Lake Atitlan - The antidote to gated community development

Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Lake Atitlan - The antidote to gated community development.

Located in the heart of the Guatemalan Mayan Highland, Lake Atitlan is considered as one of the most beautiful Lakes in the world  and "the closest thing to heaven" by The Lonely Planet Guide that refers to it as being the jewel of Guatemalan tourist destinations. It might attract your attention if you have been looking for an option to relocate for your retirement. Now if you browse the web to find a gated community which can receive a development of several condos including golf or any other kind of outdoor amenity you may have concluded that Lake Atitlan has very little to offer. I propose to take you through the advantages or retiring here but also why it is the antidote of traditional gated retirement communities.

Lake Atitlan is ideally located at 2 ½ hours from Guatemala city by car (and this time is shortening with all the work done on the divided highway connecting Guatemala Ciudad and the Lake of Atitlan), 2½ hours flight from Miami, 5 hours from LA, 6 hours from NY, 4 hour drive to the Mexican border and a 4 hour drive to San Salvador beaches. Its geographic location make it attractive for the ones who don't want to go to further South or/and still want to be able to go back and forth to their family and friends.

Quiriguá. Photo from Wikipedia
The centrally located Lake of Atitlan and the vast array of other tourist activities that Guatemala has to offer make it a perfect “base” to discover Guatemala and its beauties. Mentioning some of them: Antigua Guatemala (the beautiful colonial town classified World Patrimony by UNESCO), the best sail fish spot on the pacific coast, long list of Mayan Archeological sites (Abaj Takalik, Tikal, Quiriguá, and may more) its multicultural society with 21 Mayan languages and living mayan culture and its high concentration of natural beauty, all within a short distance from three other Latin-American counties.

Located at 1500 mts above sea level, Lake Atitlan offers the perfect tropical climate. The altitude makes it almost mosquitoes free and the year round temperature is about 25C or 77F, like spring temperature. No need for air conditioning or heating systems, at the most a cozy fire place to dry out the ambiance during rainy season.
The rainy season last from June to October and generates comfortable and sunny mornings, with rain falling in the afternoons. Expect some heavy rain particularly when hurricanes or tropical storms strike Pacific or Atlantic coasts. Not that hurricanes hit the Lake Atitlan area directly but often the tails of these natural phonemes swing over the area, bringing with them mud slides and therefore difficulties with the roads. But every long term resident knows to make provision for these particulars days and that they can count on the help of the indigenous residents and vice versa.
The ex-pat communities in Jaibalito or Santa Cruz la Laguna (for example) work well together with the local population when it comes to health, nutrition and their education. These “inter-woven” communities that help each other have developed mutual respect and have therefore become secure and fun locations for retirement.

Lake Atitlan, Source: Wikipedia
Lake Atitlan offers a spectacular view with excellent weather and delicious food available all year round. The highlands of Guatemala are a big vegetable garden and throughout the year you find on top of the traditional vegetables like corn (white, red and black), beans, sweet potatoes, squash, new varieties of products like mini zucchini, eggplant and a large inventory of tropical fruits, all fresh all year round.

And not the least; great people. The locals are charming individuals always eager to know more about you and your culture. Treat them as you would like to be treated and you will have a wonderful time, and experience great rewards.

All that said why Lake Atitlan is the antidote of the gated community. Before going further let me tell you that I don't have anything against the gated communities. They are an option and they have their purpose. At the moment there are a few intents to build gated real estate communities around Lake Atitlan and they are in their phase of development. It is a little bit early to know which segment of the market they will attract.

Now deciding to retire in Lake Atitlan is not for everyone. First of all you have to see yourself willing to live in a third world country with its advantages and disadvantages. Electricity can fail for hours or more, bad weather can cause landslides, etc. A good real estate agent is able to provide solutions to any of the disadvantages that can be humanly “fixed”. At Atitlan-Solution we develop existing properties for example to install solar power and we have the experience to professionally advice you about the Geologic hazards in Guatemala. Associate yourself with a specialist in order to lay out the best ever retirement plan you will choose.

We have ample experience to make your retirement overseas into a success story.

Many who made the decision are comfortable and happy about their choice, swearing never to leave Lake Atitlan.

Resources:
Retire at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala
Real Estate Videos
Real estate investments in Guatemala

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