One of the main reasons I started this luxury travel blog was to ensure that my readers never had any regrets in terms of places to see, dine and stay on their vacations. Well, one regret that I have that you should never make is to travel to Guatemala and not visit Lake Atitlan. It’s only about 180 miles from the airport in Guatemala City and is widely considered to be the most beautiful lake in the world. Yes, you read that right, in the world. Lake Atitlan is 1,000 feet deep and surrounded by three 10 foot volcanoes, Toliman, Atitlan and San Pedro, which make the views framing the lake absolutely magnificent. It’s a perfect getaway to tag onto the end of your visit to the Mayan ruins or your shopping spree in Antigua.
Nestled into the hills surrounding Santa Catarina Palopó village sits Casa Palopó, a small private home turned luxury boutique hotel, that my friend Elena had the pleasure of staying at during her trip to Guatemala. All of the pictures shown here are from her trip. With only 7 rooms facing right off the lake shore, Casa Palopó offers an intimate setting surrounded by beauty to ensure you achieve ultimate serenity. It’s situated away from the hustle and bustle of the other lake resorts, so you have the opportunity to just sit back and enjoy the peace and quiet. The villa is constructed just right so that you can enjoy the views over the lake from almost everywhere on the property. Each of the rooms has lake views, some even with private terraces, as does the restaurant, the pool and even the gym! The absolute best accommodation on the property is the two bedroom villa that resides above the main building. With a private terrace, jacuzzi, infinity pool and unobstructed views of the lake and volcanoes, this is the perfect way to experience Lake Atitlan. There’s nothing like enjoying a nice glass of wine on your terrace watching the sun shimmer over the water behind three silhouettes of mountain peaks in the distance.
Since the villa is somewhat remote, there is not a ton of dining options. But, that is just fine here because Casa Palopó offers a delicious and beautiful restaurant right on the property, 6.8 Palopó. The continental cuisine offers just the right flair of traditional Guatemalan dishes with an idyllic backdrop of Lake Atitlan. Depending on the weather, you can sit inside the glassed in terrace or out on the veranda to enjoy the night air. Both offer you unobstructed views of spectacular sunsets over the lake while you dine. There is nothing I love more than the experience of dining. Great food, great wine, peaceful ambience and breathtaking views make 6.8 Palopó a ten in my book.
If you are itching to explore, small Mayan villages reside all along the lake shore. Accessible only by boat, many of these indigenous villages offer a cultural snapshot in time as they have changed little over the centuries. After a taste of Mayan culture, hop on over to one of the many great lunch spots to grab a bite on the lake. Two of Elena’s favorites with great lake views are Posada de Santiago and Sunset Café.
If you are like me and are always seeking picturesque places to relax and enjoy the local culture and cuisine, Lake Atitlan is a must on your vacation destination list. Casa Palopó offers the spectacular views of the lake and all the amenities you can ask for to ensure a perfect vacation in Guatemala.