We woke up to stunning Lake Atitlan and the surrounding volcanoes. The sky had cleared enough that the view was amazing, if not crystal. Our room was quaint and homey, tucked around a corner (as all of the rooms in the lovely hotel seem to be) with amazing views at our doorstep. The room was furnished and decorated with all kinds of local touches, from the wooden bed frame to the mask on the wall to the curtains, and it felt as though we could be staying in a well-travelled cousin’s guest room.
Already, I was charmed. The night before we’d had dinner in the restaurant. They have a set menu each night, with a starter, salad, main, and dessert (a vegetarian option is available). They put a row of tables together, large enough to accommodate all of the guests who are dining that evening, and you end up sitting next to a host of lovely people from around the world, who would you would be unlikely to have a meaningful conversation with otherwise. Our first night there we’d arrived a few minutes late to dinner and been at the end of the tables. We spent most of the evening chatting with two American ladies who had first come to Guatemala with the church they belonged to and had been returning ever since. Despite many a different belief, they were lovely to chat to, and their excitement about our relationship and our travels was infectious. Also at the table were a group of Canadian women who we spoke to briefly, and an American-Guatemalan couple who were looking at buying land in the area.
The first full day we were there, we took advantage of exactly zero of the activities in the area (activities can include, if you’re so inclined: hiking, kayaking, and climbing volcanoes). Well, we did jump into the lake at one stage. Instead, we relaxed, basked in the relative luxury of it all, and simply enjoyed. Photos were taken, hammocks were laid in, books were read. It was the most ideal holiday within our travels that I could have imagined.
We enjoyed the food immensely; the variety, quality, and healthiness of it were all highly appreciated after months on a budget diet. That evening was another lovely dinner. This time, our neighbours were a handful of younger couples and we spent a couple of hours chatting and swapping stories. After dinner came another treat from Tim: The hotel boasts a hot tub close to the lakeside that is heated with a wood-burning stove. A storm had started up over dinner and we made our way down to the spa, margaritas in hand, over the slippery tiles. We lounged in the steaming hot water, getting sprinkled on by rain, and talked about what was to come after this trip ends.
Finally, sadly, it was time to leave. We spent as long as we could the next morning at the Casa before we figured we best carry on. Our next destination was a few chicken buses away and we didn’t want to arrive too late in the afternoon. If anyone finds themselves in this corner of Guatemala, this bit of paradise is an absolute must.