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Guatemala City, Guatemala

15 Best Places to Live in Guatemala

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Universal Tax Professionals
Universal Tax Professionals

Summary: If you're dreaming about living in Guatemala, here are the 15 Best Places to Live in Guatemala in 2023.

Antigua

Antigua

Antigua, is a charming city located approximately 40 kilometers (25 miles) southwest of the country's capital, Guatemala City. Known for its well-preserved Spanish Baroque-influenced architecture and stunning volcanic surroundings, Antigua is a popular destination for both tourists and locals. The city enjoys a mild climate, with average temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F) throughout the year. In terms of recreational activities, Antigua offers a wide variety of options for visitors. One can explore the city's rich history by visiting its numerous churches, convents, and museums, such as the San Francisco Church and the Museum of Colonial Art. For nature lovers, the nearby Pacaya Volcano and Acatenango Volcano offer exciting hiking opportunities with breathtaking views. Additionally, the city is home to several beautiful parks, including Central Park and Tanque La Unión, where visitors can relax and enjoy the picturesque surroundings. While there are no golf clubs within Antigua itself, the La Reunion Golf Resort & Residences, located about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the city, offers a world-class golfing experience with stunning views of the surrounding volcanoes.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the flavors of Antigua with a visit to these top-notch eateries. Start your culinary journey at Los Tres Tiempos, a vibrant restaurant offering traditional Guatemalan cuisine with a modern twist. Enjoy their mouthwatering Pepián de Pollo or the exquisite Tostadas de Plátano while taking in the stunning views of the city's iconic arch. For a more intimate dining experience, head to Restaurante Casa Santo Domingo, nestled within the enchanting Hotel Museo Santo Domingo. Indulge in their exquisite fusion of Guatemalan and international flavors, such as the Lomito en Salsa de Chicha or the Camarones al Ajillo. Finally, treat your taste buds to the delectable pastries and desserts at Doña Luisa Xicotencatl, a charming bakery and café that has been delighting locals and visitors alike for decades. When it comes to accommodations, Antigua offers a variety of charming hotels to suit every traveler's needs. For a luxurious stay, book a room at the elegant Porta Hotel Antigua, where you can unwind in their lush gardens, take a dip in the heated pool, or indulge in a rejuvenating spa treatment. If you prefer a more boutique experience, consider the enchanting Hotel Casa del Parque, a colonial-style gem located just steps away from the city's central park. With its cozy rooms, beautiful courtyard, and warm hospitality, you'll feel right at home in this Antiguan oasis.

Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan, is a stunning body of water surrounded by lush hills and picturesque villages. Located approximately 144 kilometers (89 miles) west of the capital city, Guatemala City, and 27 kilometers (17 miles) southeast of the popular tourist destination of Chichicastenango, Lake Atitlan is easily accessible for travelers. The climate in the region is pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from 15°C to 26°C (59°F to 79°F), making it an ideal destination for outdoor activities. Public transportation is available in the form of local buses, known as "chicken buses," and boats that connect the various villages around the lake. Recreational activities at Lake Atitlan include kayaking, hiking, birdwatching, and exploring the local Mayan villages. Some popular spots to visit around the lake are the Reserva Natural Atitlán, a nature reserve with walking trails and a butterfly sanctuary, and the village of San Pedro La Laguna, known for its vibrant nightlife and laid-back atmosphere. While there are no golf clubs in the immediate vicinity of Lake Atitlan, the natural beauty and cultural experiences make it a must-visit destination in Guatemala.

Local Recommendations:

Nestled along the shores of Lake Atitlan, culinary enthusiasts will find a delightful array of dining options. Café Sabor Cruceno, located in the charming town of Santa Cruz La Laguna, offers a unique farm-to-table experience, with dishes crafted from locally sourced ingredients. For a taste of traditional Guatemalan cuisine, head to Comedor Elenita in San Pedro La Laguna, where you'll find mouthwatering dishes like pepian and tamales. If you're craving Italian fare, don't miss out on the wood-fired pizzas and homemade pasta at Trattoria di Atitlan in Panajachel. When it comes to accommodations, the eco-friendly Lush Atitlan in San Marcos La Laguna is a popular choice, boasting stunning lake views and lush gardens. For a more luxurious stay, consider the boutique hotel Casa Palopo in Santa Catarina Palopo, where you'll be treated to personalized service, exquisite décor, and breathtaking vistas of the lake and surrounding volcanoes.

