Lake Atitlan or (Lago de Atitlan as it’s referred to in Spanish) is known as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Located in the Central Highlands of Guatemala, it is situated 80 miles outside of Guatemala City. Surrounded by several volcanoes this expansive body of water is 50 Square miles in size, 1,000 feet deep and home to several villages, resorts, hotels and vacation homes that thrive on the water’s edge. There is also range of activities that solidifies Lake Atitlan as an adventure destination.
Laguna Lodge is an eco resort that is situated on a 100 acre Nature Reserve outside of Santa Cruz village. Accessed by a 15-minute boat ride from Panajachel, the main gateway town, it is the remoteness and isolation that adds to the impressive charm of the resort. A boutique hotel with a mere 7 rooms, each situated with awe-inspiring lakeside views. Built into the mountain this multi level structure houses a sun deck, lounge, spa, hot tub, restaurant, nature interpretation room which provides information about local flora and fauna and several living areas designed for optimal relaxation. Most rooms feature an outside living area with a couch and area primed for al fresco dining. A king sized bed with strategic Volcano views and intricate Mayan decor and textiles sourced from the nearby villages. An open plan shower and glass partition allows for privacy while still maintaining the sought after views.
The restaurant serves a revolving menu of fresh vegetarian cuisine grown from the gardens on site in a creative fashion. Fresh salads spiced with seeds, exotic cheeses, and traditional Mayan dishes are reinvented to stay consistent with the philosophy of eating as close to nature as possible.
While the rooms are luxurious, the amenities abundant and the cuisine cleansing; it is the sustainable philosophy of the Eco resort that catapults Laguna Lodge into a league of its own. Located 200 feet below the Santa Cruz village, home to 4,000 Kaqchikel local Mayan inhabitants. There are no paved roads that lead to this town and most of the locals still live simply on the land. Physical isolation and several social economic conditions such as illiteracy, poverty and poor medical care that have kept the village in a regressive state. Laguna Lodge has recognized their social responsibility, not just to the land, but also to its natural inhabitants. Several initiatives have been put in place to assist with Eye Care, Dental Care and Medical needs for the town. The resort hosts yearly projects where qualified health dentists and doctors visit the area to provide medical aid for those in need. Micro Loans are offered for various individuals that are affected by unforeseen events or are in need of urgent funding due to natural disasters. The lake’s water line has risen 15 feet over the past 3 years, affecting housing & local businesses. Laguna Lodge is committed to evolving their assistance as the environment evolves.
Though the nightly room rate is high for this region, it is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that your stay has a positive impact. In a world of mega resorts and large hotel chains it is refreshing to see small socially conscious boutique resorts make a profound impact on our environment. The owners’ love and passion for this magical lake transcends to their guests.
As Certified Jetaholics that live to tread around the world, Laguna Lodge allows us a way to leave our leave our reflection in the water, not in the environment.
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