Visit Mayan Families
– This organization
does great work with the local population. They sponsor
students to licensed schools from grade school to university, they offer free
clinic and surgery services, and they feed the elderly. But that’s not all! They
provide and deliver free clean water filters to homes, schools and hospitals.
Take a few minutes and check them out at
Photograph the colorful markets and people – The markets in Guatemala are awesome. Overflowing
abundance is a more accurate description. Tropical fruits, avocados, vegetables, greens, meat
stands, and freshly made cheeses abound. Great photo opportunities, not to
mention tasty food! The day market at the top of Calle Principal is open daily.
Weekends are crowded.
Visit the weaving
towns of Santa Caterina and San Antonio – These small lakeside towns specialize
in weavings, something Guatemalan women are famous for. A short flete taxi (5Q)or
boat ride (20Q)will take you there in less than half an hour.
in a cafe– Guatemala is known worldwide for its delicious coffee. Coffee
found circling Lake Atitlan, and there are many coffee shops each serving this
incredible brew for 10-15 Quetzales a steaming cup. Most offer pastries or handmade chocolate, another Guatemala
favorite. Not to be missed.
Take a boat to a
nearby village on the lake. – There are villages dotting the rim of Lake Atitlan,
each with their own personality. Some towns are traditional (like Santiago 25Q)
others are new-agey and hippy-style (like
San Marcos and San Pedro 25Q). Take your
time in each location – some are simple destinations, but you might miss
something worthwhile. Plan a day or two of boat rides across this glorious lake
and visit the ancient culture of the Maya.
Watch the sunset on
the lake front. – Your choice of lakefront restaurants will provide you one of
the most spectacular scenes of the area – your own private sunset. The weather
surrounding the volcanoes create wispy clouds or great billowing ones, and renders up
stunning contrast and color. Enjoy!
Check out the market in Solola– The Solola Market is quite different than the one in Panajachel and
is worth the 3 Quetzal bus ride up the hill. It is an authentic indigenous Maya
market with live chickens, fresh cheeses served wrapped in banana leaves, fresh
juices made from tropical fruits and all the Maya are in local garb. Colorful
and suitable for photo opportunities. Don’t forget your camera!
Soak in the Regis Spa
- For 100 Quetzales a soak or 240Qs for a monthly membership, you can relax
in volcano heated water in beautifully crafted stone tubs amid manicured
gardens. What better way to enjoy the geological wonders of the area?
Saturday BBQ -
Every Saturday beginning at noon, Smokin' Joe's offers his delicious heaping
portions of BBQ ribs, pork tenderloin, pulled pork, chicken, or hamburgers with
a selection of his super side dishes. Mountains of food for between 40-65Q a
plate. Located this day only at The Palapa on Calle Principal.
Music and Pizza at
Circus Bar -
Not only does the Circus Bar offer some of the best pizza in town, they have
live music every evening beginning at 7 pm. Bands change every hour. Calle de
Bargain with a
vendor - You absolutely must try your hand at bargaining for goods with a
local vendor. Shops abound on Santander or try a walking vendor. Quality is
good. Start your offering at one-third of what they ask then bargain to the
middle for the best price.
Take advantage of any festivals happening in town - Christmas time offers lots of festivals as does
November for Day of the Dead or springtime for Easter. Local tradition of the
Maya, a saint's day, or a church festival should provide you with colorful
photos to take home.
shoes shined by a shoe shine boy - These young boys work for school money by
shining your shoes. And for about 5Q you can get your walking shoes cleaned of dirt
and grime plus help a child stay in school.