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Panajachel

Panajachel

Panajachel, is a picturesque town nestled on the shores of Lake Atitlán, surrounded by stunning volcanoes and lush green hills. Located approximately 147 kilometers (91 miles) west of Guatemala City and 56 kilometers (35 miles) from Antigua, Panajachel serves as a gateway to the other villages and attractions around the lake. The town is well-connected by public transportation, with frequent buses and shuttle services available to and from major cities and tourist destinations. The climate in Panajachel is pleasant year-round, with average temperatures ranging from 16°C to 26°C (60°F to 79°F), making it an ideal destination for outdoor activities. Visitors can enjoy a variety of recreational activities such as hiking, birdwatching, and exploring the nearby nature reserves. One popular destination is the Reserva Natural Atitlán, a private nature reserve that offers hiking trails, a butterfly sanctuary, and a thrilling zip-line canopy tour. Additionally, boat tours are available to explore the surrounding villages and the beautiful Lake Atitlán. While there are no golf clubs in Panajachel itself, the town offers a vibrant cultural scene with local markets, art galleries, and traditional Mayan handicrafts. The Calle Santander is the main street in Panajachel, lined with shops, restaurants, and bars, providing a lively atmosphere for visitors to enjoy. Overall, Panajachel is a charming destination that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, outdoor activities, and cultural experiences.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the flavors of Panajachel with a visit to these top-notch eateries. Start your culinary journey at Circus Bar, a lively spot offering a mix of international and local dishes, accompanied by live music and a bohemian atmosphere. For a taste of authentic Guatemalan cuisine, head to Restaurante Hana, where you'll find traditional dishes like pepian and hilachas, served in a cozy, family-friendly setting. Don't miss Deli Jasmin, a charming bakery and café, perfect for a leisurely breakfast or a sweet treat. After a day of exploring, unwind at the luxurious Hotel Atitlan, boasting lush gardens, stunning lake views, and a serene pool area. For a more budget-friendly option, consider the charming Selina Atitlan, offering a range of accommodations, from private rooms to shared dorms, and a vibrant community atmosphere.

Quetzaltenango

Quetzaltenango

Quetzaltenango, also known as Xela, is the second largest city in Guatemala, located approximately 200 kilometers (124 miles) west of the capital, Guatemala City. It is nestled in a valley surrounded by mountains and volcanoes, offering a variety of recreational activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and exploring nearby natural attractions like the Santa Maria volcano and the Fuentes Georginas hot springs. The city is also known for its rich cultural heritage, with numerous museums, galleries, and historical sites to visit. The climate in Quetzaltenango is generally mild, with average temperatures ranging from 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F), making it a pleasant destination for outdoor activities. Public transportation is available in the form of buses and taxis, making it easy to navigate the city and its surrounding areas. In addition to its natural beauty and cultural attractions, Quetzaltenango is home to several parks, such as Parque Central and Parque Benito Juarez, where locals and visitors alike can enjoy leisurely strolls and picnics.

Local Recommendations:

For a taste of authentic Guatemalan cuisine, head to La Parrilla Colonial, where you'll find a warm atmosphere and a menu filled with traditional dishes like pepian and hilachas. If you're in the mood for international flavors, don't miss out on Sabor de la India, a cozy spot offering delicious Indian fare with a Guatemalan twist. For a more upscale dining experience, visit El Cuartito, a charming restaurant serving a fusion of Mediterranean and Guatemalan cuisine in a beautifully restored colonial house. When it comes to accommodations, consider staying at the elegant Casa Seibel, a beautifully restored colonial home turned boutique hotel, offering comfortable rooms and a lush garden to relax in. For a more budget-friendly option, check out the highly-rated Kasa Kiwi Hostel & Travel Agency, which offers both private rooms and dorms, as well as a rooftop terrace with stunning views of the surrounding volcanoes.

