-A relaxed refreshing Side Trip intended to enjoy the energy and culture of the lake
-Staying in Selina and enjoying the pool
-Visiting 2 towns on the Day Trip the second day, packed with a swim and boat tour
-Relaxing in Panajachel and enjoying a little nightlife scene as the lake is a party atmosphere
-Visiting a totally different and unique part of Guatemala that is a must for many travellers
-Feast for the eyes with amazing views, volcanoes, textiles and culture
-Heading out of Antigua for the weekend
Take a weekend break, three days and two nights to the majestic Lake Atitlan, upon arrival you will be dropped off at Selina and await for check in, having the option for group dinner afterwards or free night at leisure, make sure you ask your city manager for all the cool spots to visit while in 'Pana' short for Panajachel the town where you are staying!
The next day you meet the group at Selina parking lot, and head out to San Marcos la laguna to enjoy a Swim at a nature reserve, we also have a small hike beforehand, so be prepared to sweat a bit and then jump in for a refreshing swim and optional walk through the tiny pathways of the town famous for its alternative retreat style vibe.
Afterwards you will be visiting San Juan la laguna. Upon arrival we will head out to a Cooperative called Alma de Colores, in which they help the community by giving people with disabilities an option to work and be part of society, we have lunch there and then make our way down the village streets checking out the amazing murals and onwards to a women's cooperative in which they have rescued the ancient Maya dyes to colour their textiles, this is rescuing the ancient Maya culture before your eyes.
We also go to a local chocolate factory owned by locals who get the cacao from the coast,(optional shopping at your own risk), then enjoy a brake at a local coffee shop (optional coffee purchasing) before getting back onto the boat and heading back to 'Pana'.
Departure day 3 on the way to Antigua we visit Chichicastenango Market to have a traditional lunch with a local healer and his Family. The aim here is not the market, but visiting local family and going back in time with their knowledge and stories, first of all we will walk up to the ritual mountain of Pascual Abaj, sacred to the Maya past and present and have a Maya Ceremony. This ceremony is a blessing for our journey here in Guatemala and its a great way to seal this experience. We will also have a traditional lunch served by Miguel and his family members after the ceremony. After this, we continue on route to Antigua, back to the Colonial city and being dropped off at our Apartments.
This experience is perfect for nature lovers, people who love culture and traditions, a laid back time and people who like textiles and shopping. We see some of the different towns around the lake with their unique traditions.
Who this experience is good for
-People who love culture, murals, textiles, chocolate, coffee and traditions
-Folks who want to kick back and relax
-Anyone who likes to swim
-People who like to go out of their comfort zone and experience new places
Meet our local host
For the lake tour, we have a team of guides about 2 or 3 subject to availability but part of the local expert team at the lake, fluent in english and spanish and amazing at what they do with loads of knowledge, you will also be introduced by them to the cooperative participants and creator and also the painters. On day 3 for the lunch at Chichicastenango you will meet Miguel and his amazing healing energy and Shaman family. A true eminence of the Town in Chichicastenango Maya Cosmovision.
Depart Antigua. 2.5 hours afterwards we arrive to Panajachel. Upon Arrival we check in to our hotel and then have the option of visiting the town on own.
But we suggest to head out to famous Calle Santander, and experience the atmosphere
Evening is free to explore the town, and get a bite to eat at a local restaurant. We suggest Circus bar a local restaurant that has been around for more than 40 years.
We depart by boat to the southern part of the lake, where we visit 2 towns. San Marcos la Laguna and San Juan. Upon arrival to San Marcos, we have a small hike included before our swim, as the Cerro Tzankujil, is a ritual mountain with great view points. After our small hike, we enjoy a relaxing swim in this volcanic Caldera with 3 volcanoes on it! The lake is quite chilly for locals its about 10 to 15 degrees celcious so perfect temperature to refresh yourself and continue on this journey.
We head to San Juan la Laguna, we walk to our lunch stop which is included as well, this is where we give back a token of appreciation to the lake and the community as the restaurant where we have lunch helps out children with disabilities in the town, giving them work opportunities. A very unique experience. Afterwards we visit the town, as its famous for womens painters, Chocolate factories that are amazing to the senses as they do everything from chocolate from soaps to creams to varieties of traditional chocolate all for you to enjoy. And last but not least Textiles and coffee!!! After we head back on our private boat back to Panajachel.
