Archive Monthly Archives: March 2017

view over Lake Atitilan Guatemala

Travelling to Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Considered as Central America’s most diverse country, Guatemala offers stunning natural scenery and amazing landscape.

Guatemala does not promise you an easy, smooth sailing travel. Remember: the country has seen its fair share of tragedies from earthquakes to hurricanes and flooding and landslides. In addition to that, less than 2% of the country’s landmass is urbanised which leaves a vast majority of the territory untouched.

And perhaps it is one of the reasons why Guatemala continues to draw travellers for decades. It is a mysterious challenge—an adventure waiting to happen. Choose a path and go with it. Trek through volcanoes and jungles, go spelunking in its undisturbed caves, dive in swimming holes you only see in postcards or go white-water rafting on the lake.

When a lake in Guatemala in mentioned, one destination comes to mind. Situated in the southwestern part of Guatemalan Highlands is the deepest lake in Central America. Lake Atitlan, called Lago de Atitlan in Spanish, is a captivating treat to all five senses.

Picture This

Clear but deep turquoise waters surrounded by three soaring super volcanoes help Lake Atitlan earn its title as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. The air is fresh. The food is diverse. And activities to perk up your senses are plentiful.

Make no mistake; Lake Atitlan is not a single destination you can just explore in a few days. It is a collection of quiet towns and villages that are home to a primarily indigenous Mayan community.

A Budget for Everyone

Whatever your budget is and whether you prefer to settle in hotels, hostels or homestays, there are a lot of options for you. A dorm room can cost as low as $6 while a private double room can cost at least $25. The price points may vary a little depending on which village or town you are staying in.

San Francisco Panajachel

Most tourists visit San Francisco Panajachel or Pana located at the edge of the lake. It is bustling with restaurants, accommodations, and visitors from all over the world. You can usually procure the supplies you need from the local market. Shop for everything you need as Pana has the best prices around or simply hang out at its cafés. It is an ideal starting point should you decide to boat to other towns.

The Vertical Town

People are not joking when they call Santa Cruz a nearly vertical town. It is the steepest of all the villages in Lake Atitlan and walking to village top can be a challenging feat. If you are feeling quite daring, you can find a diving spot in this town.

Smaller Towns, Bigger surprises

Accessible by either hiking or boating, Jaibalito is a small but charming town with a friendly local community and wonderful views of the lake. There is not much to do but simply hang out, breathe and relax.  If you want to experience the mystical side of Lake Atitlan, visit the tiny village of San Marcos La Laguna. It is a popular destination for hippies, those who believe in the mystical powers of the lake, or those who are simply looking for a more spiritual journey. Jump into the water, have your chakras balanced or attend silent retreats while you are here.

The Backpacker’s Paradise

If you are travelling through Guatemala on a shoestring budget then San Pedro La Laguna is ideal for you. More commonly known as the backpacker town, San Pedro is home to the cheapest accommodations that are perfect if you are in for a long-term trip.  There are plenty of things you can do too. If you are physically fit, hike through San Pedro Volcano. It will be difficult but the reward is priceless—a magnificent lake view from above.

Albeit a bit isolated from other towns, Santiago is the largest town on Lake Atitlan. It is built on the slopes of the Toliman Volcano. From here, you can climb the San Pedro Volcano but expect the trail to be much more difficult and dangerous. The town is known for its religious background with a unique blend of Mayan and Catholic beliefs.

Guatemala: Central America Adventure Holiday

Travelling through Guatemala is not a walk in the park. Let us make your trip more convenient and more memorable with fewer worries. Book through, send us an inquiry or give us a call for more information.

costa rica beach at sunset

Getaway Villas in Costa Rica

costa rica beach at sunsetArranging a Costa Rica vacation gives you tropics with lush jungles, secluded beaches, and friendly individuals but not very costly! Costa Rica is the accepted place to get it all! But where do you stay, a resort or even a private villa? Would you like long lines, crowded pools, children running up and down the corridors? I certainly would not. Having been to Costa Rica a number of times, I sometimes stay in the city or off the beaten path.  I have even spent the night in a 5 star bamboo hut in the middle of a teak forest!

Choosing the right Costa Rica vacation villa to lease could possibly be the difference between a holiday that is fantastic to one where you are feeling like you are ‘doing without’.

Many vacationers may look at the Costa Rica villa rental because instead of ‘just somewhere to stay’ , they enjoy the luxury and privacy that a villa can give you. Even if most of your time is going to be spent in the water, or enjoying attractions that are close by the neighborhood., it is still nice to come back to somewhere you can relax. Even if you think a villa is expensive, it can often prove to be a cheaper option than a hotel. There is no reason to settle for a lower quality when, by making preparation in advance, you can find a great Costa Rica holiday that you’ll enjoy just as much or even more than the other areas of your vacation.

Keep in mind, your vacation home is where you’ll be resting, getting out of bed, having lots of your meals, and being lazy.
You might wind up stretched out reading a book to while away the day or wanting to watch one of the favorite films in the DVD – assuming there exists a comfortable couch if it rains or perhaps is unseasonably hot outside. And when you meet new buddies, you’ll want someplace nice for entertaining.

Shouldn’t your vacation rental be considered a pleasant get-away with all the amenities which make vacations a delicacy that is real? “A real home away from home”!