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Flores

Flores, is a picturesque island city located approximately 500 kilometers (310 miles) north of Guatemala City and about 65 kilometers (40 miles) from the popular tourist destination of Tikal National Park. The city is well-connected to other parts of the country through a causeway and offers various public transportation options, including buses and minivans, to explore the surrounding areas. Flores experiences a tropical climate with average temperatures ranging from 22°C to 28°C (72°F to 82°F) throughout the year. Recreational activities in Flores are abundant, with a focus on outdoor and cultural experiences. Visitors can enjoy exploring the charming cobblestone streets of the city, taking a boat tour around Lake Petén Itzá, or visiting the nearby Maya archaeological sites, such as Tikal, Yaxhá, and Uaxactún. While there are no golf clubs or large parks within the city itself, the natural beauty of the surrounding area offers ample opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and immersing oneself in the rich history and culture of the region.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the flavors of Flores with a visit to these top-notch eateries. Start your culinary journey at Raices Bar & Grill, where you'll be treated to a fusion of traditional Guatemalan dishes and international favorites, all while enjoying a stunning view of Lake Petén Itzá. For a more casual dining experience, head to Cool Beans Café, a cozy spot offering delicious sandwiches, smoothies, and a lush garden setting. Don't miss out on Restaurante San Telmo, a charming lakeside restaurant serving up mouthwatering seafood and local specialties, perfect for a romantic evening. After a day of exploring, unwind at one of Flores' highly recommended hotels. The Hotel Isla de Flores offers a delightful blend of comfort and style, with spacious rooms, a rooftop pool, and a prime location in the heart of the island. For a more intimate stay, consider the boutique hotel Casona de la Isla, where you'll find charming rooms, a relaxing pool area, and personalized service to make your visit truly memorable.

Monterrico

Monterrico, is a small coastal village located approximately 140 kilometers (87 miles) south of Guatemala City and 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) from the popular tourist destination of Antigua. Known for its black sand beaches and laid-back atmosphere, Monterrico is a popular weekend getaway for both locals and tourists. The climate in Monterrico is tropical, with average temperatures ranging from 24°C to 31°C (75°F to 88°F) throughout the year. Recreational activities in Monterrico mainly revolve around its beautiful beaches and natural surroundings. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and surfing at the beach, or take a boat tour through the nearby mangroves to observe the diverse wildlife, including sea turtles and various bird species. The Monterrico-Hawaii Biotopo, a nature reserve, is a must-visit spot for wildlife enthusiasts, as it is home to several species of sea turtles and serves as a nesting ground for these endangered creatures. While there are no golf clubs or large parks in Monterrico, the village's charm lies in its pristine beaches and the opportunity to connect with nature in a relaxed and serene setting.

Local Recommendations:

For a taste of authentic Guatemalan cuisine, head to El Pelicano, a beachfront restaurant in Monterrico known for its fresh seafood dishes and stunning ocean views. Another must-visit eatery is Johnny's Place, where you can indulge in a variety of international and local dishes while enjoying the laid-back atmosphere and live music. If you're craving Italian, Pizzeria Il Forno offers delicious wood-fired pizzas and homemade pasta in a cozy setting. When it comes to accommodations, Hotel El Delfin is a top choice for its charming bungalows, lush gardens, and beach access. Alternatively, Dos Mundos Pacific Resort offers a more luxurious experience with its modern amenities, swimming pools, and on-site spa.

