You’ll see Guatemala’s Lago Atitlan feature quite a lot on here as we spent a full week in and around the lake. We toured Santa Clara La Laguna and San Marcos La Laguna on day trips as well as staying in San Pedro La Laguna (where we did the Indians Nose hike and kayaking on the lake) at the truly relaxing Hotel Mikaso. And then if all that wasn’t enough we decided to cross the lake by boat and check out Panajachel, another cool lakeside town. We landed upon a gem of a place here too, what I classed as my “Writer’s Lair” for a night.
This quirky little Guesthouse is called Posada Los Encuentros and we arrived mid afternoon, were given a warm welcome and then shown to our room. It was something special. Here are 10 reasons why you should stay here when you’re on a backpackers budget in Panajachel. You will love it.
1. Natural Hot Tub
Wow! Is all I can say. This is really hot and is all natural, the water flows in and you can relax here. Best bit for me was the heat killed off the last of my bus bugs from the previous few weeks of travel. Bonus!
2. Leafy, Herbal Garden
Posada Los Encuentros has a massive garden in it – not just a normal garden. Herbs are grown here. The smell is sweet and the ambience is relaxing. Check out the variety of herbs that Richard (the owner) and the team are growing and maintaining.
3. Writer’s Lounge
OK so I’m calling it the “Writer’s Lounge” as to me it’s more than just a lounge. Comfy seats, literature and art all around make for a relaxing place to sip tea, coffee or beer and get some work done. I managed to type up two full blog posts right here! Very peaceful!
4. Our Room
The room was exquisite. We were in room 8 on the second floor. Our room had a double bed, a bathroom, a TV, a writer’s desk, a food blender, a coffee maker, a stove, a fridge. It was just more than what we expected. We cooked our own food and chilled out!
5. Food Blender
What? A hostel with a food blender? Yes – we had our own food blender in our room so to take advantage of this we bought some papaya and made our own delicious smoothies. A pure fire luxury for any place you ever stay. Don’t kid yourselves – even five star hotels don’t have food blenders! It’s a winner!
OK so I do a bit of walking and hiking but I don’t really do much keep fit. However here at Posada Los Encuentros there is a fully functional gym! Amazing so if you want to lift weight and do push ups on the road, you can here.
7. Inspiring Owner – Richard Morgan
After a great night’s sleep in our room, we awake for breakfast and we are joined by the owner, Richard Morgan, an author. Richard’s stories inspire you. He’s the author of 3 books, he’s fought in Vietnam and at the end of the day he loves to relax. Here, he sees the hotel running as a way for travellers to interact with locals. Money doesn’t motivate Richard and to have breakfast with him was incredible.
If you want to buy Richard’s books, they are available here:
OK so I had some work to catch up on as usual so I just sat with a beer in the patio getting my stories up to date. Wifi was fast and works in the main lounge and patio.
9. Private and Safe
Some travellers to Guatemala worry about safety and while this is often exaggerated, you will be happy to learn that Posada Los Encuentros is as safe as they come. There are only 10 rooms here, and the staff work round the clock. It’s also really good to get some private time – no hostel parties or vibes here of swarms of travellers.
10. Meeting the Locals: Maya Culture Tour
Richard and the staff here can arrange for you to experience the local indigenous culture by meeting local people. Richard is an expert in the field and you will be able to get a more authentic vibe from Panajachel than meeting the locals in town – they just want to sell things. The tours are known as a 7 day Maya Culture tour and come recommended.
Contact Richard for prices & detailed information at: [email protected]
The way my travel lifestyle is at the moment, sadly I pass through towns and cities pretty fast and so we only had one night here at Posada Los Encuentros but I loved it! If you are ever in Panajachel, this is the perfect place to stay, here are the details for booking:
Lodge and Maya Cultural Center
Atitlan lake Guatemala
Posada Los Encuentros
Callejon Chotzar 0-41
B. Jucanya, Panajachel
Solola, Guatemala, Central America
Tel: (Country code Guatemala) 7762-1603 Tel: (Country code Guatemala) 7762-2093
Fax:(Country code Guatemala) 7762-1309
Here are my videos from staying in the “writer’s lair”, thanks to Richard Morgan for the inspiration: