Lake Atitlán is a large lake in the highlands of Guatemala that formed in the cavity created when a string of volcanos erupted 84,000 years ago. One of our shuttle drivers was a British geologist/tour operator so we had a very interesting and informative ride!
The other pointy volcanos that surround it make it very picturesque, and very hard to resist taking hundreds of photos that never captured the entire beauty and magic.
There are many towns and villages around the lake, and we started in Panajachel for three nights before going to San Pedro de Laguna for four.
Panajachel is the main launch point of the boats that ferry people from town to town.
The ‘huipil’ is the traditional blouse worn by the Mayan women, and some are incredible works of art with their weaving and embroidery.
This woman was wearing the most beautiful blouse, and was working on others. I did buy one from her, and want to just use it as a wall hanging.
My ‘bag lady’ collection that uses recycled huipils
Viveka is a weaver, and was very keen to learn how they use a simple back strap loom. So we had two different student levels, and two very patient and lovely instructors! Over two 4-hour sessions, and their help, I made a scarf and Viveka made a very fine cotton thread belt.
We also went to San Juan, another village, where the women have large weaving cooperatives and their hallmark are natural dyes.
Streets that sometimes are so narrow you have to jump into the nearest doorway to let the tuc tuc go past
Grilled chicken, pork and sausage, puposas, grilled chicken, chicken soup, chicken salad – at the most $5.
With the number of young backpackers here, there is no lack of gluten-free/daily-free/vegan/juice bar options, but we stayed pretty traditional except for the green curry
Yesterday we took a private shuttle for five hours, including a delicious breakfast stop, to the Guatemala City airport. Matt, the geologist, gave us a bonus lecture on the area. Very knowledgeable and a good educator.
When we had first arrived, we had taken a shuttle from Antigua to Panajachel. Then it was a 30 minute, teeth jarring boat ride across the lake. This time we left from San Pedro, but the road is so poor it took an hour to cover 21 kilometres onwards the highway.
There were some amazing views as we climbed the switchbacks up from the lake.
Cutting it close! We were going to leave Guatemala with 15.80 quetzales, which wasn’t enough to even buy another beer, so we donated it
And goodbye in two days when Viveka returns to Sweden, and I go to Merida.