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Coban

Coban is a charming city located in the central highlands of the country, approximately 219 kilometers (136 miles) north of Guatemala City. It is also situated near other popular destinations such as Semuc Champey, which is about 66 kilometers (41 miles) away, and Lanquin, which is around 60 kilometers (37 miles) away. The city has a public transportation system that includes buses and microbuses, making it easy for locals and tourists to navigate the area. Coban experiences a subtropical highland climate, with average temperatures ranging from 12°C to 25°C (54°F to 77°F) throughout the year. There are various recreational activities available in Coban, such as exploring the natural beauty of the region through hiking, birdwatching, and visiting nearby waterfalls. One of the most popular attractions is the Biotopo del Quetzal, a nature reserve that offers trails and the opportunity to spot the elusive national bird of Guatemala, the Quetzal. Additionally, the Vivero Verapaz Orchid Nursery is a must-visit for plant enthusiasts, showcasing a wide variety of orchids native to the region. While there may not be any golf clubs in Coban, the city's parks, such as Parque Central and Parque Nacional Las Victorias, provide a relaxing atmosphere for leisurely strolls and picnics.

Local Recommendations:

Discover the culinary delights of Coban, by indulging in local flavors at La Posada, a charming restaurant offering traditional Guatemalan cuisine in a cozy atmosphere. For a more casual dining experience, head to Ko-Ox Han-Nah, where you can savor mouthwatering BBQ dishes and homemade tortillas. Don't miss the chance to try the famous Kak'ik, a traditional turkey soup, at El Penascal, a hidden gem that locals swear by. After a day of exploring, unwind at the elegant Park Hotel Resort & Spa, boasting lush gardens and a luxurious spa, or opt for the serene ambiance of Casa Gaia, a boutique hotel nestled in the heart of nature.

Livingston

Livingston is a unique and vibrant town located on the Caribbean coast, approximately 65 kilometers (40 miles) northeast of Puerto Barrios and 220 kilometers (137 miles) northeast of Guatemala City. This lively destination is only accessible by boat, with regular water taxis connecting it to Puerto Barrios and the popular tourist destination of Rio Dulce. The climate in Livingston is tropical, with average temperatures ranging from 23°C to 31°C (73°F to 88°F) throughout the year. Livingston offers a variety of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy. The town is known for its beautiful beaches, such as Playa Blanca and Playa Quehueche, which are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and beach volleyball. Nature lovers can explore the nearby Siete Altares Waterfall, a series of seven cascading waterfalls surrounded by lush jungle, or take a boat tour through the Rio Dulce Canyon to admire the stunning scenery and diverse wildlife. The town is also home to the Garifuna community, offering visitors the opportunity to experience their unique culture, music, and dance. While there are no golf clubs or parks in Livingston, the natural beauty and cultural experiences make it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking an authentic Guatemalan experience.

Local Recommendations:

For a taste of the Caribbean in Livingston, head to Happy Fish, a vibrant eatery known for its mouthwatering seafood dishes and lively atmosphere. Don't miss their signature tapado, a traditional Garifuna soup brimming with fresh fish, shrimp, and crab. Another must-visit is Tuk Tuk, a charming restaurant offering a fusion of Guatemalan and Indian flavors. Their chicken tikka masala and coconut curry are simply divine. After a day of exploring, unwind at the charming Hotel Villa Caribe, nestled on the shores of the Rio Dulce. This tropical oasis boasts lush gardens, a refreshing pool, and stunning river views. For a more budget-friendly option, consider the cozy and welcoming Casa Nostra, where you'll feel right at home with their warm hospitality and comfortable accommodations.

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William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
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Rio Dulce

Rio Dulce, is a charming town located in the eastern part of the country, approximately 45 kilometers (28 miles) from the Caribbean coast and 310 kilometers (193 miles) from Guatemala City. It is situated near the popular tourist destination of Livingston, which is about 30 kilometers (19 miles) away. The town is known for its stunning natural beauty, including the Rio Dulce River and the surrounding lush rainforest. The climate in Rio Dulce is tropical, with average temperatures ranging from 20°C to 32°C (68°F to 90°F) throughout the year. Recreational activities in Rio Dulce are centered around its natural attractions, with visitors enjoying boat tours along the river, birdwatching, and exploring the nearby hot springs and waterfalls. The town is also home to the Castillo de San Felipe, a historic fortress that offers a glimpse into the region's past. While there are no golf clubs or parks in Rio Dulce, the area's natural beauty and outdoor activities make it a popular destination for tourists seeking a relaxing and picturesque getaway.

