Tradition and Culture on Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Known for it’s natural beauty, Lake Atitlan is a magnificent body of fresh water in Guatemala, surrounded by high peaked volcanoes and rolling hills. There’s a mysterious and powerful energy that radiates from the water, through the air, and into your soul. With a number or small villages dotted around the lake, you can experience a variety of local traditions and cultures.
Situated close to the base of Volcan Tolimán, San Lucas Tolimán is one of the more traditional and ‘local’ villages on the lake. Fewer visitors seem to venture to this village compared to others, and that’s what gives it so much character. Among only a handful of guesthouses in the area, Hotel Tolimán offers a beautiful blend of Mayan culture and modern luxury.
Greeted with a warm and friendly welcome, the local staff will make you’ll feel at home from the minute you arrive. The hotel and gardens are impeccably clean and charming, reflecting the pride the team take in their work.
The luscious gardens are carefully tended to, creating the perfect place to relax in a hammock, get stuck into a good book, and appreciate the magical views across Lake Atitlan. There's a beautiful pool to cool off when the midday sun beams down, and wooden canoes to take out onto the lake to explore the local waters. It's also a great base to explore some of the other hidden gems on Lake Atitlan, like San Antonio Palopo.
The hotel restaurant offers incredible views and delicious locally sourced food. The salad and vegetables are organically grown in the hotel gardens, and the meat and other produce are locally and responsibly sourced. There's also a fine selection of wines to try and with spectacular views over the lake, it'd be rude not to have a glass or two. It's amazing how peaceful this place is. The only sounds are those of the hummingbirds swooping down for nectar, and the occasional rumble as the afternoon storm rolls in.
If you’re lucky enough to catch an afternoon storm, prepare to be amazed. The energy that fills the air around Lake Atitlan becomes electric, and makes you feel alive. Watch as the clouds roll in over the hills, searching for lower ground and pulling in the grey skies behind them. The sky lights up first with a blinding flash, followed closely by rolling thunder. The volcanoes disappear into the mist of the rain, leaving the echo of the thunder being the only reminder of where you are.
Highlights of Hotel Tolimán
Off the beaten track in one of Lake Atitlan’s less visited towns, meaning you get a real sense for the Mayan culture that still runs strongly here.
The adventure starts with the journey here - take a tuk tuk, it’s all part of the fun!
Incredible views of the lake and surrounding hills.
Cosy rooms with traditional decor.
Onsite restaurant with delicious meals prepared with fresh local ingredients.
Beautiful well kept grounds, with a huge garden and freshwater pool.
Complimentary use of the kayaks to explore the lake.
The hotel employ local people, which is a great way to support the community.