We have been running Casa Colonial Atitlan for a year and a half. We have learned some interesting things — some of which we need to tell the potential customers. For example, how the roads in San Antonio Palopó are all closed (and decorated) on Good Friday. In other words, you can’t drive in/out on that Friday and the following Saturday.
Last year we didn’t know that. One couple was on a motorcycle and left via the dirt road to Agua Escondida. The other stayed (we were “full” but the “guardian’s quarters” was empty so they stayed there). All was OK and you can see the photos and story from last year on the site.
We also had one couple who told us how San Antonio needed to make some serious changes in order to be “more appealing to tourists”. And, just today I got a reservation request for some people who, in reality, want to be in Panajachel. So, here are the things to think about if you are considering staying here. They will discourage some, encourage others. The “others” are the ones that fit.
- We are not Panajachel. There are no “Gringo bars”, concerts, loud music and such.
- If you are looking for people who speak a language other than English that includes most everyone here. But, that “other language” is Kachiquel. I am one of less than a dozen exceptions.
- Casa Colonial itself is 1 kilometer beyond the center of town where the pavement ends. More boats go by than cars.
- A “late night” in this town means someone was still awake at 10 PM.
- You can walk to anywhere in town — or, take a TukTuk for Q3.
- You will see how Indigenous Guatemalans live — poor, hard working, proud.
- There is a public market but on Sunday, Tuesday and Friday lots of people take a boat (Q7) to San Lucas for their much larger market.
- Yes, there are people and some places selling local crafts (clothing and ceramics) but mostly you will just find regular friendly people doing their thing.
So, bottom line, if you want to visit a peaceful Maya community and be away from, well, most everything, come here. You will enjoy it. But, if you want to be in a tourist town, I recommend Panajachel. (Note that we used to live in Panajachel. We live here now. It was a conscious choice.)