coffee lake atitlan

Lake Attilan Guatemala Best Organic Coffee

Lake Attilan Guatemala Best Organic Coffee I have ever drank we found in San Juan La Laguna which is a ten minute walk from the village of San Pedro in Lake Atitlan Guatemala is a must see.

Traveling to Lake Atitlan and searching for those hidden gems of real coffee co-ops can be hard to find. The season is short and when the coffee is not being harvested these co-ops are closed for the most part.

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For those that truly love Organic coffee and want the real experience not another tour Cooperative La Voz Que Clama En El Desierto in the village of San Juan La Laguna which is a ten minute walk from the village of San Pedro in Lake Atitlan Guatemala is a must see.

For years I have looked around Lake Atitlan for Organic Coffee Fincas, I wanted to see the real thing. With Coffee harvest running from December till March it is sometimes hard to find these Co-ops around the lake.

To reach this small Co-Operative you need to take a boat from Panajachel to San Pedro on Lake Atitlan. Panajachel which  is a town in the southwestern Guatemalan Highlands, less than 90 miles from Guatemala City, in the department of Sololá. It serves as the administrative centre for the surrounding municipality of the same name.

From San Pedro you can walk which takes about ten minutes or take a Tu-Tu from San Pedro to the village of San Juan. Ask anyone in San Juan about the Co-Operative and they will direct you.

We were fortunate to have Alex with us from Kayak Guatemala who more or less paved the way for us to have complete freedom to explore the co-op and ask questions. While many want to go to the Coffee Tours of Antigua this is the real thing. This is a production facility not a tourist destination.

Andres Cotuc manages the operations and after yes a cup of this years harvest of Lake Atltian Organic Coffee, roasted on site we were allowed to go crazy with our camera. With respect to the woman working in our photo’s were all asked permission. Take that as a note when and if you make it to this co-op.

We then were allowed to head out to the fields to see coffee beans on the trees. The co-op is large and is nestled into the side of the mountains with coffee plans shaded by huge trees. Part of the great coffee growing process.

There is not price for touring the facility that we could see. Coffee is for sale ground or whole beans.

I finally found that cup of coffee I have been looking for in Guatemala.

San Juan La Laguna Coffee

Lake Atitlan Tours

Come visit Lake Atitlan Guatemala in January and save BIG

Come visit Lake Atitlan Guatemala in January and save BIG.  Discounts for one week only; January 18 – 26, 2014.  This complete package includes everything; airport pick-up, transfers to Lake Atitlan, deluxe overnight accommodations in Santa Cruz la Laguna, ALL meals, ALL activities, ALL tours and excursions.  Come and stay for the entire week, or for a few days.

January 18 – 26, 2014 – Complete package from $149.00 per person per day, or $1192.00 for the entire itinerary.


·               Airport transfer from airport to Lake Atitlan. Overnight at Lake Atitlan.

DAY 1, SUNDAY – Jan. 19


·         After breakfast we take a leasurely kayak excursion around Santa Cruz.  This is a great morning activity that allows you to view the lake and the surrounding mountains. This is not a challenging activity.  Later we explore the village of Santa Cruz and visit two non-profit foundations to see how they are helping improve the lives of the local Maya.

In the afternoon visit the Atltan Nature Reserve.  You can hike the nature trails and enjoy the zip lines.

Overnight at Lake Atitlan.

DAY 2, MONDAY – Jan. 20


·         After breakfast, make your way to the boat dock in front of your hotel for a 3-Village Private Boat Tour. This spectacular full day trip will take you from one end of the lake to the other. You will visit the villages of San Marcos, San Juan, Santiago, with time to explore each village. Easy walking is involved and the trip is approximately 8 hours.

·         The day begins in Santa Cruz where you depart for the west end of the lake. You get to see the villages of El Jaibalito, Tzununa, San Marcos, and San Pablo as you make your way along the north shore. Your first stop is San Marcos, where you stop for swimming and optional cliff jumping. Then you will depart the north shore for San Juan, the “Swiss village” of Lake Atitlan. You will spend approximately 3 hours on a guided walking tour and visit art galleries, two woman’s weaving cooperatives, a medicinal and curative plant garden. Enjoy lunch at a local comedor to sample the local foods.

