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Tour guide Lake Atitlan

North Carolina
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18 posts
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Tour guide Lake Atitlan

Hi everyone! We just returned from a week's vacation at Lake Atitlan. We rented a house on the lake in Santa Cruz, and had a fabulous time! I would highly recommend Lee Beal of Los Elementos Adventure Center for tours in this area.

Although we chose not to do one of the kayak tours, we did do a full-day lake village tour with Lee, which included the villages of San Marcos, San Juan, and Santiago. What an amazing tour! Lee is so knowledgeable of the local culture. We learned so much, and had a great time. We don't speak much Spanish, so a big plus for us is that Lee is a native English-speaker. He was very helpful to us throughout our week in Santa Cruz.

The kayak tours offered by the center sound divine. We didn't do one of these paddling tours, because of our limited time on this short vacation. It's definitely on our list for next time, though! By the way, Lee's wife, Elaine, is a wonderful massage therapist. Our massages in the serene setting of Elaine's lake front massage room with windows looking out over the water, and the gentle sound of lake all around us were absolute bliss!

I'll be happy to answer any questions about our trip or the Santa Cruz/Atitlan area.

Suzanne

Shelby, North...
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1. Re: Tour guide Lake Atitlan

I can only echo Suzanne’s very positive comments about Lee and Elaine Beal. Both are exceptional people who are so gracious and personable. We did all of our tours with Lee, two days on the lake, one day to ChiChi, and one for Xela and Zunil (which I highly recommend). Lee is incredibly knowledgeable and will show visitors the best of the area, which is often off the beaten tourist path. If you want to explore the lake and central highlands, I can’t imagine a better guide than Lee Beal. And, Lee’s wife, Elaine, is so great too. She is one warm, kind, and interesting woman. According to my wife, Elaine’s messages are the very best on the planet. Lee and Elaine are such wonderful assets to the Lake Atitlán community.

Like Suzanne, I would be happy to answer any questions that you might have.

Los Angeles...
1 post
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2. Re: Tour guide Lake Atitlan

Hi,

How did you find the house you rented?

Lake Atitlan
Destination Expert
for Lake Atitlan
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3. Re: Tour guide Lake Atitlan

Visit www.vrbo.com, listing #241403. Of course there are several other homes to choose from as well. Happy Planning.

Shelby, North...
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223 posts
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4. Re: Tour guide Lake Atitlan

The casita that we stayed in is the one that Lee (kayak-atitlan) referenced in his response to your question. The casita is fantastic in every respect. While very private, the casita is adjacent to Lee and Elaine's home. And the view from the patio is like no other.

Edited: 23 February 2011, 00:13
Austin, Texas
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3 posts
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5. Re: Tour guide Lake Atitlan

I've been to Santiago Atitlan at least 6times. Best guide I know is Delores. She is a local Mayan who spent years in the states, speaks excellent English plus a few other languages. Best way to get in touch with her is to ask Dave at the Posada for her number. She is well known locally.

Austin, Texas
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3 posts
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6. Re: Tour guide Lake Atitlan

I've been to Santiago Atitlan at least 6times. Best guide I know is Delores. She is a local Mayan who spent years in the states, speaks excellent English plus a few other languages. Best way to get in touch with her is to ask Dave at the Posada for her number. She is well known locally.

San Diego...
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7. Re: Tour guide Lake Atitlan

Please tell how much these tours are. THank you.

Austin, Texas
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8. Re: Tour guide Lake Atitlan

I don't remember exact cost. She will do small groups of just two or larger groups. I will say she know the value of an American dollar (lived in the US for some years), so you won't get typical Guatemalan rates. My guess is maybe $100 for a good 1/2 day tour. Definitely worth it.

Bethesda, MD
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9. Re: Tour guide Lake Atitlan

Dolores gave a tour of Santiago to my student group last June. She's a very interesting woman, and she gives a great tour. Her explanation of a Maximon is the best I've ever heard. And her tour of the cathedral, with the explanation of the local conditions during the civil war and the martyrdom of Stanley Rother, was excellent. As mentioned above, contact her through the Posada.

Washington DC...
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10. Re: Tour guide Lake Atitlan

Hi--

I just looked at the listing on the vrbo site. It looks very nice. What is the benefit of staying in a vacation rental like this as opposed to a hotel? I know some hotels offer breakfast, but I'm guessing in a place like this you need to cook or get food form nearby so I'm wondering how that works.

Also, how far is this from town, restaurants, etc? Could we still walk somewhere at night if interested?