San Pedro La Laguna
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San Marcos La Laguna is a quiet town on Lake Atitlán in Guatemala. The town has become a resort 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.
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Points of Interest in San Pedro La Laguna
The lake provides both natural entertainment and also great scenic views. If you are adventurous, I definitely recommend climbing some of the dormant volcanoes. At some of the highest peaks you are able to see the lake and all of the small pueblos that surround it. From the top looking down there is one of the most beautiful views in Guatemala.
About San Pedro La Laguna
- 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. To the right from the jumping platforms foreigners usually go skinny dipping. This seems to have been accepted by the local community.
- 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, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Study in a relaxed, peaceful atmosphere surrounded by nature. individual training $4-$5/hr for 10-30 hrs/week. Add $50/week for homestay.
San Marcos is the 'spiritual heaven'! There are enough yoga retreats and spiritual centers to fulfill anyones spiritual needs. San Marcos is the perfect location for pure bliss and relaxation. Majority of the activities are based around relaxation and connection with your spiritual self. It has a very laid back feel and culture with no obvious worries. It has been described as a place that "takes life as it comes".
There is still a very strong and authentic Mayan culture in existence within the town of San Marcos. Their culture is best known for its bright colors in its clothing, artwork and food.
San Marcos is also great for outdoor adventure. Because of the lake there is a very rich ecological reservation of many endangered species. The lake also provides direct pleasure with swimming, sailing, kayaking, and even cliff jumping. The most popular cliff jumping site is a ten minute walk from the center of San Marcos. If you are an adventurous type, there is a lot of hiking up and down volcanos, enjoying beautiful scenery of the lake from a high point and also great bird watching. Scuba is also available if you are feeling adventuresome.
This is a great place for some who is interested in cooking tourism. A new emerging type of tourism that focusing on chefs or food lovers traveling around to find the freshest produce and cooking up delicious feasts with the use of only local items. San Marcos and the surrounding towns have many open air markets or mercados that provide fresh fruits and vegetables of all kind to the locals and tourists. The best market that I visited was the Microdyn, it had the freshest produce for the best price.
- 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-10AM 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.
San Marcos is known for its vegetarian cuisine. The open air markets provide great, fresh produce for very cheap so if your interested you are able to find an array of ingredients to cook a home cooked meal.
Moonfish Cafe has the best fresh fruit pancakes I have ever eaten in my life. Not to mention they were huge and delicious and only cost us 10 Q!
The street food is also very delicious and I never seemed to have a problem with my stomach after eating it. The locals take full advantage of the local produce so majority of the offered dishes are vegetarian and all are fresh!
Allula is a Japanese sushi bar. I found it very interesting that there is Japanese food even in Guatemala. From my experience, all of the sushi seemed very fresh and had a Guatemalan twist to it for sure!
- El Dragón (Restaurant & Lakeview Terrace), Barrio Chinimaya (next door to Hostal del Lago), ☎ (502) 4147-7787. Specializing in Argentinean-style grilled meats, gourmet burgers and pizza, European-inspired dishes, and tantalizing desserts. Vegetarian options also available. Very outside the norm for San Marcos because of their many meat options, European aesthetic and commitment to high-level cuisine. Definitely a place worth going before leaving San Marcos. A bit hard to find but they have a pathway leading from Hostal del Lago straight into the restaurant. Or you can use the entrance to the property connected to the dirt soccer field in the far corner closest to the lake. $5-$15.
There is a sustained Mayan culture in the town of San Marcos. The local Mayan culture in infamous for its brightly colored clothing and its rich cultural heritage.
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