·         Several famous painters are from San Juan so you will also visit their galleries to see them at work. Women Weavers and Nuestra Artesania includes demonstrations showing how the beautiful fabrics are made; from harvesting the cotton, to spinning it into yarn, dying the yarn, and then creating one of-a-kind fabrics with the back strap loom. The Qomaneel center is a medicinal and curative herb garden operated by the midwives of San Juan.  You are guided through the garden and given samples of each plant along with a description of its curative powers. There are no entrance fees at the cooperatives. Your gift purchases or donations are how these centers function.

        •        Your third stop is Santiago. The bay of Santiago is a photographer’s dream. We take a tour along the shore of the bay before we start our walking tour. Your first stop is a visitor center that offers insight into the life of the Tzutujile Maya. There are interpretive displays on the history of the traje (traditional clothing), spiritual beliefs and Maximon. We have lunch before we tour the local church and visit Maximon. The Mayan visit Maximon to ask for healthy crops, to help cure illness, to find love, or to cast a spell on a neighbor. Be sure to buy some candles, cigarettes, or liquor to make your own offering!!! A small fee is required for admittance.

 Overnight at Lake Atitlan.

DAY 3, TUESDAY – Jan. 21


After breakfast, the day begins in Santa Cruz and the start of our 3-4 -hour hike.  You can either hike or drive. Visit the village of Santa Cruz la Laguna and then head high into the mountains. You hike along ancient paths that have been used by the Kachekel Maya for centuries.  You will view villagers going about their daily life, encounter farmers tending their maize and coffee fields, and see some of the most magnificent scenery in the world.  You can visit a sacred Mayan site where rituals are performed by the local shamans, and make your own offering at the alter.

This rugged and remote area has barely been touched by the outside world.  Our hike takes us 2500 feet above the waters of Atitlan for breath taking views and pristine scenery.

It is a difficult walk/climb, but is not overly challenging for those in good health.  The walk is approx. 4 hours through magnificent scenery. Enjoy a picnic lunch along the way, or in a local comidor (included).  You walk though a remote Mayan village high in the mountains where we find the road. There we take a collectivo (shared van/pick-up) the last few miles into Solola.  You visit the second largest market in Guatemala, then return via chicken bus or pick up into Panajachel and then Santa Cruz. On the return, we stop at Crossroads Café to sample some of the best coffee in the world.  All the coffees served are from Guatemala.

Overnight at Lake Atitlan. 

DAY 4, WEDNESDAY – Jan. 22


·         After breakfast, meet at the dock to gear up for a day of adventure.  It is best to wear your swimsuit or other appropriate boating atire as you will get wet along the way.  We supply dry sacks for your backpacks and other gear for the second part of the day. Be sure to bring your camera, drinking water, and some sunscreen.

We paddle for 1 ½ -2 hours along the shores of Santa Cruz la Laguna, El Jaibalito, and Tzununa, ending in San Marcos.  You will have many up close encounters with Mayan men who fish from hand hewn cayukas as they have for centuries.  You will feel privileged to share the lake with these proud fishermen who make Lake Atitlan so unique. You paddle along rugged cliff faces filled with exotic plant and bird life.  You have the opportunity to swim and cliff- jump into the crystal clear waters, or just enjoy a swim and sun. Enjoy a picnic lunch along the way, or in a local comidor (included).

We pull into the Bay of San Marcos and gear up for the next part of our adventure. The  north shore of Lake Atitlan has no true road access, so you will be hiking along ancient paths that have been used by the Maya for centuries.  You will view villagers going about their daily life, encounter farmers tending their maiz and coffee fields, and see some

of the most magnificent scenery in the world.  This rugged and remote section of Lake Atitlan has barely been touched by the outside world.  Our hike takes us several hundred feet above the ever changing waters of Atitlan for breathtaking views of the famous volcanos.  We end our hike in Santa Cruz la Laguna at the end of our day of adventure.

Overnight at Lake Atitlan.

DAY 5, THURSDAY –  Jan. 23


·         Shuttle departs at 8:00 am for travel to the spectacular outdoor market of Chichicastenango – one of the world’s most famous outdoor markets!  People watch in this very Mayan village, and also ‘shop until you drop’ or until 1pm when the market closes.  After a leisurely lunch in ChiChi (included) board the shuttle for travel to Antigua.

