In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
A Taste of
Jaibalito, Lake Atitlan,
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
Every little town in the
nooks and crannies around Lake Atitlan offers something worthwhile to see. Some
villages are traditional and undeveloped, while others focus on the tourist
trade for income. Anywhere around the Lake one will have spectacular views.
Boutique hotels, restaurants and spas abound.
Take a look at one such
graceful restaurant in Jaibalito.
Map of Lake Atitlan
Not far from Panajachel is a village called
Jaibalito. It was a 10Q (about $1.25USD) boat ride which took us there.
Billy waits for the launcha to
After almost a week of unusual weather, high winds
and even rain, the sky broke open this morning, so we decided to head out for Jaibalito.
There are "milk runs" up and down the Lake -
certain towns where the boats several times a day. If you want to visit one of the
smaller villages not on the run, you must let the captain know.
The young boy behind the post where Billy's
hand rests is fishing with a line, no pole.
This particular boat and its business is run
by three brothers. Antonio took us to
San Marcos a few days previously, Poncho
was the captain of the boat today, and Miguel, shown here, was helping out.
The front of this home is all windows
Spacious homes with gardens dot the shores of
Lake Atitlan. No matter how many times we cross the Lake, the beauty continues
to be enchanting.
Built on Volcanic rock
These homes are built right on the ledge of
the caldera. Private boat houses and docks are below.
A closer view
You can see the volcanic stone that makes up
the both walls and arches that define the property here.
The dock at Jaibalito
We arrived at one of the docks in Jaibalito.
Apparently, a delivery was made previously and now these items must make their
way to stores, hotels and restaurants in the town.
A local fisherman
This young man was thrilled to have caught
these fish, which he planned to have for lunch. We continue to ask the locals if
the water is clean enough in which to swim, and obviously, many of them still
eat the fish which swim here. Most locals assure us that common sense prevails.
There are clean locations and ones where no one would consider swimming.
Sandra spins away the peel of the orange
In the sweetest voice you'd ever hear, Sandra
asked us if we wanted an orange. Set up outside her home, she has a basket of
citrus, her peeling machine, a special mix of spice (on the plate) and salt. She peels the
orange, cuts it in half and then sprinkles both salt and spice on the open
faces. You can have your orange in this local fashion, or simply say you'd like
Our three guides
From the dock, we walked straight up the path into the
village and realized that we didn't have the name of the
hotel/restaurant where we wanted to visit. No problem! Just ask a few locals and
they arrive out of the woodwork to become our guides. The young boy on the left
jumped to the occasion to earn a few Quetzales and led us down a teeny dirt
walkway. As we walked, it didn't take long for the other two boys to join in on
the venture. The "smell of money" was motivation!
These kids were great. Polite, friendly, and
respectful, they brought us right to the gate of where we wanted to go.
Hot tub, infinity pool, private dock,
The dock where we had arrived is not seen
here, but is located further to the right of this photo on the Lake. Not knowing
where we were going, we actually made a big circle from where we
were dropped off by the launcha. We're happy
to have been able to see the village and visit with some of the locals in town.
All we needed to say was that we were looking for a hotel/restaurant with a
pool, and the boys brought us right here.
Volcanic stone bar, fully stocked
You could get anything here you would like at
Cappuccinos, wine, beer, spirits and sodas were all available. But first, we
wanted to take a look around.
A closer look at the infinity pool,
wrought iron gate on right
We had been attempting to arrive at this
hotel for several days and the strange weather had blown in almost the whole week previous. This
morning we woke up to the power being turned off all around the lake, but the
skies were blue and beckoned us out onto the water. We decided to take our
chances and hope that the restaurant had back up means to cook our lunch.
Another spectacular view
This expansive patio is above the bar and
restaurant area. Tables and chairs are available here to enjoy this remarkable
Salad Nicoise with seared sesame encrusted
We decided to order one entree and one salad
and share between us. The greens were fresh and tasty, the tuna was awesome and
the dressing was light and perfectly made.
Whole fish, full plate
In many countries, fish is served whole on
the plate. Unless the menu says "filet of fish" one might expect it to be served
in this manner. Vegetables were fresh, the potatoes had a light cheese covering
and mango salsa topped the fresh flounder.
Toliman Volcano on the left, San Pedro
Volcano on the right
Another wooden pier juts out into the water
from the shore. If you would like a launcha to pick you up and take you
to any other town on the lake, simply stand out on the pier and wait for one to
pass by in the direction you are going. Then you flag it down, jump in and off
Most rides around the lake run from about
$1.25USD to about $4.50USD one way.
Our boat stops by another private pier
Lake Atitlan attracts international families
and businesses. Here a young foreigner prefers the view from the bow. Most
likely, she attends the international school in Panajachel and will grow up
learning at least three languages; her native tongue (which could be German or
Dutch), English and Spanish.
It is very common to see children take the
boats from their village and head on to Pana to sell wares from their town. They
could travel alone or in pairs.
On our way home from Jaibalito, a young Maya
boy, 7 or 8 years old, hopped on the boat and sat by a Gringo he knew from the town
of Jaibalito. The Gringo knew
the boy, but did not see his family so he was concerned for the boy's safety
thinking the child was tagging along with him. The man's Spanish was limited and
he asked anyone who could understand him about this boy's plight what he
should do about the kid. But the captains seem to know which children belong to what families
around the lake, and if
they happen to be traveling alone, they keep an eye out for them. That's the
All of this goes along without much fanfare
and this particular passage was a non-event. It turned out that his family was indeed seated in the stern
of the boat watching over him.
For more stories about
To learn more about
Guatemala as a retirement destination,
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 RetireEarlyLifestyle.com,
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
Early Lifestyle appeals to a different
kind of person – the person who prizes their
independence, values their time, and who doesn’t
want to mindlessly follow the crowd.