If you are ready to disconnect from the stresses of a busy life, I highly recommend the Lake Villa Guatemala. It is one of the most peaceful places on the planet.

Only several hours from Guatemala City, on a road that can be a little bumpy in places, the time flew by as we chatted with our driver, Mark.

We stayed in the Lake View room which offers great privacy and beautiful views of Lake Atitlan. We enjoyed fresh French Press coffee in our room each morning as we watched the fishermen out for their morning rounds.

The vegan cooking workshop was great as we learned new ways to prepare wonderful gourmet meals each afternoon. The meals were delicious and we were never hungry. I even came home 3 pounds lighter from the healthy meals.

Traci and Mark were very gracious hosts and tended to our every need. They guided us on tours and shopping in the many adorable villages around the lake. Both are very talented musicians and singers and we were delighted as they performed fun songs from folk to modern rock. Traci even found a fantastic place for my wife to get a facial, which she thoroughly enjoyed.

We enjoyed learning about the Mayan culture and the very friendly disposition of the local Guatemalan residents. Hiking the volcano in Santiago was arduous, but the views from the top are spectacular. Mark’s son, Kyle, was our wonderful guide for the hike and we were impressed by his knowledge of the local flora and fauna.

Spending afternoons in the hammocks down by the lake with a good book was very relaxing and nap inducing. While our trip was to celebrate my wife’s 50th birthday, don’t wait for a special occasion to visit this incredible place. Everything was perfect.