Blogs from Santa Cruz La Laguna, Western Highlands, Guatemala, Central America Caribbean

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Ostatnie dwa dni spędziłem nad jeziorem Atitlan. Początkowo miałem zamiar zatrzymać się w San Pedro la Laguna, ale tylu ludzi w Xela odradzało mi to miejsce, że zdecydowałem się na coś innego. Wybór padł na wioskę Santa Cruz la Laguna, a przyczynił się do tago właściciel mojego hostelu, który słyszał od swoich gości same pozytywy na temat hostelu ¨Iguana Perdida¨ w Santa Cruz. Aby się dostać nad jezioro Atitlan jadę chicken busami do Panajachel (dwie przesiadki w Los Encuentros i Solola), a stamtąd płynę jakieś 20 min wodnym busem (lancha) do Santa Cruz. Powoli zaczynam się przyzwyczajać do chcken busow:-). Początkowo ich unikałem (głównie przez zrozmiar moich nóg, które nie mieszczą sie między siedzeniami), ale widzę, że da radę się przemęczyć w tym czymś 2-3 godziny. Chicken busy to stare wysłużone a... read more
Motto życiowe hostelu Iguana perdida
Coś wleciało do kwiatuszka
Przystań w Santa Cruz o poranku


Think Itay's Amalfi Coast, Lake Garda or Lake Como, without cars/roads and you have some idea of how this place looks. Add a few picturesque volcanos for a spectacular backdrop and the Mayan people and culture for colour and interest. The result is a place that is not only beautiful but completely unique. We have been driven to Lago de Atitlan by Jose, from Antigua and the drive has been longer than anticipated - somehow we were given the impression this was a 90 miin drive - this is not so. But we pass through lovely countryside and then towns specialising in reindeer decorations made from twigs for Xmas celebrations.When we reach the unposted turn off to reach Solola and Panajachel, where we catch our boat, we cannot believe the almost vertically steep, narrow, windy road ... read more
Chicken bus unloading
Boathouse under water
Jetty view - Lake Atitlan


This morning we woke up jumping off the balcony into Lake Atitlan. Followed by a 3 hour hike to San Marcos, a nearby hippie down. (Here a 3 hour hike is considered nearby.) We hiked passed waterfalls, cornfields and small Mayan towns, along a narrow trail with a steep drop off. We made it back to the hotel just in time for more balcony jumping and communal dinner by candlelight (with some of the best food we've had while traveling). Ryan "didn't know that walking could be so fun" and managed to endure his Vibrams for almost the entire trek. The locals living in shacks along the 10ft wide narrow streets reminded him of Ios, Greece. We both continue to struggle with "Guatemalan time" and their operational efficiency. Particularly in restaurants and with public (sometimes private) ... read more
Beginning our hike.
Hiking!
Rad.


Everybody look at me cuz I’m sailing on a boat! John and I just got to Antigua and we are both beat. After having an 8-day party in Denver and then partying at Lake Atitlan for 3 days I need a rest. I can only imagine how John feels after being at The Iguana for as long as he has. Anyway, don’t have much to say…just wanted to let everyone know I got here safe and that John has shown me a great time. Had a crazy chick pick me up from the airport and drive me to the lake, walked into a crazy costume party at The Iguana, met some great people, got to stay in a great house, and had a boat party on Monday that ended with us stranded on the boat for ... read more
House where we stayed
John @ Lake Atitlan
Rowena (the artist)


The last half of my week was spent at Tzununa at Lomas de Tzununa...and Villa Sumaya in Santa Cruz..two nights each. Once I was done climbing those 500 steps TWICE...I decided that I was going to stay still for my two days at LdT and just read and relax. The rooms were all little wooden cabins built into the side of a cliff. As you can see from my photos, just how high up from the water I was! (On a previous week, I had hiked up to Lomas de Tzununa to make the reservation and I have included some pics from that hike as well.) The rooms themselves were very simple and lacked the warmth and charm of both La Casa del Mundo and Posada de Santiago, but made up for it in the amazing ... read more
hike to Tzununa - path to private residence - all eucaclyptus trees!
hike to Tzununa -woman doing laundry
Hike to Tzununa - chickens and roosters on the path


