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Current Situation at Lake Atitlán

Shelby, North...
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Current Situation at Lake Atitlán

My wife and I have planned an eight night visit in late September (5 nights Panajachel – 3 nights Antigua). I was at the point of buying our airline tickets when I read an article posted on “Prensa Libre’s” website, dated May 31. The Guatemalan tourist department, Asistur, recommended that tourists avoid areas that were impacted by Agatha. Panajachel, all the cities and all the villages on Lake Atitlán, and some others in Sololá were described as having “major problems”. The travel warning also extended to Zunil and Almolonga in Quetzaltenango.

I’m not so much concerned with Antigua. However, I would appreciate any information on the situation in the Lake Atitlán area.

Thanks in advance.

USA
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1. Re: Current Situation at Lake Atitlán

I know what you mean. I have heard lots of people say they won't go to North Carolina because they are worried that the damage caused by Hurrican Charley will ruin their vacation. It's June. You aren't going until September. There were a few temporary road closures. Most were just dirt and rocks on the road and were cleared in a couple of days. In virtually all cases secondary road alternatives were open. If there are still any road closures they are in remote areas. Guatemala actually has some of the best roads in all Central America. Couple of reasons.. the last few Presidents have all had relatives in the construction business. Also, it has become a tradition in the year leading up to elections for the ruling party to hire thousands of people to work on the roads. They even supply them with T shirts printed with logos of that party.

Bethesda, MD
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2. Re: Current Situation at Lake Atitlán

Asistur made that statement three days after the storm. I don't really think they intended it to extend through September. Or even the first half of June.

Shelby, North...
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3. Re: Current Situation at Lake Atitlán

GTBob & DonCraig: Thanks very much for your responses. I read and speak Spanish and find it concerning that Asistur has not updated their travel warning for Lake Atitlán, at least not in the newspapers. But, having travelled to more than sixty countries, I certainly understand that “short term” as described by the tourist folks in Guatemala is far different than Germany, for example. We are not “newbies” to Central America.

I’m not as much interested in the condition of the roads as much as we might find when we arrive in Lake Atitlán. On another website, there were some horrendous photos of mudslides in Sololá; multiple homes devastated.

BTW, GTBob: You are a bit confused on your hurricane geography/history in North Carolina. By the time Hurricane Charley reached NC, in August, 2004, it was a largely a rain event, a pip-squeak on the hurricane scale. No deaths. Total damage: 25 mil (about the value of 5 waterfront beach houses there).

USA
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4. Re: Current Situation at Lake Atitlán

But how do we know they have managed to fix that damage in only a few years? Do you mean people should rely on common sense? Start doing that at home and the next thing you know people will start doing it in Central America.

Lake Atitlan
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5. Re: Current Situation at Lake Atitlán

You can rarely count on the news agencies to provide positive updates. They are more concerned with the train wreck than the clean up. I am on the ground here at Lake Atitlan and while there is still some work to do for the locals, tourism is back in full force.

You will find everything back in place by next week, and certainly by September. Guatemala will also benefit greatly from your tourism dollars to assist with the loss of business this month.

Shelby, North...
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6. Re: Current Situation at Lake Atitlán

Thanks very much Lee. So helpful to hear from someone "on the ground".

Panajachel...
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7. Re: Current Situation at Lake Atitlán

We had a lot more rain yesterday but almost all roads are back in order. We only have one bridge left but should have another one up and running in a week or so. The still has all the fun and attractions it had before. I would definetely not change plans about coming to th lake area.

Bethesda, MD
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8. Re: Current Situation at Lake Atitlán

I just returned from Guatemala with a student group very early this morning. We were around the lake from Thursday afternoon to Sunday afternoon. There was no problem getting to Pana from the Inter-American highway. We crossed the lake and stayed in Santiago. We did the lake tour, visiting San Antonio, San Juan, and San Pedro. We crossed the lake to Pana and returned to Antigua on Sunday. While the storm damage is clearly still impacting the local population, travel on the main tourist routes was not a problem.

9. Re: Current Situation at Lake Atitlán

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10. Re: Current Situation at Lake Atitlán

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