Wednesday, June 19, 2013

#816 Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala

In the incredibly techtonically active Central America, it's hard to think of what would be a super volcano, but what is now the Lago de Atitlan would have been it, but that was more than 84,000 years ago, and since then, three other small volcanoes have formed along the edges of the lake: Atitlan, San Pedro and Toliman. So catastrophic was the eruption, called Los Chocoyos, that it can still be measured in data gathered from as far away as Florida and Ecuador.
I drove over the steep caldera and came into the main town of Panajachel, a charming town with a market based Main Street and a lot of small tourist boats. We took one of those boats and crossed the lake to the Mayan village of La Laguna, which had many weaving artisans and fascinating artwork painted on the village walls. It is reached from the lake over a series of reeds and planks and is very pretty and traditional.
After that we had a short crossing to San Pedro La Laguna, a place full of Spanish language schools and backpackers! I also loved the huge fish in the city fountain!
Our final destination was the bigger center of Santiago Atitlan, a bustling busy tourist town, prosperous in its markets and restaurants, but otherwise quite crowded and busy. We wandered to the top of the hill, did a bit of shopping and found a nice place to eat before returning to the boat back to Panajachel.  It really was a beautiful part of the country and a center for crafts and traditional wares as well as the Mayan culture still surviving!

Map from

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