Guatemala’s Lake Atitlan is an inland treasure. Having not been gobbled up by real estate developers or commercialization for that matter, the area remains authentic with Mayan villages, steep verdant hills, and former coffee plantations.
When visiting the lake, discerning travelers should consider staying at the Laguna Lodge Eco-Resort (@lagunalodge), which was built with an emphasis on Guatemalan culture and the surrounding environment. Emerging from a background of lush towering trees, the multi-level eco-lodge is hewn from a mélange of wood, palm, and volcanic stones. The hotel focalizes on respecting the environment, both in its design as well as in daily operations. The owners use solar power for hot water and energy-saving lightbulbs for illumination, among other motions. They also have made a commitment to reducing their carbon footprint with on-site Zotz Restaurant, which offers a vegetarian-friendly menu with no meat.
Thatched roofs host suites adorned with traditionally woven textiles and indigenous-origin antiques, which open up to panoramic views of the lake and volcano in the distance. The nine-room hotel evokes an off-the-grid feeling; even if the lodge is fully occupied, you will feel you have it all to yourself.
Where the hotel’s dock meets the lake, travelers can take advantage of a jacuzzi. If in the mood for experiencing the locale, Laguna Lodge is a short walk from the nearby pueblo of Santa Cruz La Laguna, which pulsates with Mayan culture. Nature-wise, the hotel has a trove of hiking trails, as well as kayaks for guests to explore the beauty of Lake Atitlan from the water itself.