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I am on Lake Atitlan until May 1, 2017, then maybe to Costa Rica for a month, then I will return. Andy Lee Graham of HoboTraveler.com

Sunset, at the Sunset Bar in Panajachel, on Lake Atitlan Guatemala https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOYTYiVP680

Hello, here is video of Mom Graham living in 5 dollar per night room in Pana. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcRhKH87Dh4

Anyone know clearly how to get to San Lucas? Can we get there by small truck? Tuk Tuk, or do we need a boat?

If you need information on Lake Atitlan a valuable online resource is http://www.atitlan.com/ in English.

I think November is when the Sun sets behind the volcano, a site I will never forget.

Do not communicate with the warning Signs, Andy from support... a.k.a. Gadget

Will be there in just over a month and can not wait. Soo excited to see this lovely part of the world.

two girls leaving alone with a small little budget is it possible there? im planning a 6mth o a year.

Generally, people want to make to commit too much to a location. Come to Lake Atitlan, live and relax, rent for a few years, there is ZERO reason to buy.

How is the best way to find out if this is a good fit for my situation?

Nice...and the Emerald?

Wow. I miss the barbecue. And the Palapa is so convenient to everything. I definitely have to return to Panajachel. It will be so nice to get Polla Campero in Panajachel. See you there.

Great! Now I dont have to take the water Taxi on Sunday to San Pedro and can get some great American carne and meet the ex-pats in Pana on Saturday instead!
I hear its rough on the lake in the afternoon and you would have to spend the night in San Pedro... Is this true?

I have been on a couple of dead or inactive volcanos and they are very interesting but,
I would never want to live very close to one as you never know when it decides to blow.
Living in Calif we get low mag earthquakes on a regular basis (most are quite a ways off shore)
and of course there have been some bad ones not that long ago but I think that I can survive one
in less its a super mag very nearby, then...oh well ??
I have been near just about every natural disaster possible at one time or another, typhoon, forest
fires, tornados, floods, etc.
I personally consider floods as the worst when they do not destroy everything. Insurance pays for
clean up and repair, etc and then you move back in.
Whoopie! The stink is in the walls forever and generally the mold. Your property value sinks to just
about zero so in less you have the bucks you have to live in it forever.
I have always avoided flood areas.

I found the Guatemalan Government website with information but not a spacific site just about the volcano.

Also find the Vice President of Guatemala talking about the evacuation on her facebook page. Not any more specifics then that. https://www.facebook.com/roxanabaldettipp

On the day of the eruption a magnitude 4.2 earthquake hit 47 km south of the volcano.

Link to maps showing Fuego Volcano is about 25 miles from Pana, 25 from Guate, and 11 from Antigua http://goo.gl/maps/zMOUi

Thank you for the very nice video.

Wow. Nice. I will definitely go there when I get to San Pedro. I want to learn about the Mayan language. I looks like a nice place.

What a lovely park. Thanks for sharing.

Andy is the liquor a corn liquor like Jack Daniels? Do you mix it with cola or something? I will have to try it. I know in England that every little town and village had their own micro brew beer and the locals were quite adamant that it was the best brew to drink. Not sure if that is still true in England to the extent it used to bee.
I am really looking forward to visiting Lago Atitlan again. I think this time I will purchase a tea pot to heat water in my room. I love tea and coffee steaming hot.

It sounds like the place to mingle with the locals and catch up on the local gossip. I love the easy going friendly atmosphere in San Pedro and Panajachel. It is one of the few places where I feel well and truly on vacation.
I miss Guatemala a lot. I remember the little grill near the coffee shop where we went for grilled beef with grilled green onions and tortillas. I really liked it.
Have fun.


This is so sad... Is the Government going to help all the towns on the lake shore? Are there any plans to drain or maintain a water level? I know there are one or more grass root movements trying to address this problem.


There are so many ways to approach this problem but as always there is so much talk about it and not much actual action.

Great interview and a big thanks for Steve and Susan for sharing your journey!

Wow. I did not know about most of this. When I come back to Lago Atitlan I will definitely have this list with me. LOL. I did get a chance to spend the day at San Marcos. I love it.
I really like mingling with the tourists at Panajachel and San Marcos. The nice restaurants make it easy to find good food. I agree. Whats not to like.

I started a tourist attracion map for Lake Atitlan today, http://www.mylagoatitlan.com/tourist-attractions-lago-atitlan-guatemala/index.php

Autoridad para el Manejo Sustentable de la Cuenca del Lago de Atitlán y Su Entorno Calle del Frutal 01-79 zona 2, Panajachel, Sololá, Guatemala C.A.

There are no safe water systems in Guatemala. Municipal water can, and probably will make you sick, if you drink it. In my compound, we use both well water and municipal water.

AMSCLAE is tasked on the Federal governmental level, with cleaning, and maintaining Lake Atitlan. Does it do a good job? No, it doesnt. Pollution levels are quite high in the lake because all of the water treatment centers were destroyed in Hurricane Mitch in 2005. Panajachels water treatment system will come on line in the next year or so, after extensive investment by the Dutch government.

I fully understand your concerns as an immuno-compromised person. I also fall into that category, as I have Hashimotos disease. Do I get sick from time to time? Certainly, but not often. I also eat far more than my share of street food, and from lower end restaurants. I do sterilize my vegetables for home, if Im going to eat them raw, and Im careful in my food handling. That said, Id say its a safe bet Im gonna get sick 2-3 times a year. Its no problem. I walk around the corner and up the street to the pharmacy, buy 4 pills, (usually), and Im usually fine the next day.

