Friday, December 12, 2014

Guatemala Market days and Lake Atitlan

Just a few markets that Maya Trails visits, please see our Unique Markets itinerary for an in-depth exploration of Guatemala's off-the-beaten path markets. 

1. Santiago Atitlan: Fridays and Sundays - this is not a huge market, but still is still interesting for a first time Guatemala visitor. 
2. Solola: Market Days are Tuesday and Fridays - this is not on the shores of the lake, but 20 minutes up in the hill. It is less visited by tourists. The local attire (huipil) in this area is beautiful. 
3. Chichicastenango:  Thursday and Sunday (Sunday having mass with the brotherhood which is an incredible sight to see).
4. Comolapa: A colorful and less visited market on Sunday, Tuesday and Friday 

In addition to the markets, the towns around Lake Atitlan provide excellent opportunities for shopping for traditional arts and crafts, textiles and culinary delights.

San Antonio Palopo (near the Casa Palopo Hotel)  is a charming hillside town with a beautiful white church at the top. When you walk towards this church there is a steep trail between houses. Each of these houses sell beautiful pottery and show rooms of people working on their handicrafts (naif paintings, ceramics and weavers).  It is more commercial than San Juan la Laguna, but worthwhile and the view from the church is beautiful. 

Santiago:  Is the home of the pagan god Maximon. Additionally, the history of this town and its church are very interesting in regards to the civil war years.

San Juan la Laguna:
  Naif Paintings, natural dye textiles, traditional weavers and colorful murals fill this welcoming town. 

San Marcos: 
This is town is known for its holistic approach.  It is recognized for the yoga, meditation you will find lots of pathways leading to a variety of vegetarian restaurants. 

Santa Cruz:
  Offers beautiful hotels and restaurants.  Club Ven Aca for instance has great food and a pool with a bar. This is a great stop for a swim, lunch and siesta. Works great if you have the time and kids. http://clubvenaca.com/ Other properties in this area are:  Isla Verde (also a great restaurant here, too), Laguna Lodge and Villa Sumaya. This last one has a great yoga salon and can book a yoga class with them with a nice view towards the volcanoes.

Panajachel:
 The most touristy town in the lake and the gateway to the other towns by boat. It is a good stop for craft shops.


photos by Lyndsay Harshman/Kusini Collection

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