Check out this comprehensive review of Laguna Lodge Eco-Resort & Nature Reserve, an amazing Lake Atitlan eco lodge where you’ll want to stay forever!
If you’re looking for accommodation for your trip to Lake Atitlan, Laguna Lodge Eco Resort & Nature Reserve is the one. Full period.
This astounding resort is located on the lakeshore of the lake, offering views of a trio of volcanoes, as well as its own nature reserve, an award-winning restaurant, and fantastic amenities. Plus, it’s the most sustainable hotel in Lake Atitlan (and I’d argue in Guatemala)!
Read on to discover why this Lake Atitlan eco lodge might be just what you’re looking for (and all the reasons you may want to extend your trip!).
Lake Atitlan is considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, boasting an incredible scenery of volcanoes surrounding the lake, and picturesque villages all around it.
Here you can immerse yourself in the local culture, practice watersports, or just relax with a view and take in the Guatemalan natural wonders.
One of the said charming villages is Santa Cruz La Laguna, where the Laguna Lodge Atitlan is located. Santa Cruz offers some unbeatable views of the lake and the volcanoes, which some may argue are the best in Lake Atitlan (and having been to a few more towns around the lake, I wholeheartedly agree!).
To get to Santa Cruz from Panajachel, where you’ll probably arrive from either Antigua or Guatemala City, you’ll need to take a 10-minute boat transfer, which is offered by the hotel and included with your stay. You’ll also get a complimentary transfer back to Panajachel after your stay.
Usually, all my hotel reviews follow the same template, but the views at Laguna Lodge were so incredibly stunning that I felt I wouldn’t do the hotel justice if I didn’t add a whole section about this.
In fact, the views from Laguna Lodge are probably the most breathtaking views I’ve ever enjoyed from the hotel.
Wake up at sunrise (it’s so worth it!) and enjoy the view of not one, but two volcanoes bathed in pink light. It’s one of those “pinch me, it can’t be real” moments. I mean, look at it!
Being one of the best luxury eco resorts in the country (and the whole region), Laguna Eco Lodge features an outdoor pool facing the lake and the volcanoes as well as a hot tub (bookable with a surcharge).
You’ll also find a bar and a restaurant, a lovely sitting area where you can play chess or relax with a book, and multiple terraces where you can simply sit and enjoy the view.
This eco lodge in Guatemala features 7 suites and a villa, all of them named after native animals or plants, or Mayan deities.
The walls are made of adobe in the traditional way and decorated with indigenous antiques and woven textiles. All the suites and villas feature comfortable beds, an en-suite bathroom with artisan basins and botanical toiletries, and lounging furniture. Some of the rooms have a balcony facing gorgeous views of the lake.
We were so lucky to be upgraded to the stunning Kucumatz Villa, a 1500-square feet two-level villa with wooden floors and incredible views over the lake and volcanoes.
The first level features a king-sized bed, and the second level has both a king and a double bed, with an en-suite bathroom in each that included cotton bathrobes and wonderful botanical toiletries.
The villa also comes with its private, huge terrace.
The room is beautifully decorated with artwork and indigenous furniture, and it features impressive chandeliers, as well as fresh flowers, and a mini bar. We also enjoyed a turndown service every night.
You can have breakfast at the hotel’s award-winning Zotz Restaurant, or get it delivered to your room to enjoy on the terrace with a view… and what a view! You can choose between sweet and salty breakfast options – think like coconut-coated french toast and the traditional Guatemalan breakfast (pictured above). You’ll also find gluten-free and vegan choices.
The morning coffee you’ll enjoy is produced in their gardens, and you can also have bowls of fresh fruits and orange juice.
Laguna Lodge Guatemala is home to the award-winning Zotz Restaurant, which serves vegetarian cuisine using organic produce and fresh ingredients harvested from their vegetable and herbs garden or local farmers. The whole menu is vegetarian (with vegan options).
If you’re not vegetarian, you might think it’s not for you but trust me – we are not vegetarian (Fran is Argentinian!), but the food was very tasty and we didn’t miss meat at all for the 3 days we were there.
They have a 4-course set menu on offer for dinner, or you could choose to book a la carte, pairing your meal with some beer, Guatemalan spirits, or a glass of wine. The restaurant has a great selection of wines, actually, which was really surprising due to the location, but very enjoyable.
THE ACTIVITIES & THE NATURE RESERVE
There are several activities you can enjoy at Laguna Lodge Lake Atitlan. The hotel offers complimentary kayaks for guests, and there are various tours available as well, from cruising the lake on a boat to hiking, horseback riding, and paragliding from a mountain top.
You can also get a massage, or take the public boat to visit some of the other villages. This is what we did and thoroughly recommend it. Even if the lodge is beautiful and it would be very easy never to step a foot outside, it’s worth to see the reality and understand the daily life of the people who live around the lake.
A beautiful village you can visit is San Juan La Laguna, it’s colorful and vibrant. Here you’ll find numerous shops selling indigenous art and crafts, street art, a daily local market, and several bars and cafes with a view.
You could also visit Santa Catarina Palopó, possibly the most colorful of the villages, with houses showcasing traditional Mayan designs, talented artists selling their intricate crafts, and a great overall vibe.
Another one of the most popular is San Pedro La Laguna, boasting colorful streets, bustling local markets, street art, viewpoints and photo spots overlooking the spectacular scenery, and a vibrant nightlife. Don’t worry about being out past the boat’s service hours, as you can book a private transfer with Laguna Eco Lodge.
Laguna Logde Eco Resort boasts a private nature reserve that you can (and you should!) enjoy. I mean, how many other hotels can say they have a private reserve for their guests?? There are trails up the mountain from where you’ll get incredible panoramic views.
You can go for a shorter (but quite uphill) hike to a palapa that was built by the hotel so that guests can enjoy the view while relaxing in a hammock. Otherwise, you can choose to do the full multiple-hour loop along cliffs and Mayan ceremonial rocks.
Laguna Eco Lodge carries out many sustainability practices to minimize their impact on the environment and be as eco-friendly as possible. So many that this is the first time that when I have to review the sustainability of a hotel, I don’t know where to start – there were 4 pages explaining their corporate social responsibility in the guestbook! So I’ll just mention a few facts, but know there is more.
For example, they use handwoven cloth napkins and cotton towels to eradicate the use of paper napkins, and all the paper used throughout the hotel is recycled.
They also use renewable energy, and the wifi, water heater, and garden and security lights are powered by solar panels alone. The large windows allow natural light throughout the day, limiting the use of electricity.
There is water conservation through rainwater collection, water pressure reduction, and taking advantage of the rainy season to plant, as well as waste management through recycling, composting, and bulk purchasing to reduce packaging.
Only natural cleaning products are used, and the toiletries and spa products are all organic and chemical-free. Besides the wonderful nature reserve, they have a nature interpretation room that provides educational information on the local flora and fauna.
It doesn’t finish here, though, because Laguna Lodge doesn’t only care about the environment like many eco-lodges in the world. They care about the community as well. All the employees at the lodge are from the local community of Santa Cruz, and they all receive extensive training. They learn how to speak English with guests, but the hotel also gives them training in topics such as personal finance and hygiene.
I’ve been to quite a few eco-hotels in the world, but trust me when I say that Laguna Lodge is one of the most impressive hotels I’ve been to. I would go back in a heartbeat… and you?
Disclaimer: We paid a discounted media rate for our stay in exchange for coverage, but all opinions are our own. We would never lie to you!