Dec 13, 2018 - Dec 14, 2018
2 guests - 1 room
Cliff jumping might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Guatemala but it is possible at San Marcos La Laguna. It's also probably the nicest of the villages that line Lago Aitlan and the water is clean enough to swim in (or jump into). There is a well built platform here that serves as the jumping point so its reasonably safe.
The place to go to feed your spiritual side while at Lake Atitlan. Lots of cute cafes and alleyways, but don't miss the town center and (gasp!) the local fried chicken man.
If you've made it to Lago Atitlan, you're already in for a treat. But once the touristy, commercial feel of Panajachel has lots its charm, head across the river to San Marcos, a tiny village hosting a mix of local Mayan villagers and expats who've found plenty of reasons to stick around. The presence of acupuncture, meditation centers, and Western bakeries can feel a little odd among the banana trees, but just swing by the village school to see how everyone coexists happily, and your inner cultural compass will rest assured you've found a pretty special corner of the world.
San Marcos de Atitlan was my favorite of the villages I visited around the lake during my time in Guatemala. The new-agey (but pleasant) Las Piramides meditation retreat there sets the tone for the the yoga-happy jungle village, from which there's excellent swimming (the lake is very clean here and you can take high leaps into it from nearby rocks) and some good day-hikes thru the surrounding jungle, though ask about the security situation along the paths before you embark. It's the lake's ultimate chill-out spot for those who don't want their solitude to come at the price of roughing it, and there are some excellent guesthouses here from budget to high-end. Hotel Aaculaax ecolodge gets good reviews. Also, like many small villages around Atitlan, a good place to see and interact with the vibrant Mayan communities living there.