Local Recommendations:

For a taste of authentic Guatemalan cuisine, head to El Tortugal, a charming riverside restaurant offering a variety of local dishes, including fresh seafood and traditional stews. Another must-visit eatery is Sundog Café, a cozy spot with a diverse menu featuring international and vegetarian options, as well as delicious homemade bread and desserts. When it comes to accommodations, Hotel Kangaroo is a popular choice among travelers, boasting comfortable rooms, a pool, and a friendly atmosphere. Alternatively, consider staying at the eco-friendly Hacienda Tijax, where you can unwind in rustic cabins surrounded by lush jungle and enjoy activities such as birdwatching and kayaking.

San Marcos La Laguna

San Marcos La Laguna is a picturesque village located on the western shore of Lake Atitlán in Guatemala. It is approximately 150 kilometers (93 miles) west of Guatemala City and 42 kilometers (26 miles) east of Quetzaltenango. The village is known for its stunning natural beauty, tranquil atmosphere, and spiritual retreats. The climate in San Marcos La Laguna is generally mild, with average temperatures ranging from 16°C (61°F) to 27°C (81°F) throughout the year. One of the main attractions in San Marcos La Laguna is the Cerro Tzankujil Nature Reserve, which offers breathtaking views of Lake Atitlán and the surrounding volcanoes. Visitors can enjoy hiking, swimming, and cliff jumping in the reserve. Additionally, the village is home to several yoga and meditation centers, making it a popular destination for those seeking relaxation and spiritual growth. While there are no golf clubs in the immediate vicinity, the nearby towns of Panajachel and Santa Cruz La Laguna offer a variety of recreational activities, such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and boat tours on the lake. Overall, San Marcos La Laguna is a serene and captivating destination for travelers seeking a peaceful retreat amidst the natural beauty of Guatemala.

Local Recommendations:

Nestled in the lush hills of San Marcos La Laguna, lies a culinary scene that will tantalize your taste buds. For a taste of authentic Guatemalan cuisine, head to Fe Restaurant, where you'll find traditional dishes made with fresh, local ingredients. If you're craving something a bit more international, Shambala Restaurant offers a fusion of Mediterranean and Asian flavors, with a stunning view of Lake Atitlán. For a unique dining experience, don't miss out on the delicious vegetarian fare at Moonfish Café, where you can enjoy your meal in a cozy, treehouse-like setting. After a day of exploring, rest your head at the eco-friendly Lush Atitlán, a boutique hotel with breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding volcanoes. For a more budget-friendly option, consider staying at the charming Hostal del Lago, where you can relax in a hammock and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of this lakeside paradise.

San Pedro La Laguna

San Pedro La Laguna

San Pedro La Laguna is a picturesque town located on the shores of Lake Atitlán in Guatemala. It is approximately 150 kilometers (93 miles) west of Guatemala City and 45 kilometers (28 miles) west of Antigua, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists. The town is well-connected to other nearby cities and popular destinations through a network of buses and boats. The climate in San Pedro La Laguna is generally mild, with average temperatures ranging from 15°C to 27°C (59°F to 81°F). Recreational activities in San Pedro La Laguna are centered around the stunning Lake Atitlán and its surrounding natural beauty. Visitors can enjoy activities such as kayaking, swimming, and paddleboarding on the lake, as well as hiking and birdwatching in the nearby hills and forests. The town is also known for its vibrant local culture, with numerous art galleries, cafes, and markets to explore. While there are no golf clubs or large parks within the town itself, the natural beauty of the lake and surrounding areas provide ample opportunities for outdoor recreation and relaxation.

