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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Artesano Vinos y Quesos

San Juan la Laguna, Atitlan, Guatemala

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

San Juan La Laguna is a village across Lake Atitlan just outside of San Pedro la Laguna. It can be reached directly by boat or a 10Q tuk tuk ride from San Pedro.

While in Panajachel I had heard about a terrific wine and cheese restaurant called Artesano so I specifically went to San Juan to check it out.


An unassuming front entrance

An unassuming front entrance

As you can see, Artesano has a very low key entrance. It took my tuk tuk driver numerous attempts to find the place easily passing by it several times.






Once inside, it is very welcoming

Once inside, it is very welcoming

Artesano's serves by reservation only, so I made mine for 1:00PM. This place only has fourteen seats, so it is very quaint. The driver charged me 20Q for a 10Q ride from San Pedro, but since neither of us knew where we were going I figured this was a learning expense.


Lovely outdoor seating as well

Lovely outdoor seating as well

My lunch at the Artesano Wine and Cheese restaurant had 27 different cheeses and numerous cuts of meat. After the chef presented the platters he went on to describe each cheese and flavor of meat. He suggested that I sample in a clockwise manner starting with the brie and the soft cheeses and finishing with the Roquefort.

After all, I am in Guatemala and this is a developing nation where all we eat are rice and beans. This was impressive!

The Adventurer's Guide to Guatemala


The view from my table

The view from my table

I added a half liter of an Argentine Cabernet and steadied myself for a culinary adventure, all the while chatting with an Australian couple who live in Hong Kong.

I enjoy the international vibe and interesting people all around the lake and the cost of a delightful afternoon was about $18USD plus tip.


Dietrich Gawtenbein speaking with the other couple

If you want to make your own reservation, the restaurant is only open from 12-4 PM, M-F, tele: 4555-4773 or 3028-4351.

In the red striped apron you can see the Chef/owner Dietrich Gawtenbein speaking with the other couple from Hong Kong who are enjoying lunch here.


Chef/owner Dietrich Gawtenbein

Chef/owner Dietrich Gawtenbein

Here Dietrich is presenting the different cuts of aged meats. His menu has a selection of antipasto plates, several pates including lamb and pheasant pate, roasted vegetables with olive paste and tarragon mayonnaise, and several affettati misti, which are plates of mixed cured meats. He also offers many premium wines to go with the meals. Bottles for 100Q and half liters for 45Q






My personal plate

My personal plate

This is my personal selection of cured meats. Quite tasty and what a variety!


A closer look at my personal cheese plate

A closer look at my personal cheese plate

This was my cheese plate of 27 different types of cheeses, which Dietrich ages himself. The plate came with nuts, olives, fruit and two dipping sauces.

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our bill

I'm not sure about the wine on the bill. I ordered the Argentine Cabernet but the bill shows that it was from Chile. This is why we have a saying, "order what you want, eat/drink what you get."

My total was 143Q or $18USD plus tip. I will definitely come back here and bring Akaisha. If you are ever in the area, you should check out this tiny but impressive restaurant yourself.

For more stories and photos of Guatemala, click here

About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on

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