The quaint Mayan hamlet of Jaibalito is located on the north shore of Lake Atitlan as part of the municipality of Santa Cruz la Laguna; a town located just to the east. Its location on the lake makes it ideal for exploring the area. Casa Vivare is at the entrance to the village, a 2-minute walk up from the public dock where the boats from San Pedro and Panajachel arrive. People in Jaibalito are very friendly; it is common to greet everyone you encounter. Jaibalito is the smallest of the Atitlan villages and the only one that has no road access: only by boat or on foot.
food & drink
Close to the public dock, across from Casa Vivare is our favorite place in town: Bistro Indigo, a great place, overlooking the lake and volcanoes. They serve a variety of dishes, all made with fresh ingredients from the garden and served with flair. Open daily from 09:00h to 18:00h during high season, dinner by reservation only. They host regular live music events and organize afternoon get-togethers featuring Persian specialties. Phone: +502 5201-1139 or WhatsApp: +502 5374-9959
The Posada Jaibalito: Open 7:00h to 20:00h, 7 days a week, serving mainly homemade and very fresh German food, Hans roasts and sells coffee, and offers freshly baked bread, avocados, limes, cookies, kombucha and alcohol. Make sure to grab a seat and a menu and when you're ready to order, walk to the kitchen and let them know your selection. His girls tend to be a little shy. Phone: +502 3112-7226
Hans' Mercado Jaibalito on the main street supplies visitors and residents with groceries such as fruits, vegetables, cheeses, yogurt, milk, granola, dry goods, oils, candles and even flashlights. This little grocery store is open from 8:15h to 16:00h. The other local tiendas tend to have dried goods such as flour and sugar, snack food, sodas, beer, milk and cigarettes.
Straight up the main street, past the intersection, is the upper part of the village. Just past the puesto de salud (health clinic), there are signs to the left, then right to a local restaurant called Cafe El Escondido, serving Guatemalan fare from 08:00h to 20:00h every day, including delivery. Phone: +502 4369-8288
Just east of the main dock, a 3-minute walk will take you to Club Ven Aca, serving good drinks and tasty gringo food poolside. They also have a hot tub available for rent. Hours are 11:00 to 17:00 Wednesday through Sunday (temporarily closed).
The hotel Casa del Mundo has a restaurant open to the public. They serve breakfast lunch and snacks until 17:00h, and dinner by reservation. Phone: +502 5204-5558
There is a hiking trail from Jaibalito to Santa Cruz (35 minutes) as well as one to Tzununa (1 hour). Please make sure to check about the trail conditions to Tzununa before undertaking this hike. Voltan Adventures in Santa Cruz offers guided and narrated treks around the lake and volcanoes? Phone: +502 5355-8849
Go for a swim in the lake! There are always docks you can use that are a bit removed from the main dock ‘muelle’. Casa del Mundo takes reservations for their hot tub and they also offer hourly kayak and paddle board rentals. Phone: +502 5204-5558. You can contact Los Elementos for guided kayak excursions and SUP lessons and rentals. They also offer narrated hikes, massages and other activities. They are located just east of the Isla Verde Resort, a 30-minute walk from Jaibalito. Phone: +502 5359-8328. If you’d like to try your hand at paddle boarding, visit Stand Up Paddle Atitlan, a little further east, just before reaching the Santa Cruz dock. They offer wonderful guided trips with a certified instructor. Phone: +502 4522-4869
Following the trail from Jaibalito to Santa Cruz, you walk along the Tzan Cruz ridge and down past Isla Verde Bay. The Hotel Isla Verde is a favorite spot to get a healthy smoothie and a delicious breakfast or lunch. They do host quite a few yoga retreats in January and February, limiting access to other patrons, but they are worth checking out. Phone: +502 7823-5952 .
For those wanting a relaxing or healing (shiatsu) massage, we have several professionals in the area who will come to your house or hotel to do a session with you. Casa Vivare has its own massage room. To schedule a time, contact Atitlan Herbals. Phone: +1502 3003-0113.