Take a weekend break, three days and two nights to the majestic Lake Atitlan, upon arrival you will have an orientation walk around Panajachel, having the option for dinner and bar hop.
Next day we will head out to San Marcos la laguna and enjoy a Swim at a nature reserve, we enjoy a small hike, so be prepared to sweat before a refreshing swim and optional walk through the tiny pathways of the town famous for its alternative retreat style vibe. Afterwards you will be visiting San Juan la laguna. We will head out to a women's cooperative in which they have rescued the ancient Maya dyes to color their textiles, this is rescuing the ancient Maya culture before your eyes. We also visit a local chocolate factory owned by locals who get the cacao from the coast, then enjoy a local lunch at a Cooperative in which they help the community giving people with disabilities an option to work and be part of society. This is a unique lunch experience as we give back a small token of appreciation to this town.
The next day we visit Chichicastenango to have a traditional lunch with a local healer and his Family. The aim here is not the market, but visiting local family and going back in time with their knowledge and stories, first of all we will walk up to the ritual mountain of Pascual Abaj, sacred to the Maya past and present and have a Maya Ceremony. This ceremony is a blessing for our journey here in Guatemala and its a great way to seal this experience. We will also have a traditional lunch served by Miguel and his family members after the ceremony. After this, we continue on route to Antigua, back to the Colonial city and being dropped off at our Apartments.
This experience is perfect for nature lovers, people who love culture and traditions, a laid back time and people who like textiles and shopping. We see some of the different towns around the lake with their unique traditions.
Depart Antigua. 2.5 hours afterwards we arrive to Panajachel. Upon Arrival we check in to our hotel and then have the option of visiting the town.
After visiting the main Calle Santander, we can head out to the zona viva of town and have a drink at one of the local venues, Pana as the locals call it is a very laid back vibe to it.
Evening is free to explore the town, and get a bite to eat at a local restaurant.
We depart by boat to the southern part of the lake, where we visit 2 towns. San Marcos la Laguna and San Juan. Upon arrival to San Marcos, we have a small hike included before our swim, as the Cerro Tzankujil, is a ritual mountain with great view points. After our small hike, we enjoy a relaxing swim in this volcanic Caldera with 3 volcanoes on it! The lake is quite chilly for locals its about 10 to 15 degrees celcious so perfect temperature to refresh yourself and continue on this journey.
We head to San Juan la Laguna, we walk to our lunch stop which is included as well, this is where we give back a token of appreciation to the lake and the community as the restaurant where we have lunch helps out children with disabilities in the town, giving them work opportunities. A very unique experience. Afterwards we visit the town, as its famous for womens painters, Chocolate factories that are amazing to the senses as they do everything from chocolate from soaps to creams to varieties of traditional chocolate all for you to enjoy. And last but not least Textiles and coffee!!! After we head back on our private boat back to Panajachel.
We are in back in Pana with a free evening to enjoy the sunset and views and head out to the town for a meal and a drink.
We depart to Chichicastenango, we have a Maya Ceremony and have lunch with a traditional healer and his family then head back to Antigua.
Is having lunch with the family enjoying the traditional house and ambience, then heading back to Antigua, which is 2 hours away from Chichicastenango.
Free evening upon arrival
Food - Breakfast on day 2 and 3
Food - local Lunch on day 2 and traditional lunch on day 3
Local Guide at the lake for the 2 towns with private boat
Entrance fee to Reserve at San Marcos
Transportation - Round Trip including boats to visit the towns
Walking Tour walking around the towns
Accommodation in shared same-sex rooms
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
Food - Day 1 does not include meals. Day 2 does not include dinner, Day 3 does not include dinner
Tips for vendors
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Difficulty Level - Easy
Special clothing required - Athletic
Special clothing required - Warm weather could rain in the afternoons as well. Dress for cold hot and sunny weather
Special clothing required - Will get dirty
We have a team of guides, for this tour we will use a local guide from Atitlan, to visit the 2 towns on day 2 and the lunch at Chichicastenango. They have the inside knowledge and are from the lake. which makes the experience unique as they have a lot of Expats and Americans who do tours around the lake, we stick to the locals
MINIMUM TO OPERATE
DEADLINE TO BOOK
15 days prior to the start of the experience - Rooms Subject to availability at Selina Atitlan.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are lucky enough to visit Guatemala, you must spend some time at Lake Atitlan. It is the deepest lake in Central America, with gorgeous turquoise water, surrounded by volcanoes and a variety of towns, each with its own unique character. We stayed at the Selina in Panajachel, which was pleasant and had a nice vibe (and separate bar overlooking the lake), and has a larger pool than that of Antigua's Selina. It was wonderful to spend time on the lake on a privately hired boat that took us from Pana to San Marcos and San Juan. The post-hike lake swim in San Marcos was refreshing. Two in our group ran and jumped off the high diving platform, much to my admiration. Our guide was excellent, and shared his Mayan culture with great pride. We visited Chichicastenango on the way back, Central America's largest handicrafts market, which was a feast for the senses. There is so much to see around Lake Atitlan, that I recommend staying longer than two days (as some in our group did). Lake Atitlan should not be missed!
The organized trip was a great way to see Atitlan on a first trip. We had some great free time, and an opportunity to enjoy swimming in the lake and enjoying a few towns and boat trips across the lake. The side trip to ChiChicastenango far exceeded my expectations. Having Miguel as a guide was a unique experience. His family's rich history with the town and Mayan culture provided an opportunity that few experience. The participation in a Mayan ceremony with him and his mother was one of the most memorable parts of the trip. I hope to get more time in Lake Atitlan and I plan to go back when I need a longer getaway.