Lake Atitlan Hotels: Casa Colonial in Panajachel
Just off Calle Santander and two blocks from the lakeshore, you'll find a stately Colonial-style mansion with a ornate wrought-iron railings on the second-floor balcony. This is Casa Colonial, one of Panajachel's most stylish places to stay.
This intimate hotel is just the place for people who want to meet other travelers in a tranquil setting that is close to the action. There are only nine rooms, so your fellow guests will quickly become familiar faces and maybe even friends.
Stylish Rooms in a Former Mansion
Each room is tastefully furnished and has its own private bathroom with plenty of hot water, something that can be quite a luxury in a country where the unpredictable suicide shower normally reigns supreme. Even better is the fact that you can opt for a room with a kitchenette complete with refrigerator and microwave, making it easy to prepare those midnight snacks.
Casa Colonial focuses on providing comfort in an environmentally and socially responsible way. Right from the start, the owners will look after you as if you're one of the family. They'll even arrange transport from the airport right to their doorstep.
What makes this hotel extra special is that you won't be bored here. It's only a stone's throw from the little shops, restaurants and street stalls of Calle Santander. If you want to be one with nature, hike the half an hour or so to the Atitlan Nature Reserve with its spider monkeys and butterfly preserve. Here you can also get the adrenalin going by flying down a zipline or simply by crossing one of the hanging bridges among the dense trees.
Surfing on a Paddleboard
Casa Colonial can arrange a variety of adventures, whether you want to visit ancient Mayan ruins, see the inner workings of a coffee plantation or try your hand at trike drifting. This is also where the Pana Surf part of their name comes in: what better way is there to experience Lake Atitlan in all its beauty than exploring its waters on a standup paddleboard?
The lake is actually the perfect place to learn this offshoot of surfing, since the waters are generally calm and the waves very gentle. Rent your gear at the hotel and get ready for seeing the lake in a completely new way. You don't need a wetsuit either! Afterwards, of course, retire to the balcony and watch Pana life drift by.
Casa Colonial has 24-hour front-desk service, and you can also book online. Weekly and monthly room rentals are available but you'll have to book well in advance for these to avoid disappointment.
Website: Casa Colonial in Panajachel