlan sits gracefully in the western highlands of Guatemala. Each year, it attracts visitors from around the world. They come from as close as Guatemala City, 2.5 hours away by car and as  far away as New Zealand.
What attracts  them?  Well, it is not media promotion . As a vacation spot , lake Atitlan  rarely gets mentioned in the world press.  In fact , except for Steve Hendrix , the travel writer for the Washington Post who bought a home here in 2006, most travel writers  ignore Guatemala and lake Atitlan.

So who comes to visit  lake Atitlan ? As I see it , and we have lived here on and off since 2007, they  fall into several categories.  There are the enterprising young backpackers from just about everywhere.  We meet them on the public water taxis called “lanchas” that we all use to get around the Lake.  They are explorers, traipsing around the planet  before getting saddled with jobs and responsibilities. They’ve often just been to  the Far East or Africa and are “doing” Central and South America . Then, there are the adventuresome older travelers who carefully choose  out of the way and still economical vacation destinations where they can relax and  maybe  learn Spanish . And , of course,  there are all those   who come to Guatemala on humanitarian  missions and spend a few days of R&R in  the almost always sunny  temps and soft breezes of lake Atitlan.  Then, there is the category I’ll call   “beauty junkies.”  These folks and by the way I include myself and my mate here, are totally hooked on breathtaking scenery and  spectacularly  eye pleasing  colors.  Beauty junkies
(BJs” )  relish discovering  unique still vibrant ancient cultures . They feast on  the sight of  a lone fisherman at dawn   in the same one person  handmade pagoda used by  his Mayan ancestors for thousands of years.  Whether the BJ’s  rent a luxurious lakefront villa like Casa Colina (AtitlanHouse.com) or stay in a modest hostel, they  find  lake Atitlan irresistibly beautiful . They feast their eyes on its its almost preposterously spectacular views .   They find delight in the vivid and colorful chaos of Panajachel’s  vegetable, flower and everything else marketplace. They happily spend an entire  day  browsing   art galleries in the charming village of  San Juan La Laguna. They take saunas , get  Swedish  massages and try a crystal healing in  San Marcos La Laguna . If they are hardy BJ’s , they hike up the San Pedro volcano and pose for  photographs they’ll cherish forever.

Most of all, BJ’s  never tire simply gazing  out on the  lake   that Aldous Huxley famously described as “possibly the most beautiful lake in the world.”  He added, “  Picture lake Como with volcanos,  it is almost too much.”

 A typical BJ visitor  recently told  me as we skimmed along in a lancha, “I came to lake Atitlan because I heard it was extraordinarily beautiful and the weather was perfect. What  no one told me  was that it would also”, and he smiled as he said this, “feed my soul.”  Then he added quickly and with a laugh, “whatever that is.”

I knew exactly what he meant.  Sure , lake Atitlan attracts backpackers and adventurers and humanitarians and beauty junkies .  But it also attracts what I’ll now call   “soul feeders. ” (SF’s)  And you all know who you are.

We will be back!

Guest: FlyDelta (Delta Airline, Atlanta)
Date of Stay: 11/09/11

First to know that the owners Bonnie and David are wonderful and helped us in everyway, they made our experience at Casa Colina 5 stars from the start and I have not left Atlanta. We did not arrive till dark, so when we awoke the view we had from the master bedroom was awesome and breath taking. We took advantage of the public water taxis, our goal was to visit a new village everyday which was a great adventure. The people are very kind, helpful and friendly. We cooked in the house but tried to eat at a restaurant in every village, this was great along with the prices! We were blessed by great weather which made our trip extra special. We sat down on the dock or our patio ever afternoon to enjoy the beautiful sunsets over the volcanos and lake Atitlan, again breath taking. We give many thanks to Gaspar the grounds keeper who is wonderful and very helpful. We will be back next year to visit Bonnie and David and see the villages we missed and the ones we must see again. One of the most relaxing and enjoyable vacations we have had. Thank you for our experience.

Recommended for:Sightseeing, tourists without a car, age 55+, romantic getaway, families with teenagers, families with young children, adventure seekers.