About Lake Atitlán
Lake Atitlán (Lago de Atitlán) is a large endorheic lake (one that does not flow to the sea) in the Guatemalan Highlands. While Atitlán is recognized to be the deepest lake in Central America, its bottom has not been completely sounded. Estimates of its maximum depth range up to 340 meters. The lake is shaped by deep escarpments which surround it and by three volcanoes on its southern flank.
Lake Atitlán’s further characterized by towns and villages of the Maya people. The lake is volcanic in origin, filling an enormous caldera formed in an eruption 84,000 years ago. It is renowned as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, and Aldous Huxley famously wrote of it:
Lake Como, it seems to me, touches on the limit of permissibly picturesque, but Atitlán is Como with additional embellishments of several immense volcanoes. It really is too much of a good thing.
The lake basin supports extensive coffee growth and a variety of farm crops, most notably corn. Other significant agricultural products include onions, beans, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, chile verde, strawberries, avocados and pitaya fruit. The lake itself is rich in animal life which provides a significant food source for the largely indigenous population.
Here at Maya Moon we have clean, fresh lake water, which is great to swim in. We have a beach and a private dock to swim from.
About the Lodge Owners
Maya Moon Lodge was jointly created by Chris and Fiona who came to Lake Atitlán at the beginning of 2001 and fell in love with the place. They both decided to visit again, and eventually in 2006, they came to live at the lake.
Within a year they found this piece of land which was barren without electricity or running water. It was over two years before they were able to live on the property, part of that time they lived in Panajachel, San Marcos, Jaibalito, Tzununá, and a camper van. Neither Chris nor Fiona spoke any Spanish and had never been involved in building of property of any sort, let alone in a foreign country where the villagers spoke there local dialects, such as Kaqchickel. It was to be learning curve for everyone involved!
At first, the goals were very simple: electricity and then running water. Their house near the road was originally a garage and the owners lived for a while in their camper van out front. The garage was later converted into Casa Dragonfly where they now live and later the Casa Suena room was built by the lake.
Later, in July 2013, after five months of traveling in their camper van in Mexico they came back and started to build Maya Moon Lodge. Due to the landscape of the land the idea of cabanas on stilts was decided. They had a three-month break from November to March and the last stage was completed. Finally, in November 2015, they decided that they could open the Lodge to guests. So now the next adventure begins, Maya Moon Lodge!
Update March 2018
We now have a local staff of 6 family members, who are a great asset to the lodge. We only employ people from the local village of Tzununa. They are paid well and recieve all their extra bonuses e.g holiday pay and Christmas and Summer Bonuses.
The kitchen and cleaning ladies recieve extra tips from the service charge in the restaurant, in recent years many of our local staff have been able to buy land and build themselves houses.
Our priority is the well being and happiness of our staff who we are very grateful for and this ensure a fun and relaxed atmosphere.
We also have three work exchangers who help in the kitchen and at reception, our goal is to employ only local workers but we currently need staff that can also speak English and Spanish and understand fully the needs of our western guests.
We are currently offering Spanish and English lessons to our local staff and our head of kitchen is learning to read and write, she has had no formal education.
We are extremely eco-conscious and buy locally and organically as is possible.
We do not sell plastic bottles of any kind and offer free drinking water.
We now have a large range of fruit trees and many organically grown herbs and lettuce.
We are constantly upgrading the accommodation and buy new beds every year, the old ones we donate to the village and our local staff.
We use only hydrogen peroxide to clean with, this is a natural eco product, we also use an organic lemongrass disinfectant to clean all our vegetables and fruit and pride ourselves on the cleanliness of our kitchen.
We only use natural organically produced products in our garden ensuring a great eco system and our garden is based on permacultural principals resulting in organic fruit, vegetables, herbs and salad.