We are in back in Pana with a free evening to enjoy the sunset and views and head out to the town for a meal and a drink.
We depart to Chichicastenango, we have a Maya Ceremony and have lunch with a traditional healer and his family then head back to Antigua.
Is having lunch with the family enjoying the traditional house and ambience, then heading back to Antigua, which is 2 hours away from Chichicastenango.
Free evening upon arrival at approx. 4pm
-Food - Breakfast on day 2 and 3
-Food - local Lunch on day 2 and traditional lunch on day 3 at Chichicastenango
-Local Guide at the lake for the 2 towns with private boat on day 2
-Entrance fee to Reserve at San Marcos
-Transportation - Round Trip including boats to visit the towns
-Walking Tour walking around San Juan la Laguna
-Accommodation in shared same-sex rooms at Selina or similar
Whats not included
-Food - Day 1 does not include meals. Day 2 does not include dinner, Day 3 does not include dinner
-Tips for vendors, Guides, drivers, cooperative visits and hotel staff
-Extra Water or snacks
Know before you go
-Difficulty Level - Easy with loads of walking on day 2 and optional swim
-Special clothing required - Athletic - and also bring swim and rain gear as weather could change
-Special clothing required - Warm weather, and rainy evenings, tropical weather
-Special clothing required - Will get dirty, bring sufficient changes of clothes and consider and extra pair as you will be swimming on day 2
-Minimum to Operate: 5 people
-Maximum Capacity: 30 people
-Deadline to book: 15 days prior to start of experience as rooms are subject to availability at Selina Atitlan.
Frequently Asked Questions
Lake Atitlan is absolutely magical and Josh has put in a lot of work to make this experience very unique. The guides are extremely knowledgeable and enjoy sharing their culture. Swimming in the lake may not give you super powers but it feels healing and you feel a rush diving off the platform in Atitlan. I stayed a few days longer (if work is easy since the internet service isn't as functional as Antigua) as it seems a couple days just aren't enough and I am so happy I did. We explored small pathways and unique spaces.
If you are lucky enough to visit Guatemala, you must spend some time at Lake Atitlan. It is the deepest lake in Central America, with gorgeous turquoise water, surrounded by volcanoes and a variety of towns, each with its own unique character. We stayed at the Selina in Panajachel, which was pleasant and had a nice vibe (and separate bar overlooking the lake), and has a larger pool than that of Antigua's Selina. It was wonderful to spend time on the lake on a privately hired boat that took us from Pana to San Marcos and San Juan. The post-hike lake swim in San Marcos was refreshing. Two in our group ran and jumped off the high diving platform, much to my admiration. Our guide was excellent, and shared his Mayan culture with great pride. We visited Chichicastenango on the way back, Central America's largest handicrafts market, which was a feast for the senses. There is so much to see around Lake Atitlan, that I recommend staying longer than two days (as some in our group did). Lake Atitlan should not be missed!"
If you are lucky enough to visit Guatemala, you must spend some time at Lake Atitlan. It is the deepest lake in Central America, with gorgeous turquoise water, surrounded by volcanoes and a variety of towns, each with its own unique character. We stayed at the Selina in Panajachel, which was pleasant and had a nice vibe (and separate bar overlooking the lake), and has a larger pool than that of Antigua's Selina. It was wonderful to spend time on the lake on a privately hired boat that took us from Pana to San Marcos and San Juan. The post-hike lake swim in San Marcos was refreshing. Two in our group ran and jumped off the high diving platform, much to my admiration. Our guide was excellent, and shared his Mayan culture with great pride. We visited Chichicastenango on the way back, Central America's largest handicrafts market, which was a feast for the senses. There is so much to see around Lake Atitlan, that I recommend staying longer than two days (as some in our group did). Lake Atitlan should not be missed!
The organized trip was a great way to see Atitlan on a first trip. We had some great free time, and an opportunity to enjoy swimming in the lake and enjoying a few towns and boat trips across the lake. The side trip to ChiChicastenango far exceeded my expectations. Having Miguel as a guide was a unique experience. His family's rich history with the town and Mayan culture provided an opportunity that few experience. The participation in a Mayan ceremony with him and his mother was one of the most memorable parts of the trip. I hope to get more time in Lake Atitlan and I plan to go back when I need a longer getaway.