Here are a few strategies for selecting the Costa Rica vacation that is perfect way to rent a villa

1. The single most component that is very important whether or perhaps not you’re able to “see” actual present pictures associated with the inside and exterior for the vacation rental. It’s one thing to read a description that is very good and some of these are quite ‘complimentary’ (sometimes extremely so) – but you need to see what you are getting.

An internet site is the quickest most convenient way to get informative data on potential Costa Rica holiday rentals aided by the Internet. If there are no photos, you’ll know immediately to help keep searching. Brochures, books and guides are good, but may have information that is out-dated. The best thing to do is use a travel agent that is experienced in that part of the world, like CLB Global Travel

2. List the details which are important to you, and without which you and the people with you will feel left out . Then note the ones that are nice to have, yet not deal-breakers if you don’t have them available.

Details to check for

With one of these lists as being a guide, you’ll quickly be able to expel those rentals that won’t be practical. Your list might add :
1. proximity towards the water,
2. number of bedrooms
3. number of bathrooms,
4. full kithen or just a fridge and microwave),
5. does it have a deck
6. BBQ grills,
7. ocean views,
8. does it have a personal pools or jacuzzi
9. outdoor eating areas
10. tennis courts, etc.

On your secondary list, you could have things such as a hammock for lazing about, or pool waterfall for the relaxing noises. Exterior stereo speakers, to take pleasure from your favourite music around the pool. Ice makers to give you plenty of ice to mix in your drinks, which are sure to be a favorite, especially in the heat of the country

3. List the activities that you would like to be able to enjoy while on a break. A morning activity like diving, snorkeling or canopy tour then returning towards the villa to curl up may be a priority that is high on the list for you.

You need to consider how close the vacation rental would be to the airport. It is vital to discover how far the rental is from your own arrival airport. A half could be taken by some rentals a day’s drive and after your trip even an hour’s drive can seem an eternity. Your travel time back again to the airport at departure can frustrate your whole also vacation. Enjoying your last morning of one’s vacation by a private pool instead of traveling all day to your airport can be quite crucial for you. We can find you holiday villas near either of the two international airports. You may want to fly into San Jose, the capital and leave from Liberia in Guanacaste, on the Pacific side of the country.

You may also have to consider how close you need your vacation rental to be towards the attractions. Costa Rica has diverse areas to explore, from cloud forests, volcanos, mountains, deserts and beaches. Plan your holiday accordingly.

Some individuals feel that a holiday that is great being able to walk or bicycle every-where. Other people don’t mind a drive that is short whilst still other people think absolutely nothing of getting for a freeway to take pleasure from further away attractions.

If you need a vacation without the hassles of traffic, parking problems, crowds and long lines, pick a villa located in the waterfront that is near the quaint village of Playa Panama, Costa Rica or some other place away from the usual hangouts.

Check out your Options

4. Identify your first, second and 3rd best option for leasing the villa. With a few dates, you’ll save time when making your plans. Then, saving yourself enough time and hassle of experiencing to re-check everyone’s schedule and call back – and risking losing those times in the interim if you discover a villa you want and you have some flexibility in scheduling, having alternate dates ready lets you book quickly

5. Call the phone numbers for the accommodations that seem to fit the bill and talk straight with either the owners or the person who is handling the home. Be ready with a a number of questions. This allows you to definitely compare apples to apples, and keeps you from forgetting something crucial throughout the discussion.

It also offers you a feel for the one who is likely to be your contact should you hire the villa and encounter a challenge. There is a problem in the event that you don’t get a responsive, friendly welcome to your questions, don’t expect anything different if something happens.

6. Ask what amenities are included. You might observe something that’s perhaps not on your own list but is ideal for your plans. Does the rental have maid service? Final thing you should do is make the beds or clean the laundry, even if there exists a dishwasher. Does the rental have dryer and washer? If so, you’ll not need to simply take as many clothes with you. Will the maid wash your clothes before your departure? Coming home with a suitcase high in clean clothes is an advantage.

Other things to consider: Will the home owner have essential items within the ice box for you personally, before your arrival? Is it possible to arrange for the money for tours? Is there dishes, utensils, pots, pans as well as other basics for eating and dinner planning – or do you want to need to bring your pwn? Does the villa have air-con or do you have to rely on the winds to comfort you?

7. Inquire about restaurants, events and activities and other kinds of neighborhood activity which can be close by. Here’s where your listing of preferred tasks is handy. You need to be capable of finding links to attractions that are on the neighborhood calendars and restaurants close to the site of your Costa Rica vacation rental.

8. Are the owners local or does a management company help them 24/7? Owners really are knowledgeable in regards to the area and can supply recommendations on great locations that may be out-of-the-way and aren’t within the guidebooks. In addition they should value your comfort and enjoyment while at their villa. This could easily change lives that is huge, particularly should something require immediate attention within the villa. There’s absolutely nothing worse than calling the organization that is looking after a rental for a stopped-up bathroom and getting somebody’s annoyed teenager who’s manning the phones for the summer.

9. just how long has the owner been leasing the villa for vacations? In the event that owner has worked with leasing properties, they know very well what tenants expect and exactly how to have things done. If this is a venture that is new to the owner, then beware. The owner may be that one can have great vacation in the villa but not have a clue as to how to prepare the villa for others to enjoy it.

10. And finally, when you consider the images, is it possible to see yourself having a great time there?
In the event that pictures allow you feel like you want to get now, and the answers about any concerns above meet your satisfaction, you’ve found yourself a Costa Rica vacation that will be fantastic!