Lake Atitlan Hotels: Posada Los Encuentros in Panajachel
The basic definition of encuentro is "a meeting." At Posada Los Encuentros in Panajachel, a second meaning applies: "an encounter or experience."
Few hotels in Guatemala allow you to experience the culture of contemporary Maya life and the ecology of the lake in such a genuine manner. From Maya fire ceremonies to Lake Atitlan’s most diverse herb garden, the range of experiences at this unique inn form a bridge to a genuine cultural experience, one you won’t find at more expensive hotels or resorts.
You can meet Maya artists, shamans, healers, artists and weavers, with whom the hotel’s founder, author Richard Morgan, has direct connections through Adventures in Education, Inc., which facilitates cross-border study tour programs. Other activities include Latin American culture programs, spiritual explorations and Spanish lessons.
Author of The Lake Atitlan Reference Guide and other books on Maya myths and the geology and ecology of the lake, Morgan is often on-hand to offer tips on local hiking, tours and other ways to get the most out of your experience at Lake Atitlan or help create a personalized tour. Package tours are also available.
Secluded Yet Close to Town
A ten-minute stroll from downtown Panajachel, Encuentros consists of nine rooms with private bath, real hot water, cable TV and purified drinking water. Highlighted with wooden carvings, Maya art and other appropriate touches, rooms with names like Mi Nidito (my nest) and Mirador (view) reflect the setting of this unique hotel.
From the top of the new Mirador building, which has only two rooms, the view of the lake and its splendid volcanoes is among the finest on this side of the lake.
Medicinal Herb Garden
An enchanting herb garden forms the centerpiece of Encuentros. Featuring the lake’s widest collection of medicinal herbs and plants, it functions as a unique tutorial, for with a bilingual brochure available that identifies the various plants and tells how they are used.
Or you may simply relax beneath the ramada and enjoy the sight and smell of the various plants and flowers, the hummingbirds, butterflies and birds.
Just a few steps down the shaded street lives one of the country’s most respected curanderos. Maria Can Sahon conducts Maya fire ceremonies for small groups in her home on arrangement with Encuentros. For larger groups, she uses a Maya altar beside the ramada at Encuentros.
Relaxing at Encuentros
A wood-fired sauna and hot tub provide ample opportunities to unwind after a day of hiking, touring and sightseeing. Complete gym facilities fill an entire room for those who want to work out.
Free coffee, tea, toast and other light breakfast items are served, and a limited breakfast menu is available. The manager can suggest local restaurants to your taste and will assist in having meals delivered to the inn if you don’t want to venture out. There is an informal bar, and guests are invited to bring their own beverages.
Posada Los Encuentros delivers far more than comfortable lodging in a pleasant setting. Staying at this eco-cultural hotel is like stepping through a portal into the ecology and culture of the lake—and at surprisingly affordable rates.
Phone: In Guatemala: 7762-1309/1603. In USA: 732-514-1661