Village Hopping or Hammock Staying at lake Atitlan vacation rentals house

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The wonderful thing about vacationing  at lake Atitlan is  choice.

You can choose to swim and lounge in the sun all morning , walk to nearby San Marcos for a delicious lunch at a ridiculously low   price, return to Casa Colina and spend the rest of the day, swaying in a hammock  lulled to sleep by the  chirping  birds and  the waves lapping against the shore .
Or, you can choose to go village hopping.  Lake Atitlan is surrounded by seven main villages, each offering visitors a unique glimpse into Mayan culture.  Recent guests chose to spend six hours village hopping  by private boat with “Capitan Domingo” as their guide. Domingo  speaks English ,  has an embracing personality,  an infectious laugh and a great knowledge and love of lake Atitlan which he  eagerly shares with visitors.   For our guests, his village hopping tour  which costs Q600 ($80) started with  San Juan La Laguna , a  quiet, charming village filled with  art galleries  , most run by the artists  who graciously welcome visitors.  Domingo made sure  the visit included demonstrations of the ancient Mayan back strap weaving at one of San Juan’s   women’s  textile “cooperativos,.” After San Juan, the group visited   Domingo’s village of San Pedro La Laguna,  a bustling town  and favorite of young backpackers, with a wide variety of  inns and budget  hostels, restaurants , bars and shops including Caza Suenos where , if you can wait 3-5 days, you can order  a fabulous custom made pair of leather sandals for about Q250 ( $33) .  Before heading to Santiago Atitlan and lunch, guests stopped at  a secluded private beach  where the children enjoyed a  refreshing swim.  

Santiago Atitlanis the largest village on the lake  with a mostly indigenous Mayan population of over 40,000.  It has a rich history and was  the  capital of the Tz’utujil people in pre-Columbian when  its name was Chuitinamit.  It is  the home of the  cult of the highland Mayan deity , Maximon. This   fascinating part saint, part sinner wooden figure is clad in a black suit with colorful silk scarves and a Stetson hat, smoking a big cigar and receiving offerings of moonshine, cigarettes and rum in exchange for  favors.  Each year, Maximonis moved to a new home where tourists  can  visit him and , for a fee, take his picture. Santiago is equally famous for its artisans, offering  visitors a full  array of colorful and  distinct paintings and handicrafts displayed in shops along the main street leading up from the boat dock .  Santiago is home to the Cojolya Weaving Center and Museum, located in the heart of the town.. The museum shows the history, tradition and process of back strap weaving and the evolution of the traditional costume of the Tz’utujil . In Santiago, Domingo and guests toured, shopped and enjoyed  a leisurely and delicious lunch of fresh fish at one of his favorite restaurants, El Pescado. Once back in the boat, they made stops at two other villages,  Cerro de Oro and San Lucas Toliman before heading home to  Casa Colina .

According to our  guests  , a family of five with three boys ranging in ages from five to ten years,  the  day tour with Domingo was a complete success, ranking among the top highlights of their week long stay in Casa Colina.

So, village hop or hammock sway, vacationing  at lake Atitlan  offers delightful choices .


Chichicastenango market

Guest: Lollie (Hernando, MS)
Date of Stay: 06/29/12

I just wanted to say thank you for a lovely vacation. I am truly glad we were able to stay in your beautiful home. I wish we could have had more time to visit but I'm thankful for the time we did. You were both very pleasant. I also want to say thank you for all the information about the area to help us utilize the best time with our vacation. I hope to visit you again one day!

Recommended for:Sightseeing, adventure seekers, romantic getaway, families with young children, girls getaway, families with teenagers.