Atitlan Lake Guatemala

Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

For a long time, Lake Atitlan in Guatemala has been a hot spot for the adventurous, rich and famous.

What is so special about it? Well, it is considered one of the 12 most beautiful lakes in the world. This accreditation is actually a huge thing- since there are tons of lakes in the world.

Yet, after visiting Lago de Atitlan many times with my family, something changes when you treat yourself to a bit of luxury.


After the romantic lunch that my husband and I had at Mezon Panza Verde, we spent some time talking to Ingrid, the general manager. She mentioned that the hotel has a sister site by the lake called B’alam Ya. Unlike Panza Verde these were family friendly villas. My husband and I took some time to deliberate and decided to splurge on one night by the lake.

We chose to visit the hotel toward the end of the rainy season, when it rains the most. It rained all afternoon and evening but we had enough time to enjoy being outdoors for most of the time.

Atitlan Lake Guatemala2

Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

As I mentioned before, we have been to the lake a lot of times and each time we experienced different hotels on all parts of the lake. But at B’alam Ya the lake seemed to take on a different look and feel altogether.

Why Staying in a Luxury Villa on Lake Atitlan Guatemala is Worth It

Single room luxury hotels have cool amenities like fluffy towels and turn down services. But I prefer having a living room with an entertainment system and separate rooms when traveling with kids, it makes a huge difference.

Even though my three year old still wakes up during the night, when traveling with him I actually get a full night’s sleep. Traveling wears him out, so he doesn’t wake up. It is nice to take advantage of it when I have my own master bedroom.

For our stay we chose El Mirador Villa. It has two floors and two bedrooms, one upstairs and the other one downstairs. The whole place is beautiful, but it was having two amazing terraces that truly did it for me.

Atitlan Lake Guatemala3

Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

Their villas also come with fully stocked kitchen. I am not a fan of cooking but every once in a while I get struck with a domestic calling. I happened to get one during our trip so I decided to cook my family a meal.

NOTE: You don’t need to cook. They have private cooks that come to your villa and prepare a tasty meal. The best part is that it is not crazy expensive.

This allows you to enjoy your terrace during the sunset without worrying about cooking!

Amenities and Design of B’alam Ya

The owners of Panza Verde and B’alam Ya are very talented when it comes to design. They manage to cover all of the needs and wants of their patrons, making their stay a lot better. The key here is how much attention they pay to details.

My husband loves bird watching and usually carries his gear with him whenever we travel. But with two boys under ten to take care of it’s easy to forget such things. So, discovering binoculars and a book about birds on Mexico and Central America in the room made his day. The next day he woke up at 5am to check out the different birds that come directly on our porch. He even got my oldest son to do it with him.

Atitlan Lake Guatemala5

Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

The part that I loved the most was the artwork. I found unique sculptures and photographs all around the villa and loved it. I also think that each of the pieces was perfectly arranged and in the right place.

When the morning came I was able to enjoy the view from the glass walls while sitting on my feathered, king sized bed. It all got better when we heard the knock on the door. It was a cook ready to prepare our breakfast right there in our villa. This is included in the night price.

But enough chat about the villa. It was time to explore the grounds

B’alam Ya offers 4 completely different villas. The one we stayed at is the highest one and overlooks the rest of the property as well as the lake. I loved that it is placed so well that you could never see or hear anyone else.

If you are in for a little adventure you can go down to the docks and take out one of their canoes and kayaks for free.

I preferred to sit outside in the yard next to our villa and enjoy the trees and flowers. I was trying to enjoy as much tranquility as I could with my boys around. And to be completely honest with you, there is something relaxing about seeing the curiosity and excitement of my kids as they play.

Atitlan Lake Guatemala4

Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

Information For B’alam Ya

There isn’t a specific time when it’s best to go to the villas. Pick the one you like most and enjoy a great time around the Atitlan Lake.

Once you have reserved the villa, the staff asks about whether you’d like the service of a cook or not. If it is your desire they can also have groceries waiting for you.

After staying at the villa, the lake has come back alive for me. The isolation and pure tranquility of the place will transport you to a place you never want to leave.