San Marcos La Laguna is a quiet town on Lake Atitlán in Guatemala. The town has become a bit of a Mecca for all things spiritual, with several meditation, yoga, and massage centers. It's one of the most beautiful spots on the lake, and quite easy to lose a few days in.
Take a shuttle boat from the public dock at Panajachel (Q20, 45 minutes).
The most striking feature of this town is that it has practically no roads — everything is reached by thin foot paths through trees and between buildings. Handmade signs direct you to the most common destinations at any intersection.
- Rock Jumping - There are a series of rocks that can be accessed by foot via the shore of the lake. From there, its a long way down to the water. What fun! Swiping of wallets, cameras, and pants have been known to occur, so come with minimal items.
- Yoga - Many places run early morning yoga programs, that are of minimal cost or free. Hatha dominates here.
- Akab'al Spanish School, ☎ + 502-41 44 06 12 ([email protected]ahoo.com), . Study in a relaxed, peaceful atmosphere surrounded by nature. individual training $4-$5/hr for 10-30 hrs/week. Add $50/week for homestay.
- Moonfish- Excellent mostly vegi fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Chai tea, the best, house-roasted coffee in the world, brownies made with their own cacao, sandwiches for 25-30Q (including grilled tofu or falafel), pizzas, salads from their garden, and more.
- Aaculaax- serves a good breafkast from 8AM-1PM daily, on a balcony overlooking the garden and the lake.
- Los Pyramides- The retreat has a great little veggie restaurant open to non-guests.
- On the way from the dock to the square, there is a small fruit shop on the left, with fruit on display near the curb. Inside, a a lady makes tasty sandwiches for 10Q, and sometimes other simple foods. It's one of the cheapest options in San Marcos. They don't always have food - you'll have to drop by and see.
- Hotel Aaculaax, (Get off at the dock, head up the paved path and follow signs to your left), . At this little ecolodge each room is unique, built into the steep hillside, and decorated with recycled glass and murals. Excellent restaurant for breakfast and dinner. Rooms $42, suites $82.
- Hotel The Retreat, ☎ +502 5857-6397, . Bed and breakfast in individual thatched huts, and a spiritual retreat centre. Set on its own mountain overlooking Lake Atitlan. Five minute walk to the village. $150/day including food.
- Hostal del Lago, ☎ +502 5898-9660 ([email protected]), . Ask for Mr. Lico. This place is like your home at Atitlan because you can cook your own food if you don't want to spend at restaurants. You have access from the street to the lake and you can park your car in the backyard of the hostel. There is a temascal (mayan version of sauna) 30 feet near the lake so you can take a bath and then jump to the lake from the private dock. Nowhere else you will be able to do this. Also it is very quiet, far enough from public noise and clean enough. If you are lucky to find the owners, they will treat you as their friends at their home and not like a customer. US$20/day with brakefast.