In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
Pedro La Laguna Adventure
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
When I first discovered
Lake Atitlan in the early 70's San Pedro at night was just a few flickering
lights across the lake. Today, it is still quiet, but growing. Tz'utujil Maya
make up 90% of the inhabitants, with a small expat community.
Back then there were
no roads connecting the towns around the lake and the only way to travel to
another village was the mail boat that circled the lake on Monday and Thursday.
Today, lanchas travel by the hour.
Map of Lake Atitlan with the many towns
to San Pedro takes about 30 minutes via lancha to cross Lake Atitlan.
This is rainy season in Central America and I wanted to take advantage of what
the locals call the canicula, a period of dry clear weather, in between the
Lake sunset the night before
I am heading across Lake
Atitlan in the morning to the town of San Pedro. Here you can see the three
volcanoes that create this beautiful setting. Volcanoes Atitlan and Toliman with
San Pedro on the right being my destination. Sipping on a Gallo beer in one of my
favorite lakeside restaurants, Bob Marley
playing in the background I am absorbed in the ambience here in Panajachel,
My lancha is tied to the post at
Once boarded I sit back and watch the movie.
Lago Atitlan is playing.
The lanches are on a semi-loose schedule and
until they have enough passengers to make the trip worthwhile.
San Pedro straight ahead
Here we go! That is Volcano San Pedro in the center.
The town of San Pedro
The town of San Pedro sits
to the right of the volcano and is my destination this morning.
I took the 11:00 AM lancha from Pana and arrived in San Pedro at 11:30. The fare
was 25Quetzales, about $3USD.
Walking along the callejons in San
San Pedro is a hot spot for Spanish Language schools, massage,
and just chillin'.
View from my window
For my first night I rented a room with this view. It's very relaxing with a slow pace here.
Villia del Lago Hotel for 75Q per person (about $9.50USD), phone 4474 9281 or 5716 8730.
Ask for Gladys.
One reason I wanted to make
this trip was that I had heard about a wine
and cheese restaurant that was located in San Juan, a small town just outside of San Pedro, so
my plan was to have lunch there.
I made reservations for
1:00PM at Artesano's, a fourteen seat restaurant, so I stashed my gear in my
room and grabbed a tuk tuk to take me to San Juan de la Laguna. The driver charged
me 20Q for a 10Q ride but since neither of us knew where we were going I figured
this was a learning expense.
Nuts, fruit, olives, a selection of
cheeses and a variety of cured cut meats
My lunch at the Artesano Wine and Cheese restaurant had 27 different cheeses and
numerous cuts of meat. After the chef presented the platters he went on to
describe each cheese and flavor of meat. He suggested that I sample in a
clockwise manner starting with the brie and the soft cheeses and finishing with
After all, I am in
Guatemala and this is a developing nation where all we eat are rice and
beans. This was impressive!
I added a half liter of an
Argentine Cabernet and steadied myself for a culinary adventure, all the while
chatting with an Australian couple who live in Hong Kong.
I enjoy the international
vibe and interesting people all around the lake and the cost of a delightful
afternoon was 150Q (about $19USD).
12-4 PM, M-F
Chef/owner Dietrich Gawtenbein
4555-4773 or 3028-4351
Later that evening I was sitting by the dock of the bay watching the sun set
with a friend with whom we have traveled previously to Playa
El Tunco, El Salvador.
Swapping stories while watching the sun drop over the mountains, we realized
living the dream.
There is something magical
about Lake Atitlan.
Sunrise, Lake Atitlan
The next morning was this
sunrise out my front door. The peaceful calm was a welcoming way to start my
day. Because of the previous rains, the sides of the mountains are vividly green.
The Adventurer's Guide to
What's not to like about
Local Maya woman doing laundry
Just below me was this Maya lady washing laundry around 6:00
AM. The work never ends for these ladies and they use this opportunity to not
only wash their clothes, but also to bathe themselves.
Fresh handmade tortillas
And another Maya lady was making handmade tortillas for sale in
San Pedro. As her daughter watched her craft, I am certain the mother has been
making these from the time she was a small child. Primitive wood burning stoves
are the norm but these people have been around a lot longer than I have. The
corn tortillas are a staple in
Guatemala and can be found everywhere.
Indian's Nose, across the
bay from San Pedro, is a popular early morning hike to watch the sunrise. Any
tour company can set you up with a guide, which is recommended, to assist you on the trail.
Restaurant at the dock
This is a funky restaurant with nice jazz near the dock. San Pedro is
dotted with small intriguing places that serve as gathering spots.
Morning at San Pedro dock
Early morning at the dock
Panajachel, I was contemplating whether
or not I should return to Pana or
stay another night. Looking around at the scenery, I decided to stay.
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However, due to a
reservation for the room I rented on the lake, I needed to move across the street to
Hotel Antonio at 80Q per person per night (about $10USD). There was a lake view from the balcony
and it was a nicer room, but the Wifi was
A friend in Pana
recommended that while in San Pedro I eat at the Italian restaurant,
It's on the main
drag in San Pedro next to the health food store. I took his advice and went
there for lunch.
Not disappointed, the 70Q
Saltimbocca was very well prepared and tasty.
With a couple of glasses of red wine, my meal was complete and the tab was 110Q
Cafe Pequenos Pecados
Ricardo & Antonella Email
Tele: 3031 - 4713
The following morning, I
was up early and preparing myself for my return trip to Panajachel. I decided I wanted to eat breakfast before traveling
on the lake. You never know what surprises can develop on the lake at any time
of the year and I wanted a full stomach.
Lole's Place was open and it was just 7:00AM. Perfect!
Located on the main drag up
the hill and to the left of the dock, it is easily found.
Full breakfast, local style
Tipica Breakfast at Lolo's Place Restaurant
was scrambled eggs, black beans, fried plantains, cheese, crema and
toast. My cost was 20Q plus 5Q coffee or about $3USD.
Tele: 4950-3109 or 4720-2566
Spectacular view from the dock
Breakfast finished, I waited for my 8:00 AM
A nice place to wait!
Pablo, a young waiter at Smokin' Joes BBQ
At the dock I ran into Nestor from
Bar-b-que and his helper and boarded their boat.
They loaded many coolers and supplies into the
lancha for the
Saturday feed in Pana.
This young man, Pablo, works with Nester on Saturdays in Panajachel
and Sunday in San Pedro. He has a good mind, thinks clearly and gives good
service. At some point in the
future I am confident he is going to be running the show.
Captain of my morning lancha
The lake was like glass this morning and the Captain did a
great job on the crossing. Everything was "A-OK."
Back in Panajachel ready
for my next adventure!
For more stories
and photos of Guatemala, click
About the Authors
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are
recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of
finance and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their
they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991.
They wrote the popular books,
The Adventurerís Guide to Early Retirement and
Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.
information about financial independence and travel, visit our