As you can see from the
map, our town of
Lake Atitlan is a short boat ride to Jaibalito
(pronounced High-bah-LEE-toh). We have a favored restaurant there that serves
scrumptious food, has an outstanding view and also provides access to an
infinity pool and hot tub.
That restaurant is Club Ven Aca.
The lancha is
common transport on the lake
The cost of a boat ride
from Panajachel to Jaibalito is 10Quetzales or about $1.25USD. It only takes
about 15 minutes on the lake to reach the town, but one has to wait for the boat
to fill up with about 12 people before the Captain will leave. That could add
another 15 minutes or so to your trip.
Approaching Club Ven Aca
with their private dock
The only way to reach Club
Ven Aca is by boat to their private dock or by footpath from the main dock in
Jaibalito. It's a very secluded place. Club Ven Aca also used to be a hotel with
the villas you see here rented out. Now, these villas are privately owned.
A closer look at the
Ven Aca has a bar, a hot
tub and infinity pool all for the use of patrons to the restaurant and for those
who own the villas in the background. It is a lovely garden setting with a
wrought iron gate entrance from the dock.
Here you see the twin peaks
of the volcano Atitlan with the volcano Toliman behind it. The lake itself is
one of the deepest lakes in the world at over 1,000 feet. Lake Atitlan is
considered to be a sacred site in Maya mythology. Brave New World
author, Aldous Huxley, compared Lake Atitlan to Lake Como in Italy, and was
quite taken with its beauty.
Garden setting in
For centuries, the Maya
have lived here in over a dozen lakeside villages. The natives are of Kakchiquel
and Tz'utujil descent whose roots stem back to the ancient Maya, rulers of
Mesoamerica before the arrival of the Spaniards.
The indigenous inhabitants
still maintain the customs and traditions of their ancestors and the women are
weavers of the highest grade.
The Bar at Ven Aca
The bar offers a thoughtful
wine list, mixed drinks, wine, beer and specialty coffees.
overlooking Lake Atitlan
While in the pool, one gets
the sense that it joins with the lake all the way to the volcanoes in the
distance. Notice the wrought iron gate to the right, at the entrance to the
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Akaisha and all three
volcanoes of the Lake
Akaisha sits on the railing
in front of the magnificent lake, with Volcan Atitlan in front to the left,
Volcan Toliman behind. To the right is Volcan San Pedro.
A salad with seared Ahi
tuna encrusted with sesame seeds
This salad was delicious
and so fresh! The vinaigrette was gentle yet tasty.
Main course of fresh
In many countries, fish is served whole on
the plate. Unless the menu says "filet of fish" one should expect it to be
served skin on and bones in. The vegetables were fresh, the potatoes had a light
cheese covering and mango salsa topped the fresh flounder.
After our meal, we went
down to the private dock and waited for a ride back to Pana. Boat shuttle
service operates all day long about every 30 minutes. One just needs to stand
out on the dock and wave a lancha in.