Blogs from Lago de Atitlán, Western Highlands, Guatemala, Central America Caribbean


During our Spanish Immersion course in Antigua, it was time for a 2 week break, so we booked a shuttle (Q100) to Lake Atitlan! On the list of the most beautiful lakes in the world, Lake Atitlan did not disappoint us. We arrived in Panajachel and were picked up by a Tuk Tuk and swept through the city to our Airbnb home. Cirilo was the perfect host there. He ended up watching our bags for us as we traveled to and from different towns around the lake during our stay. We continued to return to his home without booking via Airbnb. Lake Atitlan is about a 90 minute drive from Antigua, most people arrive in Panajachel. From there truck, shuttle, and boats are available to commute to the towns. Some are only accessible via boat due ... read more
My favorite purchase
Truck ride to San Antonio

After the volcano hike, our next adventure was to Lake Atitlán. It was about a 3 hour shuttle ride to Panajachel (Pana), the main town on the lake for transport. We were both a little grouchy and tired at this point and we still needed to find an ATM and a gift for Secret Santa. It was Christmas Eve, and the banks were generally closed and the ATM's did not work - third time was the charm thankfully. I finally convinced Luke to get a tuk-tuk to search for the gift rather than wander aimlessly around a town we did not know on Christmas Eve carrying all our crap. So, our driver, Manuel, took us to a place that had what I needed and then agreed to drive us the forty minutes to our stop: San ... read more
Christmas Eve - traditional clothes
yoga with a view
Michaela making textiles

Sun 18 – Wed 21 November - Day 23 to 25 - Chichicastenango & Panajachel & Lake Atitlan After breakfast we left Antigua and drove towards Guatemala's most famous market town, Chichicastenango. This village's population swells from approx. 1000 to over 20,000 on market day (when we visited). The local indigenous people, mostly descendants of the K'iche' (Quiché) Maya people, come down from the nearby hills to sell everything from kitchen pots and pans to live turkeys! Handicrafts, bags, jumpers and wall hangings are just a few of the very colourful bargains to be found here. Chichicastenango, also known as Santo Tomás Chichicastenango, is a town in the ‘state’ of El Quiche. It is located in a mountainous region about 140 km northwest of Guatemala City, at an altitude of 1,965 m. The Spanish conquistadors ... read more
Chichicastenango Gucumatz Arch  (2)
Botanical Gardens at Atitland Hotel Panjachel Guatemala (36)
Botanical Gardens at Atitland Hotel Panjachel Guatemala (64)

Montag, den 26. März, haben wir Semuc Champey verlassen und sind zum Lago Atitlán gefahren. Wir hatten in unserem Hostel ein Shuttle gebucht und mussten um 6h30 an der Rezeption des Hostels sein und ausgecheckt haben. Wie immer in Guatemala war unser Shuttle eine halbe Stunde zu spät und wir haben das Hostel erst um 7h verlassen. Zuerst mussten sich 25 Leute aus unserem Hostel mit ihrem Gepäck hinten in einen Truck quetschen um nach Lanquín zu fahren. Zum Glück saßen Laura aus Kanada und ich genau am rand des Trucks und hatte wenigstens eine schöne Aussicht. So sind wir 30 Minuten lang sehr unbequem auf einer holprigen Straße und alle noch müde nach Lanquín gefahren, aber wenigstens konnten wir die Ausssicht und den Sonnenaufgang genießen. Als wir in Lanquín ankamen, haben wir uns dann auf ... read more

On Monday 26th of March, we left Semuc Champey and went to Lago Atitlán. We had booked a shuttle via our hostel and had to be at the reception and check out at 6:30AM. As always in Guatemala, our shuttle was late and we only left the hostel at 7AM. First, 25 people with their bagpacks had to squeeze in the back of the hostel’s truck to go down to Lanquín and it was a very uncomfortable ride. Fortunately, Laura from Canada and me had the seats at the back and had the nicest view. The ride was 30 minutes and even though we were still tired and it was uncomfortable, we enjoyed the beautiful view. Once we arrived to Lanquín, we split up into our different shuttles. Anja, Skander and me said goodbye to Tina ... read more