·         About ChiChi >>> Located at 2500 meters above sea level, this town is famous amongst tourists for its market on Thursdays and Sundays, where spats of traditionally dressed villagers in a kaleidoscope of colors, come to sell their very colorful textiles, fruits, vegetables and flowers. Although seemingly very commercial, there is much mysticism in the air. You will be amazed by the religious blend that exists, where colonial Spanish Catholicism, modern evangelism and ancient Mayan tradition, blend in a uniquely harmonious fashion. There is something deeply moving about watching a Mayan Indian or shaman, engulfed by incense and surrounded by flowers, praying to a catholic God and at the same time practicing ancient Mayan rituals, all in an old Spanish colonial Cathedral. It is here, in Chichicastenango, that Father Francisco Ximenez in the 17th century discovered the Popol Vuh, the illustrious Mayan bible.

Overnight in Antigua.

DAY 6, FRIDAY – Jan. 24


Morning Pacaya Volcano hike starts at 8:00 am and ends at 4:00 pm. Afternoon/Evening Pacaya Volcano hike starts at 2:00 pm ends 8:30 pm.

Lava Fields and Smoking Crater – Pacaya, one Guatemala’s youngest volcanoes, offers climbers a unique glance into the geologic bowels of the earth. A relatively easy climb of 1.5 hours brings us to the fertile shelf just below the cinder cone called “la Meseta.” From here we get an awesome view of recent lava flows. We will explore these lava fields, and as the smoking crater looms above, the environment quickly changes to resemble that of an extraterrestrial setting. We’ll enjoy a fresh lunch, enjoying the views before we make our way back down.

Overnight in Antigua.

DAY 7, SATURDAY – Jan. 25


· Enjoy a relaxing day to explore on your own

  • Antigua, Guatemala is an exquisite Spanish Colonial town with elegant 16th & 17th Century architecture, cobblestone streets, a tranquil central square, stylish hotels, luxurious shops and superb international cuisine. The town enjoys a unique and impressive setting nestled beneath three towering volcanoes and surrounded by lush evergreen forests.

. Overnight in Antigua.

DAY 8, SUNDAY – Jan. 26


· Enjoy a relaxing morning


Lake Atitlan Guatemala Real Estate | Finding the Best

Lake Atitlan Guatemala Real Estate | Finding the Best

In my Blog Posts I only write about the wonders of Guatemala. Friends of mine from the US decided to take a break and headed to Guatemala for 4 months. They decided Lake Atitlan Guatemala having spent time in Guatemala they are seasoned travelers and as this blog talks about they have had a number of Real Estate experiences on Guatemala.

Most of us have found Realtors in Guatemala can be hit or miss. And often the best way to deal with Real Estate is direct with the owner. Landing in Panajachel Guatemala which it the gateway to Lake Atitlan.

Best Lake Atitlan Realtor

Best Lake Atitlan Realtor

We started the quest for a Vacation Rental Property and a Realtor to aid them in the quest. We would not recommend is Mayan Lake Real Estate. Mayan Lake Real Estate we have found many complaints about Mayan Lake Real Estate

Lake Atitlan Guatemala Real Estate | Finding the Best

Finding a good Realtor at Lake Atitlan Guatemala is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.  We should know.  In the last 5 years we have completed 7 real estate transactions and had become ‘realtor ragged’.  We have seen the tactics of some real estate agents and were wary of many of them and the services they provide.  Needless to say, we have learned the hard way that entrusting this process to a mediocre agent causes a lot of stress and can cost money.

Do you know when you meet the right person, you feel it instinctively? That’s what happened to us when we stumbled upon David Yates of Lake Atitlan Luxury Vacation Rentals at Panajachel Guatemala.  David’s outgoing and warm personality instantly connected with us.  After leaving his office we both wholeheartedly agreed that we had finally found the agent to help us find our home.

David is amazing to work with. What we liked most about him is that he is genuine and has the highest standard of integrity, which is hard to find in a realtor and hard to find with people in general.  David’s knowledge of the local market, his outstanding work ethic, and people skills make him the obvious choice if you are looking for a realtor.

He was easily reachable at all hours even on the weekends. Most importantly he took the time and patience to explain things in detail.  We felt very well cared for during the transaction, but the service did not end there.  David has been a wonderful resource and has provided us with many contacts for carpentry, plumbing and contract work. He has checked in with us, helping us on more than one occasion with English/Spanish translation as we have worked with local Spanish speaking workers for minor renovations to our new home.

