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    Lake Atitlan

    A unique place to relax

    Lake Atitlan is a volcanic lake located in the Western Highlands, at some 250 km of the capital, at an elevation of 1560m or 5120 feet. Called “the most beautiful lake of the world” by novelist Aldous Huxley, it is surrounded by small Maya villages where time seems to have stopped. For our clients who want spend some relaxing time around the Lake, we provide great accommodation at affordable prices. We can also recommend you the kind of trips that are adequate for your convalescence:Atitlan Lake

    Panajachel

    Or most commonly called Pana, the most touristic village, is located on the North shore and is the departure point for the smaller Lake-side villages, which are off the beaten track. MayaVillagers still wear their traditional dress, different from village to village, and speak different Maya languages.

    Things to do in Panajachel

    shop for handicrafts on Main street or walk along the beach-promenade,where you`ll find plenty of restaurants with international or typical cuisine. In Pana, you can walk practically anywhere within 10 minutes. Take a three-wheel taxi to Atitlan’s Natural Reserve, a 15 minute ride. This is an ecological park with nature trails and hanging bridges, an oasis where you´ll see spider monkeys play in their natural habitat. At the visitor`s center, you`ll find interesting info on the Atitlan region´s history and ecology. For the more adventurous, you can ride zip lines through the jungle (jungle canopy). The equipment and gear is very secure and there are always two guides. From Panajachel you can take a private boat trip on Lake Atitlan to see indigenous villages. Visit of art galleries and lunch at the lakeside village of Santa Catarina Palopo. Strolling inside the colorful village of San Antonio Palopo, with its traditional Mayan hand weavers. Leave Pana in the morning and return around 03:00 pm.Atitlan Lake

    Things to do around Lake Atitlan

    If you want to relax in a laid back Maya village, we recommend in particular San Marcos, renowned for its international yoga and meditation centers. Another quiet village is Santa Cruz la Laguna, which can only be reached by boat. There is plenty of accommodation in each of those villages, from hostels to luxury type of eco-lodges. We will gladly provide you with information about lodging in case you want to spend your convalescence there. Shuttle boats to other villages around the lake leave regularly from Panajachel´s pier. The larger public ferries only go to Santiago Atitlan and San Pedro.

    Chichicastenango

    A small town located at an altitude of 2030m, world famous for its colorful indigenous market, which is the largest of all of Central America. Markets are held every Sunday and Thursday. A ride from Panajachel takes approximately one hour. Leave early and return to Pana around 2pm.

    Practical Tips:

    Location

    Lake Atitlan is located at some 250kms from Guatemala City. The ride takes 2 and a half hours from Antigua and one hour more if you travel from Guatemala-City.

    Taxis

    Like in Antigua, small three-wheel taxis (also called “Tuk-Tuk”) continually circle the few streets, and cost 15Q for any destination in Panajachel, 25Q if the ride requires going uphill. If you are convalescing for orthopedic or open surgery, it is advisable to take a taxi.

    Boat trips

    Boat trips should be taken in the morning, while in the afternoon hefty winds blowing on the Lake can make for a rough ride. Shuttle boats leave from Panajachel’s pier or “embarcadero”, located at the end of Santander Street, while the larger ferries leave from the foot of the Rancho Grande Street. The larger ones only go to San Pedro and Santiago Atitlan.

    Climate

    Lake Atitlan is located at an altitude of 1.560m (= 5120 Ft). Its climate during the day is similar to that of Antigua, except that early morning and late afternoon are cooler. Excursions on the lake have to be done in the morning, because in the afternoon the lake can get rough because of the “Xomocil”, a south-east wind coming from the surrounding mountains.

    Luggage

    Leave your heavy suitcase at your hotel in Guatemala City or in Antigua, where it is going to be guarded during your trip, and only bring along the minimum in personal belongings, except for a large back-pack or similar and bring along comfortable clothing.

    Money

    Major banks and ATM´s are located in Panajachel, San Pedro La Laguna and Santiago Atitlan. . To shop at the indigenous market of Chichicastenango you’ll need money in cash (Quetzales or U.S. $). Banco Industrial and Banrural stay open on Sundays, where you can change US-dollar cash and American Express traveler`s checks. There are also ATM machines at Banrural and Banco Industrial.

    Peddlers

    Maya girls roam the streets of Pana from dawn to desk “hard” selling their crafts such as textiles, paintings or jewelery. They will even approach tourists dining in restaurants. If they don’t leave you alone, just say firmly “No Gracias” and look in the opposite direction.

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________The text and images contained in Medical Tourism Guatemala’s website are for informational purposes only. Its content is not intended to substitute the medical diagnosis or treatment from board certified MD Specialists. Always seek advice from your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment. Medical Tourism Guatemala does not warrant that the information provided is complete, accurate or up to date. Medical Tourism Guatemala‘s website does not provide medical advice.

     

    Colporteurs/Colporteuses

    Des filles et de jeunes gamins Maya errent dans les rues de Pana dès l’aube jusqu´à la tombée de la nuit pour vendre leur artisanat, tels que des textiles, des peintures ou des bijoux. Ils iront même jusqu’à approcher les touristes pour pouvoir manger dans les restaurants. Si ils ne vous laissent pas tranquilles, dites leur fermement “no gracias” et regardez dans la direction opposée.

    MTG 2014. All Rights Reserved.

    Health Wellness Program Guatemala Medical Tourism association member Agexport Spa Med