|We parted ways with Gabriella as she headed back to Marios Marina and continued on with OK FINE to Denny's Beach, a popular resort on the south east shore of the lake. It is slow season now and we were the only boats, in fact the only guests at the resort.
The Beach Resort Hotel has a wide variety of accomodations, ranging from cute little private cabins tucked up among the tropical plants on the steep hills, with a lovely view of the lake, to dormitory style lodging for backpackers, which make up a large part of the tourists in Guatemala and even camping facilities. There are free mooring balls for visiting boats and even a dock that is free to tie up to.
There are free kayaks available to use and wakeboarding in the busy season. There are beautiful walking trails either up through the jungle or along the beach. Many tours are available to various pther tourist destinations around the lake. There is a choice of two horseback riding tours. We took the shorter, 4 hr trip which included a stop to swim in a refreshing mountain stream with a series of waterfalls.
We chatted with Roberto Lujan who has been managing the place with his wife Laura Morelra for just a few months. He mentioned some of the additional feautures of the resort, including the armed guard who keeps an eye on visiting boats and a first aid centre for use not only by resort guests but anyone on the lake in need of assistance who finds themselves closer to Denny's than to a hospital. They have a stock of anti-venom required for some of the poisonous snakes in the area, which is important because time is of the essence when bitten by some of the nasty ones. We even enjoyed free internet from our anchorage just off the beach.
Denny's doesn't keep the horses used for the tours on site, they simply notify local caballeros when someone books a tour and horses are brought in from the area. They can provide 8 horses fairly quickly and 18 more with a little more notice. We thoroughly enjoyed our ride through the little town, the pastureland with a wide variety of cattle, horses and pigs and up the mountain. We cooled off in the stream and had a massage under the waterfall before heading back down.
It is such a shame that more cruisers don't take their boats to Denny's Beach and we took a handfull of business cards with us when we left, vowing to be back, hopefully with more boats next time.