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Where to stay?...Pana or Santiago?

Washington, D.C.
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Where to stay?...Pana or Santiago?

After going back and forth on where to stay along the lake, it has come down to Pana and Santiago. I'm leaning towards Pana, but I'm curious if someone thinks a stay in Santiago would be more enjoyable. I know Pana is a lot more touristy, but feel that going in and out of town for day trips, ect.. would be easier from Pana. Is it easy from Santiago as well?

If I do stick with Pana which one of the hotels offer the best views and, possibly, the least noisy (a stretch I know :-) )? Price range would be around $100.

Edited: 20 January 2010, 19:11
Bethesda, MD
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1. Re: Where to stay?...Pana or Santiago?

Hotel Atitlan has very nice views, but it's outside of town. I haven't been there in a while, but I've read that it's getting a bit run down. Can't speak to much else in Pana; I haven't spent much time there in years. I prefer other towns around the lake. But you're right, it'd probably be easier to do stuff from Pana.

USA
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2. Re: Where to stay?...Pana or Santiago?

Take a look at the How nasty is Lake Atitlan thread. I've a couple of posts there. In them I go over my reasons for choosing Pana over Santiago. As to the hotel... not sure if run down is proper. It harkens to a day past when hotel conditions were more primitive. They have a range of rooms. The older just haven't been upgraded. Renting them out as is means that folks on a real budget can stay at a place that has public facilities that cater to a higher rent crowd. I guess the issue is in part how long do you have? If you had 5 months...the time considered minimal for Central America, then spending 3 or 4 days chilling in a hammock makes sense. Today, seems like most on here are lucky to have long weekends. If they aren't doing 3 things a day they feel like they aren't getting true value. As I said before, I deal these days in art. I'll take the time in Santiago to sit down for a couple of days with 3 or 4 of the country's best artists and discuss the possible trends their work can take. But for the regular traveler I just can't see it if you only have a short stay.

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Lake Atitlan
Lake Atitlan
652 Reviews
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Antigua, Guatemala
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3. Re: Where to stay?...Pana or Santiago?

Hi,

I've never stayed in Santiago, but have visited it, I would recommend Pana. I actually stayed in Hotel Atitlan, which is soooooooo gorgeous and completely not run down!

I recommend it to all my clients too and they love it:)

Hope this helps,

Marina K. Villatoro

Lake Atitlan
Destination Expert
for Lake Atitlan
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4. Re: Where to stay?...Pana or Santiago?

Where ever you stay, be sure to get out and explore the lesser villages. Pass over San Pedro for San Juan. They have much to offer the adventurous explorer and is very unique. Explore the rugged north shore villages of El Jaibalito and Santa Cruz for hiking, kayaking, and pristine beauty.

See www.kayakguatemala.com for some options. The key is to get on the path less traveled and get away from the tourist traps.

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San Pedro
San Pedro
Ambergris Caye, Belize
San Juan
San Juan
Puerto Rico
Bethesda, MD
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5. Re: Where to stay?...Pana or Santiago?

OK, "run down" was not the best choice of words. Dated? Needs updated decor? As I stated, just going by what I've read recently.

6. Re: Where to stay?...Pana or Santiago?

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