We traveled in Guatemala over Christmas / New Years spending 9 out of our 16 day tour at Lake Atitlan with our four children 10-14 years.Our goal was to do a lot of hiking in the area and even try to do an overnight walk to a village combined with a 'home stay'. We contacted Lee Beal of Los Elementos to help us find local guides and put together a plan to explore the cultural, artistic and environmental highlights in the area. Lee got back to us immediately with an ambitious 8-10 day plan which included extensive descriptions of what we we see and why. The plan included swimming, kayaking, hiking, coffee plantation touring, riding chicken buses, visiting churches, the festival at Chichi, climbing a volcano and even more hiking. Lee arranged our hotels, all transit and all our activities. Usually we are more independent as travelers but Lee had such a grasp of the local offerings that it made sense for him to put it all together. He is masterful at making every minute active and fun, even in Guatemala where it is difficult to plan ahead. We always knew what Lee had planned and he was flexible and always looking for a way to make our journey and adventures smooth and family fun. A few examples:
- Lee waited 2 hours at a cold gas-station waiting for our airline delayed transport to bring us to the mountains.
- Lee set us up with one of the most fun loving, jovial guides on the planet (Alex), who instantly connected with our kids, played games with them non-stop and kept their spirits up on so quite challenging hikes
- Lee put together the overnight we'd requested even though he'd never planned anything like ti before, arranged transport for bedding, cooked the food we and the guides needed and was at least as excited as we were about the outing. We had the chance to stay with a generous family and be high in the mountains under the biggest starry night in the world.
- Lee was fair, easy to communicate with and truly in love with Lake Atitlan and the people.
He added a rich dimension to our trip and we are very grateful for his knowledge and care. If have a limited amount of time to research and do your trip, want to do a wide range of activities and be out walking around and above this gorgeous Lake, contact Lee Beal of Los Elementos in advance. We loved the Lake and the time we spent there in large part because of the care shown us by Lee and Elaine Beal.
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