School was over for another week and I needed to go somewhere to relax. There are a multitude of destinations that are nearby Antigua that one can visit during the course of a weekend between classes. It was just a question of where to go! It was Friday lunchtime before I eventually selected a destination - It was going to be ‘Lago de Atitlan’. One of the cheapest ways (and in my opinion, most comfortable) is to take a local ‘Pullman Bus’ directly to the lake. It is far cheaper than using a private shuttle service, where they tend to pack you into an old toyota van like a pack of sardines for double the price. Instead - for $5, I got a reclining seat and ample leg room for the 2.5 hour journey to the ... read more
Views from my island....
La Iguana Perdida
The Bathroom


Saturday morning decided to go for a walk towards San Marcos about 3 hours away, this is the dangerous trail where youngsters rob tourists, there is 3 of us in a group, Valerie from Switzerland and Dean the Colorado dude who teaches martial arts back home so right there I already feel safe and he picked up a stick along the way to ward off bad people! The walk was quite enjoyable, up and down small hilss, you see corns planted on the hill and are now being harvested, Dean said never let anyone(locals)pass us for fear they might wait for us on the next bend where they can rob us, we were a bit paranoid as only yesterday a couple got robbed in the same trail, i brought my camera with me and no way ... read more
LAGO ATITLAN
STA.CRUZ TO SAN MARCOS HIKE
STA.CRUZ TO SAN MARCOS HIKE


Justin and I decided to head straight to Santa Cruz de Laguna rather than staying in Panajachel, we took the ferry and took as a good 15 minutes. The ferry docked right at the La Iguana Perdida hostel, they were getting dinner ready when we arrived, Diana one of the volunteer workers showed us our dorm room then we orderd the set dinner as there really is not much place to eat around here, the town is above the hill. Met other travellers and most of the staff, Kata and Walter, married and working here for awhile now they are from Chile, then met a very cool Spaniard Eugenio, when he found out I am there to learn Spanish, he started talking to me in Spanish and the night was spent, over a few beers learning ... read more
PANAJACHEL SUNSET
SANTA CRUZ DE LAGUNA
SANTA CRUZ DE LAGUNA


Lago Atitlan After a couple days in Antigua we took the long journey, on a road full of twists and turns, to the lake. It is about 2 hours and was quite similar to the Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway in Oregon. Once here, we decided to put our death-defying adventures on hold for a few days and take it easy. The first night we stayed in Panajachel, which is the main town for tourists and transport. We arrived mid-morning and were immediately helped/sought out/grafted by a guy at the bus stop. Apparently all the hotels in town are far more expensive than the new one that he could get us a room at, according to our new friend. To his credit, lodging is quite expensive in Pana and the prices have tripled or more since printing ... read more
Lago Atitlan
Atitlan Nature Reserve
Our monkey friend at Atitlan Nature Reserve


After visiting the ruins at Palenque we headed back down to San Cristobal for a night and headed out of mexico, destination Guatemala. We caught the bus from San Cristobal to Ciudad Cuauhtemoc, and across the border into Guatemala. This was a surprisingly informal affair that took place in the middle of a busy market - it would have been incredibly easy to just stroll on through. After having our passports stamped by the incredibly laid back and friendly border officials we had a 1.5 hour wait for our bus before crossing some incredible mountain and volcano scenery to our current location, Lago Atitlan. Lago Atitlan is an incredible volcanic lake, ringed by 3 huge volcanoes and numerous indigenous mayan villages. Our plan is to stay here for a couple of weeks studying spanish in one ... read more
Volcano gazing
Us on a stump




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