ACHTUNG: unterhalb des Textes und der Zusatzinformationen sind jeweils noch mehr Fotos! Bitte ganz nach unten scrollen. 24.5. Wir holen unsere gestern ins Wasser gefallene Foto-Tour im Dorf nach, indem wir herumspazieren, uns möglichst unauffällig in eine Ecke stellen und die vorbeigehenden Leute fotografieren. Oft hilft es auch, wenn sich Eva gut sichtbar positioniert, so dass alle Vorbeigehenden sie anschauen und Marco dann unbemerkt knipsen kann. Todos Santos ist ein äusserst ergiebiges «Jagdrevier»: die Frauen tragen wiederum Wickelröcke, diesmal dunkelblau mit dezenten Streifen, und kunstvoll bestickte Oberteile. Neu sind hier die Gürtel, ebenfalls detailreich verziert, und schöne Taschen, die mit dem Tragband um die Stirn oder umgehängt getragen werden. Die Männer haben hier ebenfalls eine auffällige Tracht: rot-weiss gestreifte Hosen, manche tragen darüber noch e... read more
Besuch der alten Damen
schöner alter Mann

It didn’t matter who you would ask about their favorite place in Guatemala, Lake Atitlan is always the answer. It is Guatemala’s pearl, 18 km long, situated between mountains and volcanos, located between the two biggest cities in the country, Guatemala City and Xela, and a “must-see”. When we first visited at the lake, both of us got caught by the flu. Yeeees, this happens to backpackers too, every now and then. So, instead of raving through the nights, recovering on paddle boards during the day, and enjoying the lake we spent our time in bed. The second answer to the “favorite-question” is volcano Acatenango. Therefore, Eva’s final stop would be Antigua, where the tour starts (Three month after arriving in the North, we finally found out, that we saw the volcanos Acatenango and El Fuego ... read more
Hiking through the Jungle (Acatenango)
“It's that heart of gold, and stardust shine that makes you beautiful.”  ― R.M. Broderick
I miss you here!

Lake Atitlan... where do I start?! What an absolutely stunning place, this would definitely have to be pretty close to paradise. We stayed in Santa Cruz, whilst there isn't much happening there this is part of the charm. Our hotel, la Iguana perida, is right by the boat dock. We had no wifi there (which is why the blog is slightly late), and they did 3 course 'family style' dinners every night, not that I'm used to that in our family! This was a great combination for meeting other people, making friends and sharing advice. It really does complete the charm of the place. There are a couple of other hotels in Santa Cruz and a cafe called CECAP which is run by a cooperative to train local young people, which was well worth the steep ... read more
View of the lake from CECAP
Boys playing in the village
Street Art in San Marcos

In San Pedro, we went to a nice bar (Sublime) in the evening, where they had live music. The style was a sort mix of cumbia and ska. The bar had a big dance floor, a terras that looked a little bit like a treehouse platfom and downstairs there was a bonfire with seats around it. We didn't stay too long, because we booked a tour for the next morning at 3:45: Sunset from the Indian's nose. The Indian's nose is a mountain at the lake, that looks like a sleeping indian, with his nose in the air. It took the little bus about 45 minutes to get to a little village high in the mountain. From there we went with a guide on a little path that lead to the viewpoint. It was about 30 ... read more
Sunset lake Atitlan
Sunset lake Atitlan
Lake Atitlan and the Indian´s nose

Dear All Greetings from Lake Atitlan, a stunningly beautiful high altitude lake in the Guatemalan highlands, surrounded by steep lush forested slopes, and flanked on its southern edge by three perfectly conical volcanoes – this could be paradise, it feels wonderful. I am currently writing this one from my hillside cabin at the Hotel Isla Verde, an eco-lodge perched up one of the lush forested Northern slopes of the lake, with a stunning full window vista right in front of me of the bluest of lakes, the bluest of skies and the hazy clouded peaks looming in the distance. The vista is framed by the lushest of vegetation, croaking cicadas and chirping birds. And the cabin’s attached private bathroom has a large completely open, glass-free “window” so you can do your ablutions pretty much in the ... read more
Volcan Toliman (3158m), Lake Atitlan
6a Avenida, Guatemala City
Me, Palacio Nacional de la Cultura, Guatemala City

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