Recommend April 2018 - 8

16. Pacaya Volcano is the most popular
adventure from La Antigua Guatemala, with
horses available to ride rather than climb (2-3
hours) this active volcano; from the summit,
the view of Lake Amatitlan is wonderful.

With three volcanoes-Atitlán, Toliman, San
Pedro-rising along its southern shore, the
German naturalist Alexander van Humboldt
called Lake Atitlán "the most beautiful lake in
the world." In addition to the stunning setting,
Atitlán has a number of Mayan villages where
age-old traditions are maintained and festivals

17. Panajachel town is the recreation center
of Lake Atitlán and the take-off point to
visiting the indigenous villages that ring the
lake. "Pana," as it's called by the locals, offers
excellent handicraft shopping, fishing and
kayaking excursions, and a lively nightlife
(particularly on weekends) in a smattering of
bars and dance places.

18. Along the same shore as Panajachel are
two of the area's finest lodgings: lakeside, lovely

and surrounded by lush botanical gardens is the
62-room Hotel Atitlán, and spilling down a
hill to the lake is the exquisite 15-room Casa
Palopo, now a Relais & Chateaux member.


Boat over to Santiago Atitlán, home
to the Tz'utuhil people, whose women dress
traditionally and man the stands and galleries
selling local paintings, wooden masks and
embroidered huipiles (blouses). While shopping
is good anytime, the colorful market really
gets going on Fridays and Saturdays. Don't
skip visiting the intimate Museo Cojoyla
showcasing the town's distinctive textiles.


Accessed by road and boat is San Pedro
La Laguna, whose distinct international vibe
is provided by visitors in pursuit of Spanish
classes, painting classes, hammock swinging,
hot-tub soaking and partying. There are also
two good museums here focused on Maya

21. A short boat ride from San Pedro is
San Juan La Laguna, a special village whose
inhabitants take pride in their craft traditions.
Here the local women's cooperative teaches
visitors about weaving; painters of the naïve

All photos: Outdoor adventures, cultural highs, and beautiful vistas-Guatemala has it all.


art style welcome visitors to their homes and
workshops; and fishermen take anglers out in
their cayucos to learn all about lake fishing.
The village has several fine eco-lodges, with
amenities such as hot tubs, massage and yoga
platforms, as well as phenomenal lake views.

22. Another "newcomer village" is Jaibalito,
also reached only by boat. Taking advantage of
a more remote location and quiet environment,
lodges-La Casa del Mundo, for example-
have sprouted up here.


Not far from Panajachel is the Solola
market, big, colorful and crowded on Tuesdays
and Fridays, mostly with local folk buying
and selling among the highland communities.
Solola is one of the few towns where men still
wear elaborate traditional clothing.

24. Well worth a visit is the Reserva
Natural Atitlán, offering a zipline canopy tour,
nature trails and suspended bridges, a butterfly
garden and beautiful botanical gardens.
Trails pass through an old coffee farm, near a
waterfall, and through areas of dense forest.


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend April 2018

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