Today I’m leaving Antigua for Lago Atitlan. I’ll take a shuttle ( I booked at my Hostel) to Panajachel and from there a boat to Santa Cruz. I am booked for the next two Nights at La Iguana Perdita Hostel. I’m a little bit sad leaving Antigua, Besides being beautiful it is also an easy city to get comfortable in. I know I’ll be back someday!
My shuttle arrives and the driver takes my ticket and throws my backpack onto the roof….hmmm ok. I climb in and make my way to the back. We take off bumping along the roads picking up passengers, eventually filling to capacity. We had 12 adults and 1 child and everyone’s luggage on top.
Surprise….Terry from Texas and his daughter are also in the van travelling to Panajachel along with 5 travellers from
Israel, 1 from Spain,1 from the Yukon, me from Canada, a local man and his son, and the driver.
We haven’t left the city when we are involved in a minor accident and have to pull over. There are no schedules here, things happen. It’s quickly resolved and we are on our way.
We stop to get gas and this is interesting. While one man pumps the gas, 2 other men rock the van in order to get more gas in? We all find this amusing and start to laugh and rock with the van.
We travel up and down windy bumpy roads, me staring out the window at the ever-changing scenery listening to the conversations around the van.
Eventually we stop, but this is not our destination. We are in the parking lot of a restaurant just off the highway. The driver says something to the local man and disappears inside. The man tells us it’s a bathroom break and we will leave in 15 min. This is not the case, remember there are no schedules here. We later find out that the driver gets a free lunch when he stops there.
We wander around the grounds, which are actually quite interesting. First there is a giant cage with a huge hamster wheel in it….and 2 Squirrels. Seriously hahahaha. There is also deep ravine with a small stream, and crossing this is a swaying wooden bridge. There are no rails on this and it leads to a play area. WTF! I was actually terrified crossing it especially with other people.
The driver is back and 40 minutes later we are on our way. I took in everything as it passed by my window.
Mountains, Horse Ranches, Small towns on the side of the road, and nothing but jungle at times. Sololá!
We arrive in Panajachel a few hours behind schedule. Everyone heads off on their own directions and I’m standing alone in Panajachel.
Also a slight mishap as I notice my bag is dripping. Somehow with the altitude changes and banging around on the journey, my beer had slightly exploded and everything was wet and smelled of beer. Get rid of beer, Deal with rest later as its getting dark. I look around and head in the direction of the lake. There are some boats and people yelling to me. I find a boat going to Santa Cruz and hop on. I am the only Blonde lol on board.
We bump and skim across the lake, water spraying up, 2 boys at the front without seats get pretty wet…I wonder how people are sleeping?
Lago Atitlan came as a result of some episodes of Volcanic growth and caldera collapse 1.8 million years ago. The lake now fills a large part of that Caldera. Locals and travellers alike all say the lake is magical!
There are 11 towns and villages around Lago Atitlan and most can Only be reached by boat.
I am going to Santa Cruz La Laguna. This is not a Party Town. It is actually very peaceful and chill but can be a lot of fun too. Its located on the North side with a population of about 6000 people. The village is built into the steep mountainside about 325 feet straight up from the lake. From the dock you can walk up up up the winding road to the village or grab a Tuk Tuk.
It was a fairly quick trip around the lake to my destination with a few stops to drop passengers off. I climbed off the boat, grabbed my bag and pay the man with his hand out. I started to walk up the dock and spot my hostel right on the edge of the lake next to the dock.
No Gracias I said to the shouting Tuk Tuk drivers trying to get my attention. I was staying at La Iguana Perdita and I was here!!! Wow…Wait until you see this.
Keep Following for more about Lago Atitlan and the amazing La Iguana Perdita Hostel
TRANSPORTATION: Shuttle Antigua-Panajachel $70-80Q Boat $10Q
TODAYS TOTAL: $150Q = $27 CAD