You cant really compare sanitary standards in other countries, with the United States. Hundreds of americans get ecoli every year. We rarely have a problem with it here, because lime juice is widely used, and is a natural neutralizer to ecoli. Speaking from personal experience, after being away from the United States for any period of time, I always became violently ill every time I re-entered the U.S., because of the water. You see diseases break out in countries like the U.S., because people in those countries are beginning to lose any sense of immunity to common pathogens.

Thats certainly one of the many reasons I prefer not to return.

So which water systems in Panajachel are tested and safe? And who is deciding which systems to test. And where can you see the results of the tests. How often is the water tested. What if any tests are run on the municipal water that no one wants to drink?
Is the testing facility just for people who walk through the door and say, please test this water from my home well so I will know if it is safe?
How many different municipal water systems are there in Panajachel? I have to be extremely careful of the water I drink and also the dishes I eat off of. My system does not and will not tolerate water borne parasites. I have no naturally developed immunity against them. So I consequently sometimes irritate or offend the food venders/restaurants when I try to explain that I have to have sanitary food. This is especially a problem since I do not speak Spanish.

AMSCLAE is responsible for water testing in the Lake Atitlan region. They have an office on Calle del Frutal in Panajachel.

For a small group of people, usually, 6 that would be a good deal. For the vast majority of people, they are sold out of those seats, and youll pay more, often times as much or even more than a regular carrier, like United or American.

Spirit Air depart 9/12/12 from Chicago-ORD oneway 5:30 AM arrive GUA at 11:40 AM, 1 stop
$67.99 + FREE GAS + $30.70 GOVT CUT = $98.69 I just ran this search 8/10/12 (Is this too good to be true?)

I went with Interjet (a mexican company) and paid $400 roundtrip from CA. They dont use aggregators but the price os was good. Service is equivalent to Southwest.To get the best deals you need to understand Spanish.

American Airlines often has very good fairs, and their results dont appear on the travel search engines. You have to go to their website. http://www.aa.com .

Taca can be good, but to get the best price, do your homework, and find out what other airlines are ing (especially American), then walk into the office of a TACA agent, and show them the e. TACA will generally match any other airlines fares, saving a lot of money, especially if its some sort of promotional fare from another airline. They wont, however, match some of the Spirit promo fares, because its too ridiculous to even attempt to take advantage of the Spirit deals, because they sell out too quickly.

Continental merged with United...

Santiago de Atitlan set up one free WIFI signal in the central park - yosoyatitlan is password

I think because of Hot Water Springs.

I will have to add Banos, Ecuador to my bucket list. Just curious, why is it called Banos, lots of toilets?

Yesterday, I talked with Shay Addams, who publishes the Atitlan Sol free magazine http://www.mylagoatitlan.com/weather-lago-atitlan-guatemala/index.php

Free WIFI for the City of Santiago de Atitlan by Government - http://globalvoicesonline.org/2012/08/03/guatemala-indigenous-village-declares-internet-access-a-human-right/

Hola from Andres Hidalgo, desde Colombia

Andy... The lake is at over 5000 feet in elevation. How hard would it be to make a adjustable dam with an adjustable spillway and a canal on the downside of the lake and let water out for electricity and down the canal for irrigation?


Lago Atitlan is believed to have a variably patent drainage. Dye packs put in the lake eventually find their way to the Pacific Ocean, offshore Guatemala. In the past, its believed volcanic eruption of Volcan Atitlan blocked the drainage with pyroclastic mud flows, raising the lake level and submerging several Mayan ceremonial islands including a pre-Columbian Temple - site of present day underwater archeology. The lake level rises and falls. My own conjecture is that human trash (disposable diapers, plastic water bottles ...) partially clog the lake´s drainage following hurricanes. The trash initially floats after big storms and gradually sinks from sight. What the lake needs, IMO is an aquatic plumber with a RotoRouter. First, fix the main problem and the Lago´s periodic Cyanobacteria problem will self-regulate and much previously occupied lakefront real estate will open up again.

I think USA citizens, Europe etc could bring irrigation to the lake, then in return drain the lake.

Kathmandu has become notorious for power cuts and the use of generators in recent years since the fall of the Kingdom. Last time I was there a few years back, every day the power was going off for several hours at a time at random hours, followed by the clatter of hundreds of generators and smell of fuel. Among other reasons, it was felt locally that Kathmandu has experienced a huge migration of people from the villages into the city since the Kingdom fell, and this is putting immense strain on the electricity system. Locals would complain that the Government was not making enough use of the hydroelectric potential of Nepals topography, to alleviate this. It was frustrating enough for me as a traveller, so it must have been far more for locals. Candles were used extensively on that trip. Tall ones, that would last me ages :D

In my late 20s I was living on Water Island at St Thomas USVI at the then named Sugar Bird Resort and I worked on the Ferry Boat from Charlotte Amalie for room and board. We didnt have black outs but we had the even more destructive brown outs at least every other month and it would wreck havoc on any electronics and destroy some air conditioners too. I think Andy did a blog post on low power and how it will destroy your black box after continual brown outs...

Actually, folks do want to keep candles handy around the Lake. A couple of months ago, San Pedro went without electricity for 3.5 days, because some moron cut down a tree, and took down 1800 meters of power line running over the hills. Folks were definitely not happy.

Andy, great way to help others and raise funds. The greater lead time for such training tours your audience has, the more likely they will travel to pay for your services. Americans want plenty of lead time to plan a trip like this.

There was a man arrested for some brutal crimes performed in the USA the other day in Pana.