There are instances when we feel like we have already traveled some of the best tourists destinations in the world without thinking that there are still majestic place left uncovered, just like Guatemala. Ever since Aldous Huxley visited the place eighty years ago, writer have been raving about the natural beauty of Lago Atitlan, one of the most breathtaking places in Guatemala. One thing about Lago Atitlan that you have to be aware of is the fact that they are surrounded by three volcanoes and a lake that is ringed by several Maya villages, each one of them is different and some are still unspoiled despite the arrival of tourism. For those of you out there who have decided to go to Guatemala and visit Lago Atitlan, it would be best for you to spend an entire week there as it is enough time to experience its unique blend of some hippy culture and Maya tradition that has sprung up.
The primary place that you should go to when visiting Lago Atitlan is the Panajachel which was first founded by what we pertained to as the beatniks in the year nineteen fifty’s and ever since then, it has become one of the most popular lakeside settlements in Guatemala. The hotels are shopping centers there, specially for textiles are excellent and though it is now in a form of a resort, you will still love how they preserve the beauty of the lake.
On the other hand, we have the Santiago Atitlan which is known for being totally still a Tz-‘utujiil Maya and has a non-touristy and frenetic market that usually starts every early morning on a Friday. For those of you out there who are interested in visiting a flea market, we suggest that Santiago Atitlan is the best place to go since its market is a riot of commerce and colors from the people of the highland areas who are overloaded with textile weaving materials and vegetables. You need not have to go too far from the market in order for you to see the shrine of the Mayan pagan Saint Maximon, the textile museum and the Parish Church as well as they are very near.
The neighboring San Pedro is another Mayan village wherein you will see a multitude of language schools and cheapo digs for backpacking bong-puffers and bongo drummers, especially since the place has become Guatemala’s countercultural center in the last decade. Aside from that, we are sure that you will find yourself having a good time tasting the sumptuous dishes they have to offer you, plus, you can have a great hike up the nearby San Pedro volcano.
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