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Lake Atitlan.

Lake Atitlan.

 

I just spend a few days at Lake Atitlan and here are some of my impressions from this beautiful part of the world.

There are a few places around the world that are just perfect to chill out at. Lake Atitlan is one of them. Situated in the Guatemalan highlands next to a couple volcanoes, it a place that is very pleasing to the eye.

Local life at Lake Atitlan.

Local life at Lake Atitlan.

 

First I went to Panajachel.

I arrived with a shuttle bus from Antigua. Another great place to get stuck fo a while by the way. I got in to Panajachel which is the main town on the lake. I had booked a room for the night there in a small hotel and decided to spend the first night there. Panajachel is as such a nice little town. And it has a very good choice of places to eat and so. But compared to the other towns on the lake, it’s a bit of a hustler place. I enjoyed the views of the lake. Enjoyed the nice little hotel i stayed at. The food was also good, but I also knew that things would most likely be nicer elsewhere on the lake.

One of the small boats that transport people around the lake.

One of the small boats that transport people around the lake.

 

Alternative lifestyles in San Marcos La Laguna.

On my second day on the lake, I took a boat to San Marco La Laguna. Small motorboats go up and down the lake all day long. You can ride with them for 10 to 30 Quetzales (The currency in Guatemala). All depending on how far you are going on the lake. I decided to try San Marcos La Laguna next. I arrived with the boat to a little wooden bridge with a couple of wooden houses next to it. Then followed a narrow path through the dense vegetation for a few minutes. Along the path there were many signs showing the way to spiritual, holistic, vegan places and so on. San Marcos La Laguna is for a sure the center for those who want to dig alternative lifestyles on the lake. I was not there to join that, but was happy to have a look at it for a couple of days. My guest house was a gorgeous little wooden house. The place was run by a friendly local family who also has a little cafe. San Marco La Laguna is very small and has just 3-4 cafes and a tiny little town center, where the local Maya people hangs out in late afternoon and evening. I went there too and ate some chicken from the local food stalls at night. Be ware that some of the westerners who hang out there has had a lot to smoke for a very long time. I met a couple of really spaced out people there. But the majority of westerners these days in San Marcos La Laguna are just there to live a healthy and alternative lifestyle.

Arriving to San Marcos La Laguna.

Arriving to San Marcos La Laguna.

 

Street sign in San Marcos La Laguna.

Street sign in San Marcos La Laguna.

 

San Pedro is backpacker haven.

I finished my stay at Lake Atitlan in San Pedro. San Pedro is very popular with backpackers from all over the world. Sometimes it was maybe a little too much that the place is so dominated by one group, but I got to give San Pedro that it’s a very pleasant town. Because of all the backpackers, you also have many good facilities for travelers. Shuttle busses around the country, kayak rental, volcano hikes. you name it.  And it’s all quite cheap in San Pedro. My wonderful little guest house was super cheap and run by a lovely Mayan lady. I enjoyed hanging out with the local Guatemalan guys in one of the town cafes. Confederation cup when I was there and I spend a couple of nice afternoons watching football with the local football fans. They even forgave me that I like the Mexican National team 🙂

The main street in San Pedro Atitlan.

The main street in San Pedro Atitlan.

 

I had an earthquake while I was at Lake Atitlan.

One morning at 06:30 I woke up cause my bed was shaking. I know that Guatemala is very earthquake prone, so i figured out right away, that this was most likely an earthquake. My bed started to shake harder and harder. I was really tired and did not want to get out of bed. But I was starting to feel that this was not a small earthquake. Just as I was about to jump out of bed and run outside it stopped. So I walked back to my bed and fell asleep right away. I’m very good at falling asleep in any situation by the way. When I got out of bed a couple of hours later I turned my laptop on. It was a 6,8 magnitude earthquake I had felt. There was not really any destruction in town, but as I was leaving town on a bus the same day, I saw a lot of rockslides along the road to Quetzaltenango.

Arriving to San Pedro Atitlan.

Arriving to San Pedro Atitlan.

If you are traveling through Central America and need a relaxed place in a nice natural setting, for a few days of relaxing. Then Lake Atitlan is surely one of your best bets. I described 3 towns around the lake here, but there are several other places. So take you pick on the lake and relax. Cause Lake Atitlan is a very good place to do just that.

 

Nice little path in San Marco La Laguna.

Nice little path in San Marco La Laguna.

Sunset at Lake Atitlan.

Sunset at Lake Atitlan.

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2 Comments

  1. I really liked this lake – wonderful for photography. We didn’t find Pana too hustly, but San Antonio Popola certainly was!

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