We can’t say enough about David.  He was always there when we needed him—prompt with answers and ideas, and leaving us with the feeling that he had 100% of our welfare at heart.  Recently we have talked to people who have bought houses and felt that their real estate agent wasn’t doing all that they could for them. We tell them about David and the fabulous job he did for us. We couldn’t be more pleased with David’s work. If you’re thinking of buying or selling and want someone to work with your interests in mind then choose David Yates of Century 21. We highly recommend David to anyone looking to sell or buy in Panajachel Guatemala.

Lake Atitlan Top 5 Real Estate Companies


Lake Atitlan Guatemala | Our stay at Pasaj-Cap

Our stay was absolutely incredible at Pasaj-Cap! We couldn’t have asked for a more welcoming, comfortable, and well-located place.  From the moment we arrived we were welcomed by both Pierre and Domingo, who throughout our stay were never far away.

Pasaj-Cap Guatemala

Pasaj-Cap Guatemala

We couldn’t have been happier with our accommodations. The Belem loft was spotlessly cleaned, airy and light, well equipped and extremely comfortable.  It had it all!  Breath-taking views over Lake Atitlan and a peaceful and quiet setting to get away from it all.

If this is not enough, there are quiet spaces all around the grounds where you can find gardens and hammocks with views to delight your spirit.

And let’s now talk of Lake Atitlan itself.  The writer Aldous Huxley called Lake Atitlan Guatemala “the most beautiful lake in the world.” We have to agree.  Lake Atitlan is for the traveler who loves beauty and magnificent views, the hiker, the kayaker, the spiritual, and the lover of beauty.  With the stunning green color of the surrounding mountains and the spectacular views of three volcanoes, to the bright vibrant colors of the flowers growing from the sides of the surrounding cliffs, the beauty of Lake Atitlan Guatemala will surely take your breath away.  Everyone talks about Lake Atitlan and rightfully so.

Lake Atitlan Guatemala is a dream come true where the weather is warm, the lake is dramatic, the air is fresh and fragrant, and the mountains and volcanoes are mysterious and magical.  These are the images that we were blessed to see each morning.  It is truly a visceral experience.  We found ourselves just sitting on the dock, long after we’d finished our day, simply staring into the depths of the lake.  No pressures, only stillness and quiet, a chance to breathe a little slower and feel a bit more deeply.

Pasaj-Cap is a hidden gem, tucked away a short walk from San Marcos.  We couldn’t recommend it enough.  If you are still undecided as to where to spend your vacation, look no further!  Pasaj-Cap is the place for you.  This place is fantastic!


Panajachel (Lake Atitlan) Guatemala Weather Forecast

Weather in Panajachel (Lake Atitlan)

Today weather forecast for Panajachel (Lake Atitlan) Guatemala is Humid with a 60% chance of rain later in the afternoon. As a low pressure area moves across Monterrico Guatemala and heads inland to the highland of Guatemala Panajachel (Lake Atitlan) can expect late afternoon and early evening thunderstorms.

The storms will come in from the east Panajachel as expected, heavy rain can be expected in some area of Lake Atitlan as this front moves through.

The rain in the area of Lake Atitlan will help drop the humidity which today is high and has created muggy conditions around the lake.

To the South of Guatemala Nicaragua find the country mostly covered with rain shower which will last most of the day. At this time Bluefields is in the center of most of the rain covering the country.

Antigua Guatemala is hot and humid today with a chance of rain later in the evening as the rain passes over Panajachel may spread as far as Antigua overnight.

This is your Weather in Panajachel (Lake Atitlan) forecast for today.

Panajachel is in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. Panajachel, or Pana as it is widely known is a small town on the North shore of Lake Atitlán. Pana is a small town with a booming tourist industry. With the exception of possibly Antigua, Panajachel is one of the major tourism areas in Guatemala.

Panajachel itself is quite small, and you can walk practically anywhere within 10 minutes. Small three-wheel taxis (Tuc=Tuc) continually circle the few streets, and cost 5Q for any destination in Panajachel, 10Q if the ride requires going off the delta (uphill), for example to the Nature reserve (3 people negotiated a ride back for only 20Q).


Panajachel Lake Atitlan Guatemala Links and weather information

Would you like to know what the weather will be like? On this page you are able to find the weather forecast for Panajachel, Lake Atitlan Guatemala.

