San Juan La Laguna is a village on Lake Atitlán where outsiders (i.e. foreigners / expats) are prohibited from buying land. The population is 95% Tz’utujil – one of the 21 Mayan ethnic groups that live in Guatemala. It’s home to several women’s weaving collectives, and in the tourist community, it’s known as the best village on the lake for buying artisan goods to support the local economy. For me, it’s the place of bright colors, where hats hang in the streets and Guatemalan flags fly high, where I had warm chocolate tea on the roof deck, storm rolling over mountain, origin of my now-with-me cacao mug and red table runner, a place where I wandered in the light rain.
Lake Atitlán, Guatemala
When: October, 2021
How long: 4 days, 3 nights
Via: 3 hour drive from Antigua with a driver (Mario, recommended by a friend); originally flew direct from Orlando to Guatemala City and drove 1 hour with Mario to Antigua from there.
Stayed: Lakeview Lodge, an absolutely incredible Airbnb off the dirt road between San Marcos and Tzununa.
Ate/Drank: Comedor Konojel (San Marcos; dinner), Il Giardino (San Marcos; breakfast, takeaway dinner), Samsara’s Garden (San Marcos; smoothies, snacks, tea), Licor Marrón -Chocolate (San Juan, hot chocolate); Moonfish Cafe (San Marcos, takeaway dinner), Deli Jasmin (Panajachel; lunch), NECTAR ArtCafe (San Marcos; cacao and drinks).
Did: Explored San Juan La Laguna, Explored San Juan La Laguna, Cerro Tzankerjl Nature Reserve (San Marcos La Laguna).
Shopping: Casa Flor Ixcaco Weaving Cooperative (San Juan La Laguna), Licor Marrón -Chocolate (San Juan La Laguna), Lavalove Cacao (San Marcos La Laguna).
Fitness: Running along the dirt road between San Marcos & Tzununa; running up the 150 steps from the road to the Airbnb.
Local: Required covid test – Las Asunción Laboratorio Clínico Biólogo (Panajachel).
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