Wednesday, September 14, 2011



Taking a shuttle van from Antigua we passed through very rugged mountainous countryside on our way to Panajachel, Lago Atitlan.

 Named one of the most beautiful lakes in the world;  Volcanic eruptions over millions of years have formed today’s vast 5125 foot high altitude lake. Lago Atitlan is surrounded by three volcanoes; Volcan Toliman

Volcan Atitlan

and Volcan San Pedro 

We took a Launcha over to the south end of the Lake for our two night stay at Posada de Santiago. Lago Atitlan is 12 miles long and 7 ½ miles at it’s widest. This is the heartland of Guatemala’s Maya- 12 different tongues along with Spanish is spoken in these 13 lakeside villages.

 Local Maya doing laundry

View from our Hacienda de Miguel Angel

Exploring the town of Santiago

We told the hotel we were interested in touring the lake the next day so he set up a four hour lake tour at a cost of 100Q (13$)  per person with “Julio”

We in fact ended up with Manuel and his son Mino who was a delight. These small private boats on the lake are in fact called Tiburoneros….

Mino turned out to be quite the entrepreneur; of course he had a captive audience. How could we resist.

Our first stop was San Pedro La Laguna

where we rented TUK TUK’s  for a sight seeing tour.

Took us up to view the “Indian Nose”---a profile of an ancient Maya dignitary.

 Very narrow streets

And steep roads.

(Local fishing skiff) Our next stop was San Juan La Laguna.  There were so many tourguides wanting our business we decided to not even get out of the Launcha , instead heading directly to San Marcos La Laguna

We passed this incredible piece of Real estate

 and this tranquil swimming hole.

We wanted to stop here at Casa de Mundo, Jabalito to have lunch.  This hotel was where we originally planned to stay but they were fully booked.  The weather had started to deteriorate making docking untenable.

So we decided to stop at Club Ven Aca

Just a bit to the east.

 for lunch. Turned out to be a great location and the lunch was delicious.

Looks like we have tuckered out our guides

 It was getting real rough out on the lake and late so we asked Manuel to take us back to Santiago. We also asked him to return the next morning as it was time to leave Atitlan for Guate City.

Back at the Hacienda. The grounds are beautiful….Tranquil

The hotel  turned out to be a great location to people watch

Locals wearing their ancestral dress

clothing of the Tz’utujil Maya

These Maya live a very traditional lifestyle

And the food at Posada de Santiago was scrumptious.

The next morning we’re on our way but no Mino to-day.Instead his brother was the “1st Mate”. Carrying Bill's back pack.

And finally we found Pitaya.  Pam and I stocked up on this fruit to take back and share with our Rio Dulce friends.

Adios to Atitlan---a place we will love to re-visit
Truly exquisite.

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