Villas B'alam Ya
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Photo by Alexander Wu
Villa B'alam Ya on the shores of Lake Atitlán near Sta. Catarina PalopóAugust 2010
In 2008, we visited our friends who were newly stationed in Guatemala. On that trip, we had a wonderful time in Antigua Guatemala and Tikal, the primary tourist destinations of the country. At times, accommodations were minimal by our standards, but understandable and in no way impeded our enjoyment of the sights.
In 2010, our friends begged us to visit again. After 2 years, they wanted to show us their vastly improved knowledge of the country and the first class and luxurious experiences available.
Lake Atitlán, a semi-secret hideaway for many of the Guatemalan elites, was much more accessible after the completion of Route 1 as a concrete road versus dirt. What used to take a half a day by car from Guatemala City now took only a couple of hours, and it was also much safer and no longer impassable during inclement weather.
The Villas B'alam Ya are luxurious private accommodations on the shores of Lake Atitlán. The description on their website is accurate. The views are indeed breathtaking and the staff are exacting in providing excellent service as well as respecting your privacy, which was perfect for my wife and her companions who wanted a quiet and relaxing place for a writing sabbatical.
While they wrote, I used the villa with its convenient private dock for water taxis as a home base to explore the volcanoes and the villages around the lake each day. In this photo my wife and our friend are welcoming me back from my day’s explorations.