What do I need to know before retiring in Lake Atitlan?
When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Lake Atitlan, they said...
"Expats considering retiring in Lake Atitlan should be aware of several factors before making the move. Firstly, it is essential to research the cost of living, which is generally lower than in North America or Europe, but can vary depending on lifestyle choices and location around the lake. It is also important to understand the local culture and customs, as well as learning some basic Spanish, as English is not widely spoken in the area. This will help with integration into the local community and make daily life more manageable. Healthcare facilities in the Lake Atitlan area may not be as advanced as those in larger cities, so expats should consider their healthcare needs and options for medical insurance. It is also a good idea to have a plan in place for emergency medical situations, as the nearest major hospital is in Guatemala City, which is several hours away. Safety and security should be a priority, as Guatemala has a high crime rate. Expats should take precautions to protect themselves and their property, such as installing security systems and avoiding high-risk areas. The climate in Lake Atitlan is generally mild and pleasant, but expats should be prepared for the rainy season, which typically lasts from May to October. This can cause landslides and flooding in some areas, so it is important to choose a location with good infrastructure and drainage. Housing options around Lake Atitlan vary, with a range of properties available for rent or purchase. Expats should research the local property market and consider factors such as accessibility, amenities, and proximity to healthcare facilities when choosing a home. Finally, expats should be aware of the legal requirements for residency in Guatemala, which may include obtaining a visa, registering with local authorities, and paying taxes. It is advisable to consult with an immigration lawyer or specialist to ensure compliance with all necessary regulations," explained one expat living in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.
"When considering retiring in Lake Atitlan, it is important to know that the area is quite secluded and mountainous, providing a great deal of peace and quiet. It is necessary to obtain a resident visa if you plan to stay in Guatemala for more than 90 days. The cost of living in Lake Atitlan is relatively low, as are property taxes. However, healthcare and other necessary services such as banking and postal services will require going to other towns in the area. It is important to be aware of the different Mayan languages spoken in the area, as well as the culture and traditions of the local people. The weather can be quite extreme, with hot summers and colder, wetter winters. Lastly, retirement in Lake Atitlan provides an opportunity to explore the beautiful natural environment and engage in hobbies like bird watching and trekking," said another expat in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.
- What should I pack when moving to Lake Atitlan?
- Where should I setup a bank account in Lake Atitlan?
- Will I be able to find a job in Lake Atitlan?
- What is life like in Lake Atitlan?
- What do expats in Lake Atitlan appreciate most about the local culture?
- What do expats find most challenging?
- Is there a lot of crime in Lake Atitlan?
- Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Lake Atitlan accepting of differences?
- What are the schools in Lake Atitlan like?
- What are healthcare services like in Lake Atitlan?
- What are medical services in Lake Atitlan like?
- Are healthcare and health insurance expensive in Lake Atitlan?
- What are emergency services like in Lake Atitlan?
- Will I need to travel to see a specialist?
- Are common prescription medications available in Lake Atitlan?
- How are local medical facilities in Lake Atitlan?
- As a foreigner living in Lake Atitlan, will I have access to public healthcare? What is it like?
- What have your experiences during the pandemic with the local healthcare system been like?
What do I need to know before retiring in Lake Atitlan?If you live in Lake Atitlan, newcomers to Lake Atitlan would love to hear your answer to this question.