Local Recommendations:

Nestled along the shores of Lake Atitlán, San Pedro La Laguna offers a delightful culinary scene that will tantalize your taste buds. Start your gastronomic adventure at The Fifth Dimension, a charming eatery with a diverse menu featuring mouthwatering vegetarian and vegan options, as well as delicious meat dishes. For a taste of local Guatemalan cuisine, head to Comedor Elenita, where you can savor traditional dishes like pepián and hilachas, all served with a warm smile. If you're craving Italian, don't miss the opportunity to dine at Jarachik, where you can indulge in wood-fired pizzas and homemade pasta dishes. After a day of exploring, rest your head at the highly recommended Hotel Mikaso, a cozy lakeside retreat with stunning views and a relaxing rooftop terrace. Alternatively, check into Zoola, a unique boutique hotel that offers comfortable accommodations and a lively on-site bar and restaurant.

San Juan La Laguna

San Juan La Laguna

San Juan La Laguna is a picturesque village located on the shores of Lake Atitlán in Guatemala. It is situated approximately 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) west of the popular tourist destination of Panajachel and 150 kilometers (93 miles) west of Guatemala City. The village is known for its vibrant art scene, traditional Mayan culture, and stunning natural surroundings. The climate in San Juan La Laguna is generally mild, with average temperatures ranging from 16°C (61°F) to 27°C (81°F) throughout the year. Recreational activities in San Juan La Laguna include hiking, birdwatching, and exploring the nearby nature reserves. One popular hiking destination is the Indian Nose, a mountain peak that offers breathtaking views of Lake Atitlán and the surrounding villages. Additionally, visitors can explore the Cerro Tzankujil Nature Reserve, which features a variety of trails, viewpoints, and swimming spots. The village is also home to several art galleries and weaving cooperatives, where travelers can learn about traditional Mayan textiles and purchase handmade souvenirs. While there are no golf clubs or large parks in San Juan La Laguna, the natural beauty of the area provides ample opportunities for outdoor recreation and relaxation.

Local Recommendations:

Nestled in the picturesque village of San Juan La Laguna, culinary enthusiasts will find a delightful array of dining options. For a taste of authentic Guatemalan cuisine, head to Comedor Elenita, where you'll be treated to delicious home-cooked meals and warm hospitality. If you're craving a slice of pizza, look no further than Pizzeria San Juan, where you can indulge in wood-fired pizzas with a variety of toppings. For a unique dining experience, visit Ven Aca, a lakeside restaurant offering a fusion of international and local flavors, accompanied by stunning views of Lake Atitlán. After a day of exploring, unwind at the eco-friendly Hotel Mayachik, which offers cozy accommodations and lush gardens, or the tranquil Eco-Hotel Uxlabil Atitlán, where you can enjoy breathtaking lake views and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Santa Cruz La Laguna

Santa Cruz La Laguna

Santa Cruz La Laguna is a picturesque village located on the shores of Lake Atitlán in Guatemala. It is situated approximately 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) from the popular town of Panajachel and 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) from the city of Sololá. The climate in Santa Cruz La Laguna is generally mild, with average temperatures ranging from 16°C (61°F) to 27°C (81°F) throughout the year. Recreational activities in Santa Cruz La Laguna are centered around the stunning Lake Atitlán, with opportunities for kayaking, swimming, and stand-up paddleboarding. The village is also a great starting point for hiking and exploring the surrounding hills and mountains, offering breathtaking views of the lake and nearby volcanoes. Additionally, visitors can enjoy the vibrant local culture by visiting the Tzutujil Mayan community and participating in traditional weaving workshops. While there are no golf clubs or parks in the village itself, the natural beauty and outdoor activities available in Santa Cruz La Laguna make it a popular destination for tourists seeking a tranquil and scenic getaway.

Local Recommendations:

Nestled along the shores of Lake Atitlán, Santa Cruz La Laguna offers a delightful culinary scene for food enthusiasts. Start your gastronomic journey at CECAP, a vocational training center that serves delicious traditional Guatemalan dishes while supporting local youth. For a more international flair, head to Isla Verde, where you can savor mouthwatering wood-fired pizzas and Mediterranean-inspired dishes amidst lush gardens and stunning lake views. Don't miss out on the culinary gem that is Cafe Sabor Cruceno, where you can indulge in authentic Mayan cuisine prepared with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. When it comes to accommodations, the eco-friendly La Iguana Perdida is a popular choice among travelers. This charming lakeside lodge offers cozy rooms, a vibrant atmosphere, and a range of activities, including scuba diving and yoga classes. For a more luxurious stay, consider the boutique hotel Casa Prana, which boasts elegant suites, lush gardens, and breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding volcanoes.

