Route So Far

Visiting Lago Atitlan was definitely a highlight of Guatemala for us.  The lake is surrounded by volcanoes, mostly dormant, and the lake itself is where the land surface collapsed after many eruptions.  It is 1km deep View of San Pedro Volcano from San Marcosin the centre, and beautifully blue in colour.  Small villages dot the lake shores.  The villages are linked by roads or paths.  The ideal thing would be to trek from village to village, but unfortunately it is not advised due to thieving locals.  There have been no stories of violence, just many tourists being relieved of their valuables.   

We arrived in San Marcos la Laguna after a series of chicken buses, a minibus and a tuktuk (converted motorbike that seats two passengers behind the driver).  We chose Hotel La Paz to stay in, as it was highlighted as a “special place” in the Lonely Planet.  And indeed it was.  We were shown to a lovely room, decorated with local materials, and set in a tropical garden.  It was the start of several days intense relaxation!

We met a lovely crew here in San Marcos – Kerryman Anton, an Italian girl called Vittoria and a French-Cathal testing his adrenaline levelsCanadian couple.  We took advantage of our time here to hang out at the rocks and swim, attend yoga classes and take traditional saunas.  The sauna was quite an experience – the Mayans built saunas with a low entrance door, heated by woodfire.  You pour water on the hot cylinder to increase the heat, and a kettle with herbs provide a lovely scent.  We exfoliated with salt and moisturised with honey! 

One of the beautifully sunny mornings, 7 of us decided that there was safety in numbers, and walked from San Marcos to Santa Cruz, passing through 3 other villages on the way.  It was a stunning walk, along paths through steep cornfields.  We passed many locals carrying firewood, and brightly dressed ladies working in The heavenly corn cropthe fields.  We stopped in Jabailito for a drink – the cheapest round in Guatemala – we can now see how much prices are inflated in places like San Marcos and Xela.  We finished in Santa Cruz – a small village with 3 places to stay.  It was a place we intended visiting for a couple of nights – however with the onshore wind and exposed location, we decided that San Marcos was way preferable! 

I also went on a guided hike to a waterfall with our friends, it was a lovely walk through cornfields, and up a river bed – however the waterfalls themselves were disappointing. Lakeside village

We felt we could have stayed another week in San Marcos, it was so tranquil and relaxing.  I would definitely recommend it for anybody looking for a restorative break! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Lago Atitlan

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