My Favorite Hotel on Earth

Over the years, I have stayed in my fair share of magical places. La Casa del Mundo on Lago Atitlan in Jaibalito, Guatemala, is by far my favorite.

A sunrise over Lago Atitlan in Guatemala
A sunrise over Lago Atitlan in Guatemala

La Casa del Mundo in Jaibalito, Guatemala: A Photographer’s Delight!

One of the most thrilling parts of traveling is learning about must-visit destinations by word of mouth. Such was the case with La Casa del Mundo, which was recommended to me in an Internet cafe hundreds of miles away.

Literally translating to “House of the World,” La Casa del Mundo is set in the side of a mountain in Jaibalito, overlooking Lago Atitlan and its triple volcanoes. The hotel complex consists guest rooms, a restaurant, a wood-burning hot tub, gardens, swimming holes, and the most incredible views in Guatemala.

I can’t recommend La Casa del Mundo enough, as five years later I still can picture the entire hotel grounds in my mind’s eye.

The above photograph was taken at sunrise: one of the few times I actually awoke before dawn during the entire three month backpacking adventure. Below is a photo of the balcony that Carrie and I would jump off every day for a swim.

 

Every day, Carrie and I would jump off this balcony at Casa del Mundo into Lago Atitlan
Every day, Carrie and I would jump off this balcony at Casa del Mundo into Lago Atitlan

The following excerpt is taken directly from my travel journal Two Jam-Packed Weeks in Guatemala, as written on June 5, 2007.

After saying goodbye to Melissa, Carrie and I made our way to Lago Atitlan, a beautiful lake in the middle of the country. Our first stop was La Casa del Mundo, a gorgeous mini-resort that our guidebook referred to as “the most magical place in all of Guatemala.” For a mere $25 per night we got a beautiful room overlooking the lake, four volcanoes and a dozen other towns.

During the day we relaxed, swam and hung out in a hot tub that as heated by burning wood. Normally it required a day’s notice and hefty fee to use, but being the friendly people that we are we managed to spend both nights getting to know new friends in the hot tub. The place was honestly so amazing that we recommend it to anyone looking for a nice few day getaway. Not to mention, the chill town of San Pedro and the yoga/meditation/hippie village of San Marcos are a short boat ride away.

 

The approach to Casa del Mundo on Lago Atitlan in Jaibalito, Guatemala
The approach to Casa del Mundo on Lago Atitlan in Jaibalito, Guatemala

 

Wood Burning Hot Tub at Casa del Mundo - Lago Atitlan, Guatemala
Wood Burning Hot Tub at Casa del Mundo – Lago Atitlan, Guatemala

To learn more about La Casa del Mundo, check out their Web page

. . .
Have you ever been to Lago Atitlan?
What is your favorite place to stay in the world?

  • well dam, pretty sure i cant top this place in the ‘nicer’ category…

    I found myself on some pretty nice beaches on the Filipino Island of Negros Oriental last year though!

    • That totally counts Ash. I’ll bet the views were unbeatable!

  • We stayed a couple nights in Lago Atitlan. What a beautiful place! We were so amazed at how placid the water was in the morning but by the afternoon the same lake was very wavy and rough. The locals believe that the god Xocomil would arrive midday, causing the extreme change in wind. That’s a place of the world I wouldn’t mind spending more time in. :)

    • HereHere to spending more time in Lago Atitlan… and Guatemala in general. Thanks so much for your fascinating history/theology lesson. I never knew!