La Iguana Perdita Hostel sits on the edge of Lago Atitlan below the village of Santa Cruz. The history behind the Hostel is really quite interesting. Here is a link to their site and story http://laiguanaperdida.com/#
I arrive by boat standing out like a sore thumb…Tall solo female backpacker with blond frizzy hair. It’s late in the day as I make my way up the dock to the hostel. Through the swinging gates, past the sleeping dog into the bar I head. It is beautiful here on the lake surrounded by lush green mountains. I’m greeted by a friendly fellow who checks me in and leads me to my room. This place is so cool. There are hammocks, fire pit, sitting areas, Restaurant/Bar, Cabanas and Dorms everywhere, set back into the jungle.
He pointed out the bathrooms and showers along the path and then he stopped at a set of steps. My bed was in an open treehouse, Holy Crap….Wow!
Inside were a few bunk beds, single beds and a loft. I chose a single bed next to the trees, I couldn’t wait to sleep there that night.
Left by myself, I dropped my bags and gathered a few things before setting out to explore my surroundings. The property is large and offers a variety of accommodations. Its set in the trees on one side and the lake on the other. There are lots of flowers and fruit trees and a couple of cats. I got to know one well during my stay.
The Restaurant/Bar serves breakfast and lunch with amazing views of the lakes and mountains. It also hosts a Family Supper every night that you must sign up for as it’s the only food served in the evening. Locals as well as guests attend Family Suppers and frequent the place. I met some very cool and interesting people here during my stay :)They also host other events all the time. I happened to be there for Halloween and every one was planning their costumes and decorating.
La Iguana Perdita does not have wifi, this is to help people become unplugged and Chill. It wasnt that long ago that they didn’t have electricity either. There is a pay as you go computer cafe open a few hours a day just inside the restaurant. You can at least let people know you’re ok and you havent simply vanished.
Diving is a Big thing here and Dives and Certifications are offered at the Hostel. If you want to learn Spanish, lessons can be arranged. There are also job opportunities available at the hostel.There are plenty plenty of Hikes into the mountains and to other villages that you can do guided or not. Take a boat around to some other towns. Go to some markets, swim in the lake or chill in a hammock.
I climb into my bed later that evening listening to the voices below and the sounds of the jungle around me. It is pitch Black, so dark that I cannot see anything. A little while later a guest who has been at the hostel a while arrives in the dorm. He quietly goes to his bed and with flashlight in hand and begins to thoroughly search his bed, pillow and sheets. I watch quietly remembering and earlier conversation with anothrt guest who woke to a scorpion on his pillow. I worry now that maybe I should have searched my bed before I got in. Uh Oh. I eventually drift off to sleep but I’m awoken through the night by what I learn is the sound of half eaten fruit being dropped on the tin roof by the animals above. Directly above my head, clank clank.. It is so LOUD and startling at first. I eventually get used to the noise and stop jumping up hitting my head on the beam. I had a lump there for days.
In the morning I eat some fruit, enjoy the view and decide to walk up to the Village of Santa Cruz. This is not a good idea I soon realize. I havent been walking long but it is so steep that I need to stop. My heart is beating out of my chest and at this pace it will take me hours. I go a little farther and think I may pass out. I stop and sit watching the Tuk Tuks go by. What was I thinking. I’m up high enough to see the village and an incredible view of the lake, that is enough for me….. and I make my way back down.
I’m exhausted when I make it back to my room and lay down for a nap. What? Im allowed, Im on vacation.
I’m hungry when I get up and decide to try the Piggie Sandwich in the restaurant. Its made with real bacon, homemade bread, basil mayo, tiny tomatoes and surrounded by fresh pineapple and strawberries. it was So good. I buy a few minutes on the internet and send out a few emails to let everyone know that I was safe and offline for a couple of days. Not feeling another steep hike, I opt for a walk along the shore after Lunch.
Tripping my way around all the little board walks up and down and over. I sat at the end of one dock dangling my feet in the lake while enjoying the sunny day. I grab my journal and a banana when I return and relax in one of the hammocks for a while.
I’m not feeling hungry and a bit tired at supper but its Halloween and I hang out for a while to see the costumes and join in some conversation and fun before bed. Everyone enjoys themselves!
Again as I lay in my treehouse bunk, it is so pitch black; But tonight I’m lulled to sleep by some local children singing in their nearby house.
In the morning I struggle with the decision to stay a little longer or move on. It is beautiful and relaxing here but I also don’t have a lot of time before I return to Canada….and decide to go. I pack up my stuff and try to form some sort of plan. I want to go to Lanquin next but it is a very long bus ride. So I decide to head back to Antigua for the night and catch a bus to Lanquin the following day. After that I’m not sure but I know that I need to be in Costa Rica by the end of the month.
I check out but leave my bag in the bar so I can go for a walk around before leaving this amazing place.
I walk along the lakes edge just soaking in my surroundings, the sun is shining and all around me the colors, sounds and smells make me smile. I notice ads for houses and apartment rentals on the lake with really great prices. This will definitely be a possibility in the future.
Back at the Hostel, I grab my bag and say my goodbyes to a great group of people before heading back down to the dock and onto a boat to Panajachel.
Keep following to see where this adventure leads me….
Lago Atitlan Is a must see when travelling in Guatemala…I’m certain you’ll end up here anyway.
Santa Cruz is a beautiful village set high up in the mountains overlooking the Lake. There is no electricity in this town but it does have a few great restaurants and shops and stunning view of the lake and surrounding area. Take a Tuk Tuk from the dock!!
La Iguana Perdita Hostel is definitely a place to come stay or eat when you end up in the area
2 Nights accommodations
MY TOTAL COST: $170 Q = $30.50 CAD