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“Lake Atitlan - Outdoors active family travel? Lee Beal of Los Elementos is 5 Stars” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan
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Hike Around Lake Atitlan
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Redwood City
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Lake Atitlan - Outdoors active family travel? Lee Beal of Los Elementos is 5 Stars”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 22, 2013

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.

Visited January 2013
2 Thank Kim_Freitas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
29 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Pictures don't do this justice!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 8, 2013

We spent a week at Lake Atitlan. It is truly one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Each village around the Lake has it's own personality, and clothing. You are surrounded by authentic Mayan dress, which is unique to each village. The weather is perfect - 70's during the day, and high 50's at night. You can charter your own private boat that seats about 25 people for about $100-$140 per day. They will take you wherever you want to go. There is plenty to do with hikes, horseback riding, bicycling, kayaking, etc. We felt very safe there the whole time. The people are very kind, and hospitable.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank HappyCruisers10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillsboro, Illinois
Level Contributor
135 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“OK- It's a lake”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2013

We left Antigua in the morning and were home at night, so maybe this deserves alot more time. Our launch took us across the lake and back to 2 villages where we were warmly greeted by peddlers and hide brief hikes up to churches. A bit of civil war history and a good talk on the blending of Catholism and Mayan religion were the highlights... so keep your expectations in check-the most beautiful lake in the world??? It probably just needs more time than 5 hours.

Visited January 2013
Thank dougandbrenda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Lake Atitlan”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2013

A lake cruise is a must for any Guatemalan visit. The towns you will see all have a different flavor. If you don't have time or want to take the longer cruises, take a public launch to San Petro or Santa Cruz. The village of Santa Cruz is up a very steep road, but they now have tuk tuks. It was a hard walk nine years ago. Seeing the small town square, the old church and school will give you insight into how so many Mayans live.There are some nice restaurants down by the dock..A reminder: the lake is always very calm in the morning. In the afternoon the wind picks up and it can be quite rough.
Then there is the town of Panajachel. We love to stroll the streets, watch the lake at sunset, and look at the shops. Finally, for this post, if you are interested in educaton, visit the LIFE School near the river. It's an English language school with certified American teachers, K-9, with almost half the 100 students indineous Mayans.
Enjoy your visit. Feel safe and warm. .

Visited February 2013
1 Thank PabloD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
456 reviews
201 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 243 helpful votes
“Truly beautiful scenery”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2013 via mobile

Lake Atitlan is truly a gorgeous sight. The small towns ringing the lake are quite rustic. Panajachel is a bit more involved. There is good food in the area and nice facilities. It is well worth a visit if in Guatemala.

2 Thank Chingachgook
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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