San Lucas Toliman

San Lucas Toliman is a charming town located in the Sololá Department of Guatemala. It is situated on the southeastern shore of Lake Atitlán, approximately 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) from the city of Panajachel and 110 kilometers (68 miles) from Guatemala City. The town enjoys a pleasant climate, with average temperatures ranging from 16°C to 26°C (60°F to 79°F) throughout the year. San Lucas Toliman offers a variety of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy. One of the main attractions is the beautiful Lake Atitlán, where tourists can partake in activities such as kayaking, swimming, and boat tours. The surrounding area also offers opportunities for hiking and birdwatching, with the nearby Cerro de Oro and Volcán Atitlán providing stunning views and challenging trails. Additionally, the town is home to several parks and plazas, such as Parque Central, where locals and visitors can relax and enjoy the picturesque surroundings. While there are no golf clubs in the immediate vicinity, the town's rich cultural heritage and natural beauty make it a popular destination for those seeking a tranquil escape in Guatemala.

Local Recommendations:

Nestled in the picturesque town of San Lucas Toliman, lies a culinary scene that is sure to delight your taste buds. Start your gastronomic journey at Restaurante El Mirador, where you can savor traditional Guatemalan dishes while enjoying breathtaking views of Lake Atitlan. For a more casual dining experience, head to Comedor Rosita, a local favorite known for its delicious and affordable home-cooked meals. Don't miss the chance to try their mouthwatering Pepian, a traditional Guatemalan stew. If you're craving some international flavors, Pizzeria Venecia is the place to be. This cozy eatery offers a variety of scrumptious pizzas and pastas that will transport you straight to Italy. When it comes to accommodation, Hotel Toliman is a top choice among travelers. This charming hotel boasts comfortable rooms, lush gardens, and stunning views of the lake and surrounding volcanoes. For a more budget-friendly option, consider staying at Posada de Santiago. This quaint guesthouse offers cozy rooms, a relaxing atmosphere, and warm hospitality that will make you feel right at home.

Chichicastenango

Chichicastenango, is a vibrant town known for its rich cultural heritage and bustling market scene. Located approximately 145 kilometers (90 miles) northwest of Guatemala City and 32 kilometers (20 miles) from the popular tourist destination of Lake Atitlán, Chichicastenango is easily accessible for travelers seeking an authentic Guatemalan experience. The town enjoys a mild climate, with average temperatures ranging from 12 to 25 degrees Celsius (54 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit), making it a comfortable destination year-round. One of the main attractions in Chichicastenango is its famous market, which takes place every Thursday and Sunday. Here, visitors can find a wide variety of traditional handicrafts, textiles, and produce, as well as witness the unique blend of Mayan and Catholic religious practices at the nearby Santo Tomás Church. For those interested in exploring the natural beauty of the region, the Cerro Pascual Abaj is a nearby hill that offers hiking trails and stunning views of the surrounding landscape. While there may not be any golf clubs or large parks in Chichicastenango, the town's rich cultural offerings and proximity to other popular destinations make it a must-visit location for anyone traveling to Guatemala.

Local Recommendations:

For a taste of authentic Guatemalan cuisine, head to Los Cofrades, a charming family-run restaurant in Chichicastenango. The menu features traditional dishes like pepián, a hearty meat stew, and kaq ik, a spicy turkey soup. Another must-visit eatery is Restaurante Rincon Tipico, where you can savor delicious grilled meats and fresh tortillas in a cozy, rustic setting. After a day of exploring the vibrant markets and historic sites, unwind at the luxurious Hotel Santo Tomás, a colonial-style property with lush gardens and a heated pool. For budget-conscious travelers, the charming and affordable Hotel Giro?n offers clean, comfortable rooms and a friendly atmosphere.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


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