Thursday, January 03, 2013

Lago Atitlan

Lago Atitlan in western Guatemala is the most beautiful lake in the world some folks say.

A lake ringed with volcanoes, towns and villages, all with accommodation, we decided to base ourselves in the biggest town on the lake, Panajachel. And with a little patience - we needed 4 nights between Christmas and New Years - found cozy room in a great hotel with a rooftop terrace: Hotel Sueño Real. From that terrace we would experience every sunrise and sunset for the duration of our stay.

The first full day we took a boat west to Santa Cruz and hiked around the lake to San Marcos and returned to Pana by boat. Great lake and volcano views. Noted "the scene" in San Marcos.

The second day we bused 10 km up the hill in the morning to the weekly market in Solola. We were surprised to find a well organized (traffic police e.g.), sprawling, shady for the most part, bustling market. Then in the afternoon we walked 6kms NE around the lake to Santa Caterina and then a few more kms for a view of San Antonio.

The third day we resisted a greedy boatman and punted on a day trip to Santiago, and instead did some shopping. Panajachel has more souvenirs and souvenir shops than any place in the world that we have visited - more than Yongshou, China.

Sunset as seen from hotel terrace.
Lago Atitlan, Guatemala

The dock at Santa Cruz.
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Lago Atitlan with volcanoes.
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Playing guitar with some new friends on the rooftop of our hotel at sunset.
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Solola Weekly Market.
Lago Atitlan, Guatemala

Solola Weekly Market.
Lago Atitlan, Guatemala

Solola Weekly Market.
Lago Atitlan, Guatemala

Solola Weekly Market.
Lago Atitlan, Guatemala

Our granadilla purchase at the Solola Market.
Lago Atitlan, Guatemala

And about to eat the granadilla.
Lago Atitlan, Guatemala

More market.
Lago Atitlan, Guatemala

A basket of turkeys - Solola Market.
Lago Atitlan, Guatemala

Leaving the market.
Lago Atitlan, Guatemala

Elephant??
Lago Atitlan, Guatemala

Canoes at the Santa Caterina dock.
Lago Atitlan, Guatemala

Takeout + sunset.
Lago Atitlan, Guatemala

More sunset.
Lago Atitlan, Guatemala

And all of the photos are here.





4 comments:

Kathy said...

Well, the lake looks pretty enough, but best in the world? Now the market looks fabulous.

Crash Eddy said...

I second Kathy. I'm sure "most beautiful" has no way to measure but this lake must be right up there. Or it's enhanced through the lens of a great photographer.

The native costumes are as beautiful as the lake.

ethiessen1 said...

Nice shots. Beautiful scenery.

john said...

Thanks Eric!

Ed and Kathy, Most of the labeling of Atitlan as the most beautiful lake in the world is due to the words Aldous Huxley wrote after a visit: "Lake Como, it seems to me, touches on the limit of permissibly picturesque, but Atitlán is Como with additional embellishments of several immense volcanoes. It really is too much of a good thing."