Exceptional Service during Exceptional Times... - Feb 17 - Feb 23, 2022

Traveler: Jennie Y. - Local specialist: Eduardo Celada

Exceptional Service during Exceptional Times

Traveling during COVID means uncertainty and ever-changing plans. We made changes to our itinerary until the night before we landed in Guatemala City! It could have been a disaster but it wasn't - we were able to do everything we wanted to do. We were even able to arrange for COVID tests to be administered at our place in Antigua the day before we flew back to USA.

Eduardo was incredibly kind, patient, compassionate and flexible with our group of... read more

Exceptional Service during Exceptional Times

Traveling during COVID means uncertainty and ever-changing plans. We made changes to our itinerary until the night before we landed in Guatemala City! It could have been a disaster but it wasn't - we were able to do everything we wanted to do. We were even able to arrange for COVID tests to be administered at our place in Antigua the day before we flew back to USA.

Eduardo was incredibly kind, patient, compassionate and flexible with our group of six. Shortly into our trip, I knew we were in the absolute best hands. He was also so knowledgeable about the best places to visit and activities to do for our 1 week stay without feeling over-exerted or uncomfortable. One of my favorite highlights was the 2 night stay in Lake Atitlan where Eduardo booked us the most beautiful stay at Hotel Sanbuenaventura in Panajachel and connected us to the best tour guide of our entire trip, Pablo Chumil. Please request Pablo if you want an expert in Guatemala nature (especially birds), local history and safety - great guide, great human all around.

Antonio was our trusted and only driver for all the many hours we spent exploring Guatemala. As a driver, he was prompt and drove safely at all times. We cherished our time together laughing, using broken Spanish and sharing snacks and a meal - we miss you Antonio, thank you for keeping us safe always!

Before I went, I did not know much about Guatemala or its culture and people. However, thanks to the kind and warm-hearted people, both from Kimkim and the locals we met, I am left with the best impression of Guatemala and would no doubt visit again.

Hotel Review

San Buenaventura Hotel

Panajachel, Sololá

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

If and when we return to Lake Atitlán, I would 100% book a stay at the Hotel Sanbuenaventura. We got to stay in a standard double bed room one night and upgraded to a two-story suite the following night. Both rooms were very clean with comfortable beds, FILTERED TAP WATER(!), delicious breakfasts (we did not eat lunch and they do not provide dinner). The property feels very tropical with lush landscaping, a beautiful heated pool and many lookout points and green space where you can admire the beautiful lake and volcanos on the horizon. We were always looked after by the hotel staff, they called tuk tuks every time we needed to go into the city center (takes about 15 minutes for them to arrive so plan accordingly).

Location

Cleanliness & Comfort

Staff

Authenticity & Character

Activity Review

Lake Atitlan - Village Tour

Guatemala

Overall Rating
Activity Review

Over 2 days, Pablo Chumil and his expert boat captains took us to 3 villages - San Juan, San Pedro and Santiago Atitlan. We spent the majority of time in charming San Juan, visiting it over 2 days. At first I didn't know why we would go to the village twice but I am so glad we did - we spent 1 day touring an organic coffee cooperative, LA VOZ QUE CLAMA EN EL DECIERTO, SAN JUAN LA LAGUNA and the next day at a women's owned textiles coop, Artesania La Voz De Los Tzutujiles (coincidence in naming). We only made a brief stop in San Pedro so I can't comment on my experience there. Santiago Atitlan was so rich in Mayan history - we visited Maximon, ate the best traditional Mayan/Guatemalan lunch, and enjoyed soaking up the sights and sounds of their culture. I would highly recommend spending an afternoon here. To quote Jurassic Park, "hold on to your butts" during afternoon boat trips across the lake - the water is surprisingly choppy and some rides can be ~30-40 minutes if you're going across the lake. Calm in the mornings, but it was a fun experience! A few of us get sea sickness so we were prepared (turns out natural non-drowsy Dramamine = ginger pills) but we didn't get it too badly.

Transport

Guides, drivers and staff

Our drivers were so exceptionally skillful at navigating a particularly windy afternoon - our boat was top notch as well!
Quality of Experience

Eduardo Celada profile photo
Eduardo Celada, local specialist, responded to this review:

It is very nice and delectable hearing words like this coming from a wonderfull group It was a pleasure to meet you the first and last day at your house. I am always looking for communication with my clients so we can make them feel safe doing the activities we plan for everyone.

I hope we can see you next time and having kind people as everyone of you are. Iam prettysure the "Superman Zipiline" was enough adventure this time!!!

Saludos from Guatemala!!
Your friend .Eduardo