Weather forecast Panajachel (Lake Atitlan) this week

Min 17  °C 17  °C 17  °C 17  °C 17  °C 17  °C 17  °C
Max 26  °C 26  °C 26  °C 26  °C 26  °C 25  °C 25  °C
Sun 50% 35% 35% 35% 30% 25% 25%
Precipitation 20% 30% 30% 40% 40% 60% 55%
Wind direction
Wind force 4 4 4 3 3 4 3

LAKE ATITLAN: Located in the western highlands, this mountainous region is known for its indigenous traditions, folklore and the resplendent Lake Atitlán. The Lake is an ultimate high for hopeless romantics and adventurers. Atitlán is recognized to be the deepest lake in Central America with a maximum depth of 340 meters. The lake is shaped by deep escarpments, which surround it, and by three volcanoes on its southern flank. It is renowned as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.
The fertile soils of these winding mountains, magical volcanoes and beautiful valleys, became the land of the Cack’chiquel, Quek’chi, Mam and Tzutujil, ethnic Mayan groups whose traditional indigenous culture continues to reign and develop. Lake Atitlán (Lago de Atitlán) is a large endorheic lake “one that does not flow to the sea”..
The lake basin supports extensive coffee growth and a variety of farm crops, most notably corn. Other significant agricultural products include onions, beans, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, chile verde, strawberries, avocados and pitahaya fruit. The lake itself is rich in animal life, which provides a significant food source for the largely indigenous population.
Santiago Atitlán is the largest of the lakeside communities, and is noted for its worship of Maximón, an idol formed by the fusion of traditional Mayan deities, Catholic saints and conquistador legends. The institutionalized effigy of Maximón is under the control of a local religious brotherhood and resides in various houses of its membership during the course of a year, being ceremonially moved in a grand procession during Semana Santa.
The smaller villages of Santa Cruz, San Juan and Santa Catarina are centers of the traditional textile production. Multi-colored fabrics are hand-woven on back-strap looms unchanged over the centuries. Each day hundreds of Maya pescadors (fishermen) ply the lake in hand-hewn wooden cayukas (boats) in search of the days catch. Along the lakeshore the women gather to socialize, bath and wash. On the mountainsides are fields of corn and coffee tended by the villagers.
Coordinates: 14°42′N 91°12′W

The climate of Guatemala varies more by altitude than by season. The coastal lowlands are always hot say 90 degrees during the day. The high mountains, places such as Todos Santos, can be near freezing at night.
Around Lake Atitlán, the town of Sololá which is situated on a cliff high over the lake can be 10 or 20 degrees colder than the towns such as San Pedro la Laguna which are at lake level. Although at times it gets cold in the night, the climate in San Pedro is generally mild. Cool in the morning and evening, but the temperature usually reaches 80 to 85 degrees between 11:00am and 3:00pm. I usually swim every day in the lake at 6:00am. I hate to be cold so if it was cold I would not do it. It is refreshing.


Lake Atitlan during the rainy season

So how do you feel about thunderstorms?  Do you hate them? Like them? Do they frighten you? Or do they energize you? Me…I love thunderstorms in Guatemala. They arrive early evening in Lake Atitlan during the rainy season which starts in June.

Lake Atitlan Weather

Lake Atitlan Weather

If you live near Lake Atitlan Guatemala, as I do, you know that afternoon thunderstorms are the norm during rainy season.  A day can start with absolutely clear blue sky in the morning, with out a trace of a cloud and no storms predicted, and give way to an intense energy that builds as the dark clouds begin to roll in. 

Thunderstorms in the mountains of Lake Atitlan Guatemala can come up seemingly out of nowhere.  They tend to form mid to late afternoon and those thunderstorms are usually accompanied by lightning in the sky illuminating the volcanoes and thunder roaring in the mountains.  The skies seem to break open.  It is certainly a source of both terror and awe.  

With the downpour of rain and the intense lightening illuminating the sky behind the volcanoes and mountains…well there is nothing as spectacular to me.  With every rolling boom of thunder, it’s as if the powerful Mayan Gods are majestically trying to send a message.  As the lightning flashes and the thunder crackles all around me, I feel an energy like none other.

Amidst the beautiful splendor of Nature, the thunderstorms moves across the lake in a dramatic, mysterious, and magical way, all framed by the gorgeous volcanoes.