The air was crisp as we stepped into the little boat that would take us on a new adventure, destination San Juan la Laguna which is a small, colorful town nestled between mountains on Lake Atitlan.
The fresh air whipped through our hair as we sped toward San Juan and the sun shone on the water making it look like glistening emeralds. After about 25 minutes, we reached the dock and stepped out of the boat into the magical little town of San Juan la Laguna. Everything is bursting with color wherever you look. We walked toward the famous “Calle de las Sombrillas” (umbrella street) which is adorned by dozens of umbrellas suspended from cables gently swinging above our heads.
A friendly tuc tuc driver approached us and offered to take us to the Mirador Kaqasiiwaan which is an elevated hand-painted platform where you can appreciate the majestic beauty of Lake Atitlan and the surrounding volcanoes. Between chatter and laughter, we drove through the narrow streets appreciating the colorful murals and blooming jacarandas and bougainvilleas.
Our tuc tuc driver, Don Antonio, dropped us off and we started our long trek up the dusty path towards the mirador. We stopped every now and then to catch our breath and take in the beautiful scenery as it unfolded around us. Lush, green mountains and glimpses of the Lake. After walking for about 20 minutes we finally arrived at the mirador and were dumbstruck by the view and the platform itself.
The platform is a circular structure made of wood and hand painted with colorful pictures representing Guatemala such as the Quetzal (Guatemala’s national bird), women wearing their traditional huipiles and cortes, and a variety of colorful flowers. We took our time to walk around, breathing in the fresh air and gazing towards the Lake and the volcanoes. The atmosphere is peaceful and charged with positive energies.
Once we finished taking photos, we made our way back towards town, but not without stopping to have a refreshing michelada (read more about our michelada adventure here!).
Walking down was less strenuous and Don Antonio was already waiting for us, ready to drive us back to town. We stopped to visit Doña Rosa who is famous for dyeing threads with natural dyes and then using them for weaving beautiful textiles. Her daughter was there too and they both greeted us with warm smiles and big hugs. As they showed us around their store we could appreciate the products they had made such as scarves, pillow cases, coasters, baskets and much more. They told us their stories and experiences throughout the pandemic and that thankfully tourism was starting to pick-up again. After our lovely chat, we made our way back to the dock once again taking in the bright, colorful murals adorning the streets and walls. It’s truly a feast for the eyes!
We walked down the umbrella street towards the docks and stepped into the boat feeling refreshed and recharged.
For our top 6 things to do in this amazing Lake Atitlan village, read this blog: TOP 6 THINGS TO DO IN SAN JUAN LA LAGUNA!
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