Before John and I visited Guatemala back in 2009, I found a property called Pasajcap online with the help of VRBO. It looked idyllic, and just a bit too good to be true. I had never used VRBO before (now I’ve used it loads of times and highly recommend it), and I was a bit nervous when the French owner of Pasajcap asked us to wire him half of the rent and a security deposit to reserve an apartment for our stay. John and I felt uncomfortable wiring that much money to someone we didn’t know, at a place that seemed almost unreal. We backed out and decided just to find somewhere to stay when we got to San Marcos instead. Once we arrived in San Marcos, however, we discovered that Pasajcap did in fact exist. And it was just as spectacular as it appeared online. On our final boat ride leaving the lake we decided that if we ever returned, Pasajcap was the place to stay.
Fast forward to early this year, when we finalized our decision to spend November at Lake Atitlan. I contacted the owner of Pasajcap, Pierre, and wired him the requested deposit without hesitation, worry free and stoked to stay on his gorgeous property.
We made the absolute right decision to stay at Pasajcap this time – it’s stunning. Above is the private boat deck, and below is the view up the hill from that same deck. We live in the third floor of the building you see (you can see our hammock hanging in the window if you look closely.)
Thatched roof palapas with hammocks and chaize lounges are everywhere: some by the dock, a couple on the roof, a few tucked into the hilltops with fantastic views. Though really, the views are fantastic everywhere. You’ve already seen the view from our panaramic window in our apartment. Even the bathroom in our place has a view – the shower is surrounded by walls of glass, making it seem like you are showering outside as you look out over the lake.The weather here is just about perfect. During the day it is sunny and reaches a high of about 75 with little to no humidity. In the afternoon, the clouds may roll in with a bit of rain, but it passes after an hour or so. The evenings get down to 55 degrees overnight, just chilly enough to sleep with the windows closed and a light blanket. After the frigid cold in Cusco and the humid heat of Granada, this feels like the best of all worlds.
The variety of plants that grow here is unbelievable, probably due to the ideal climate. Coffee, avocado, papaya and limes grow around the property. There are different types of cactus and several varieties of tropical flowers. Plantain trees happily grow right next to pine trees. It’s a beautiful spread of plant life, which attracts a fascinating variety of insects. Butterflies, grasshoppers, giant bumblebees, dragonflies – but no mosquitoes. How perfect is that?
Down the hill (and no small number of steps) from our apartment we can jump off the swimming dock into the cool and refreshing lake. Or stand on the private boat dock for a few minutes to catch a boat to neighboring towns of San Marcos, San Pedro, and Panajachal.
The swimming dock, below, looks a lot like one I took a photo of years ago when we were here. It’s not the same dock. In fact, that dock is now completely underwater because the lake has risen over 12 feet since 2009. Because of this, the swimming dock has been raised many times over the years, and you can see previous iterations underwater when you are swimming.
If you are at home living vicariously through me, stop. Stop just looking at the photos, and go book yourself a week (or a month) at this place. It’s heavenly, inexpensive, and completely worth the trip. You can even have all the modern conveniences that we missed the last time we visited Lake Atitlan, like hot showers and a fully functioning kitchen. I don’t want to hear any excuses for why you aren’t planning your trip already. I can now say from experience that Pierre will not run off with the deposit you wire to him, and you’ll have a lovely apartment waiting for you when you arrive.
No, seriously. Plan your trip already.