Monday, November 11, 2013

First Experience at "The Lake"

When you live in Guatemala City, you hear a lot about “the Lake”—everyone’s favorite place in the country, it seems.  And so, almost 3 months into my stay here, I was looking forward to my first trip to the fabled Lake Atitlan.

Last Friday, after the Kite Festival, our caravan of 2 Honda CRVs followed the meandering, sometimes pothole-ridden roads to and around the lake to arrive at our hotel in Santiago Atitlan by mid-afternoon.  After we’d dropped our belongings off at the room, we ventured down to the pool and hot tub, which overlook the lake. 



The view was breathtaking.  At 4:30pm, the light glanced off the surrounding volcanos and hit the water in a picture of perfection.  And because the property around Posada de Santiago (where we stayed) is so well-groomed and filled with flowers, sitting in the hot tub we had a sigh-worthy view in 360 degrees. 




Saturday morning, Annette, Carrie, Nikki and I hiked up a ridge for a view of Volcan San Pedro and the surrounding area.  Unfortunately by the time we reached the top, the mountain had become enshrouded in a cloud, but the views of the lake on the way up were spectacular, and the foliage surrounding us on the hike was in itself worthy of the trip.

View from halfway up our climb


Saturday afternoon, we ventured into town, I purchased some artwork, we visited the local cemetery and viewed their Day of the Dead celebrations (leaving shortly after because in such a small town, we felt like intruders in an intimate celebration).



Saturday evening, we played about 2 hours of Power Uno while enjoying the campfire on the patio, had a FANTASTIC dinner at the inn’s restaurant to the tunes of live music, and finished the evening with a crackling fire on the hearth in our room. 

On Sunday, we took a private boat across the lake to the town of San Antonio Polopo where there is a women’s cooperative that makes authentic and beautiful textiles and ceramics.  The women working in the textile shop offered to dress us up in tipico Maya garb and let us take pictures.  We did, and of course made a few purchases afterwards. 




This was the type of the trip that is perhaps better defined in pictures than in words, so I’ll leave you with a few that I hope do justice to my friends’ (and now my) claims that “the Lake” is one of their favorite spots on earth.  






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