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Places to visit and accommodation advice for Antigua and Lake Atitlan

Places to visit and accommodation advice for Antigua and Lake Atitlan

Old Sep 26th, 2012, 10:27 PM
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Places to visit and accommodation advice for Antigua and Lake Atitlan

Hello, my husband and I and 15 year old are traveling to Antigua and Lake Atitlan for a week in February and I am looking for suggestions for which town to stay in at the lake, which other towns to visit, and accommodation recommendations for our stay on the Lake and in Antigua. Traveling with our daughter, we are hoping for a guest house or other cosy type accommodation where we can feel our daughter will be safe with her own room next to or connected to ours and a friendly owner(s). We like to hike and explore the local culture and markets. Thank you for your suggestions.
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Old Sep 27th, 2012, 09:53 AM
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Great trip but too short! If you add 2 days, you can add Tikal! Anyway, sure, Lake Atitlan and Antigua are wonderful.

In Antigua I was very happy at the Hotel Aurora. Nicely decorated big old style room but with all modcons. Pretty courtyard with fountain. Excellent location about 3 blocks east of the plaza.

For Lake Atitlan I chose Panajachel. A lot of people do not like Pana but it is easy to get to and very convenient for visiting other lake towns by boat and also for getting up to the market at Chichi. Also, and this is important; I cannot imagine another town better located for the breathtaking sunsets over the lake.

From Pana over the course of a few days I visited Santiago, San Pedro, and San Marcos and can recommend all 3. Each is different. I usually took the boat after breakfast in Pana, arrived, walked around, lunch, more walking around, and then back to Pana in time for drinks.

The boats are really easy to use - no need for an expensive private launch. Note that there are 2 different docks in Pana. My recollection is that one is for Santiago and the other is for everything else but check on that.

There are plenty of hotels and restaurants and shops in Pana. Other lake towns are pretty quiet. I enjoyed my stay at the Hotel Dos Mundos, half-way down the main street but set back so that it's not noisy. Nice grassy courtyard with pool.

I hate talking about security but security at both these hotels was very good.

Depending on what time your flight from Guatemala City leaves, it is feasible to stay in Antigua on your last night. Only about 45 minutes to the airport. Otherwise, an overnight in Guatemala City is just fine.
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Old Sep 29th, 2012, 10:42 AM
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I second everything Robertino says! The Aurora and Dos Mundos are my favorites too. Your daughter would be so safe & everyone will be comfortable. Tell her not to forget she swimsuit for Mundos's pool. Shopping in Pana is great and the market at Chichi is simply impossible to describe. There are guides there wearing red vests, might be a good idea as it is overwhelming. Set your price ahead & it is well worth it. If your husband is not a hardcore shopper he could enjoy a cold beer in the patio at Santo Thomas Hotel. Most shuttles arrive & leave from there. Your hotel can arrange a shuttle, do NOT take the bus!!! I do all my shuttle arrangements thru Antigua Tours, Elizabeth Bell's company. They are safe, dependable and just great. Airport pickup & delivery, to Pana and also to Chichi all very reasonable.
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Old Oct 9th, 2012, 10:25 PM
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Panajachel is a wonderful town, the lake is stunning. You absolutely have to go to the market in Chichicastenango. It is perhaps the largest and most colorful market in all of Central America and is indescribable. In the middle of the market is 400 year old church Santo Tomas which is worth a walk through as well.
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Old Oct 18th, 2012, 05:18 PM
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Last January my husband and I stayed in the town of Santiago on Lake Atitlan. We stayed at Posada de Santiago and really loved it. It is right on the lake with a swimming pool and hot tub overlooking the lake. The individual casitas have fireplaces and clean bathrooms. The restaurant is excellent. It is a short tuktuk ride into town.
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Old Oct 18th, 2012, 07:44 PM
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thanks everyone for all of the great info. I think we will stay in Pana just for convenience sake and when we go to Chichi I think my husband may very well be hanging out at the Santo Thomas Hotel with a local brew while my daughter and I shop. I am checking out some of the B&Bs in Antigua but the Hotel Aurora looks nice. Thanks again
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Old Oct 20th, 2012, 04:38 AM
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If you are not on a tight budget I would suggest staying at the Hotel Atitlan in Pana. It is absolutely beautiful with a stunning view, lovely gardens and a very nice dining room or eating on the terrace. Look at the website. It is an easy ride to the shopping area and the hotel has a shuttle. If you do not stay there be sure to go for a meal (& you will wish ou were staying there!)
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Old Oct 20th, 2012, 07:13 AM
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My favorite in Antigua is Casa Cristina www.casa-cristina.com and in Panajachel, Mario's Rooms. They're both clean, cute, safe, well-located, inexpensive ($25-35/double for CC, low end of that for Mario's and it includes breakfast). The Mikaso is a terrific mid-range place in San Pedro La Laguna if you're interested in staying there. http://www.mikasohotel.com/

My photos and recommendations (blogs, travelogues, review sites) are here in case you're interested:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections

Happy trails!
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Old Oct 29th, 2012, 08:22 PM
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Agree with the others, although we didn't stay in Pana. Check out San Pedro (a quick water taxi across the lake) for yoga, holistic healing centers, and some great, healthy food & smoothies. By the way, I'm SO happy I bought a large quilt/throw in Chichi; reminds me of the amazing time and ads a pop of color to my living room.

Have fun!
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