My friend and I spent a month in paradise! We have traveled the world and stayed in many lovely homes, hotels and condos in mountains, deserts, jungles and beaches, but Villas Km5 is unequaled when you factor in the unbelievable climate (perennial spring), the magnificent view of Lake Atitlan and surrounding volcanoes, the gorgeous flowers and shrubs, and the spacious, immaculate, well-equipped villa. Completely private yet within 15 minutes of both Panajachel and the village of Santa Catarina, it is the perfect place to stay. We either walked to both places, took a Tuc Tuc or hopped on board a pickup truck filled with colorfully attired Mayans. Lots of good restaurants in Pana plus a wonderful outdoor market with the freshest fruits and vegetables imaginable at ridiculously low prices. Marcel, the owner, arranged for us to be met at the airport in Guatemala City and on our way to the lake stop at an excellent supermarket, bakery, and ATM. Throughout our stay he corresponded via email to insure that everything was to our satisfaction and to answer our numerous questions. Federico, the affable caretaker, guardian and gardener was always available to prepare the sauna and/or Jacuzzi, light one of the 4 fireplaces, help carry groceries or in general just pamper us. Josefina, the housekeeper/cook, was always cheerful and gracious. Neither speaks English but we always managed to be understood. One of the nicest places on the property is the outdoor seating area. We spent many hours lounging there, the perfect place to relax, enjoy the scenery, and sip a cocktail. Most afternoons clouds rolled in, literally! We'd be sitting on the spacious balcony when suddenly we were enveloped in mist. Within minutes it would be gone and the crystal clear lake would appear. Sunsets were magical, always different, always glorious. I cannot imagine staying anywhere else. In fact we are already selecting dates for next year, hopefully 2 months in paradise!!!
Be sure to bring home delicious cinnamon buns from Sandra's Tienda in Pana. Our daily breakfast feast was a fruit plate of fresh pineapple, papaya, strawberries, and Chiquita bananas with strong coffee made in the French press and warm pastry. Don't miss the nature reserve with its zipline and state of the art butterfly house, and be sure to spend a day traveling by boat from village to village. Bring binoculars; lots of birds as well as activity on the lake.