Retire in Guatemala on Lake Atitlan

2010-04-04 04:29:36

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, there is no need for Air Conditioning, and no need for Heating, the ideal climate on planet earth. I have visited Lake Atitlan Guatemala 5-7 times during my 12 years of continuous travel. Lake Atitlan is by far one of the best locations I know for retirement living on the planet. Generally, old people cannot handle the heat or cold, so Lake Atitlan is the perfect choice. At 1500 Meters above Sea Level, and located in the Tropics, this place has warm days and cool nights, as close to perfect climate I have found.

List of Cities on Lake Atitlan
Panajachel - Acceptable for Retirement
Santa Cruz
San Marcos
Santa Catarina
San Pablo
San Antonio
San Juan
San Pedro - Acceptable for Retirement
San Lucas Taliman
San Andres

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala --- Sunday, April 4, 2010
By Andy Graham of


I will Never Retire
I have no desire to be tortured by the locals, tourist, expatriates or foreigners; therefore, I can only visit these "Retire-in" locations. To retire in Guatemala, to live in one location, is to park my brain in one group of old people sounds like torture to me. I plan on living in many locations for 2-3 months per trip, and never retiring in one location, because the people change.

Presently, I have been in Panajachel for three weeks, I rented a great room for 140 USD per month, Private Bath with Hot Water, High Speed Internet, Color Television with Cable in the Hotel Amigo, one of the best values for a room I have ever had, this is 120 per night room for five dollars per day.

--- Average age of Retire in Guatemala Expats in Pana is 60 Years Old ---

People are Important
There is a great bunch of 50-90 year old people in Panajachel, I know this group of retire in Guatemala foreigners are more sane than the Thailand bunch, a close tie for the Philippines bunch, but all in all there is a problem. They feel old at heart for me, I have no desire to settle down into a rut and fall over dead.

Note: The plateau from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Lake Victoria is all at about 1300-1500 meters above sea level and is a wonderful climate. I would also consider this one of the better climates of the planet.

San Pedro is 20-35 Years Old
I have had my fill of old people, I respect them, but have little use for older people, they make me feel old. I am planning on moving to San Pedro in the next seven days, and staying for a month, I need a breath of young air.

San Pedro or Panajachel?
Generally, all the other cities on the lake are choices to live on Desert Island and be a hermit; you truly must hate people to want to live in the others cities on the lake. I suppose Santiago and Solola are big enough, but a person would constantly be making trips to Pana to find foreigners for conversations in English. The local Guatemala people are sweet, and have about a tenth grade education, not the best for a developed world level discussion.

Freedom to Roam because Communication Improves
I can buy a Tigo Cell Phone Modem that I put in my USB slot of my computers for 400 Quetzals which includes the first month of internet. Linda a Canadian not-living-in-Pana tells me I can use to make phone calls with this Modem.

The cost is 325 Q per month no contract and I can use eight gigs of bandwidth, so it is not unlimited, but very high. If this is the truth, I will buy one in on Monday, the maybe with the Tigo Internet system, I would live anywhere in Guatemala, my internet access would be stable. Generally, I need stable internet access to be happy, after that, I do not care about the room so much, as long as the owner and residents are sane.

Seven Year Itch
I would estimate that 99 percent of all people who retire overseas give up on the location they choose, and then spend their whole time trying to sell the house they purchased for too much to the next stupid foreigner who wants to "Retire in" country. I am making a joke, the "Retire In" websites are expanding like rabbits, because Retire in Guatemala advertising pays good… hehehe. I do not want you to retire in any country, I recommend you rent for 2-3 months and move onto the next retire-in country.

Generally, if I was going to consult a person on how to retire in Guatemala, I would say, you re not choosing a location, you are choosing the people. If you like the foreigners who live there, ask your friends,
"Did you retire in Guatemala?
"How long?"

The majority are transients, and not really living in Guatemala, when you return to set up housekeeping your friends will be gone.

Retire in Guatemala on Lake Atitlan

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