San Marcos is a small village on the shores of Lake Atitlan best characterized by its peaceful accommodations, vegetarian restaurants and inclusion to nature.
How to get there: Lake Atitlan
The majority of the travel around Lake Atitlan is by small boats [called lanchas]. There are fifteen ‘major’ pueblos or small towns surrounding the lake, San Marcos included. Public lanchas run daily starting at 6.30 AM, and travel clockwise to most destinations around the lake. Lanchas leave from San Pedro (west side of the lake) and travel to Panajachel (east side of the lake), then return.
The order of stops is as follows: San Pedro, San Juan, San Marcos, Maya Moon Lodge, Tzununa, Jaibalito, Santa Cruz, and lastly Panajachel. You can expect a public boat to pass every 30 minutes at most villages around the lake.
Public boats cost about Q10 - Q25 a person depending on the route. Private boats are available for Q400 (round trip) or Q600 (full day tour!)
Contact Ramos for a reliable private boat driver: +502 3056-7182
Where to Stay: Lush
Lush started out as a boutique resort (Hotel Aaculaax) and has since transitioned into an apartment complex, allowing visitors to be more than just tourists. The owners and staff have since created a retreat where guests can stay for longer, form real relationships with the local people and have more time to explore the rich Maya culture.
Lush is uniquely located on a hillside overlooking majestic Lake Atitlán in San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala. They are equipped with 7 spectacular suites and 3 garden rooms, each one individually designed, with one-of-a-kind art works and locally made furniture. Most of the suites have incredible views of the lake and surrounding volcanoes, as well as a private terrace or balcony, offering guests a harmonious balance with the surrounding nature.
Breakfast was served fresh every morning with local produce from the market. All of this was available at an affordable rate with prices ranging from $50 - $175. Overall, Lush Apartments is an amazing vantage point to explore the Mayan world while enjoying a relaxing and romantic getaway.
Where to Explore: Cerro Tzankujil
Are you ready get a taste of the lake in one of the most up close and personal ways possible? Venture over to the Nature Reserve, Cerro Tzankujil which offers some of the greatest views on Lake Atitlán and hiking paths.
The park is well-maintained and offers hiking trails leading to swimming areas with shelters by the bank and a high-diving platform similar to cliff jumping. An entrance fee of 15Q ($2) gives you access to a park full of trails, swimming areas with incredibly clear water, and...best of all, you get to experience one of the most exhilarating jumps on the lake!
At just about 30ft this leap will give you a huge rush, but not too much that you have energy for more. Dive right in, swim to the side and climb right back up again. With a full volcano backdrop on a clear day, it's a thrilling activity for the adrenaline junky and photographer alike.
Where to Enjoy: La Paz
La Paz is a hidden sanctuary with an organic restaurant, yoga studio and Maya healing.
Their menu features vegetables grown locally without chemicals, artificial ingredients or processed foods. La Paz was the first to create a palapa style yoga space on Lake Atitlan and since many have followed suit. Yoga classes are available to non-guests and you could not find a more suitable place to practice. Their healing includes a sound garden and traditional temescal [Maya sauna]. The temescal has ancient healing powers and costs a mere Q25.