Monday, November 10, 2008

A new wonder of the world?

We began our 2 week vacation with a weekend at Lago Atitlan, again. This time we visited 3 new towns around the lake, Jaibalito, San Marcos and San Pedro. We stayed in Jaibalito at this gringo hotel, Casa Del Mundo, really the only thing Jaibalito has going for it! It's a beautiful, private place set right on the lake. If you're looking for some relaxation time we highly suggest it. It would also be pretty fun for a group of friends to stay here together. Because the last public lancha (boat) service ends around 5:30pm, you pretty much have to eat dinner there, so it's a good thing they offer a family style dinner for all their guests....convenient, huh? Whether you want to or not, you'll be paying a pretty Quetzal for your meal, at least compared to what we are used to - be prepared! Seriously though, if you want some peace and quiet, this is about the first place we have found it Guatemala that offers it. Probably not recommended for those who want to spend their time hopping around the lake via lancha as it takes a while to get anywhere from there.

We visited San Marcos for a few hours the afternoon we arrived at the lake. “A magnet for hippies with a purpose,” as stated by Lonely Planet Guatemala, San Marcos is thought by some to have a spiritual energy and is best known for meditation, holistic therapies, and massage. We found it a bit boring, but maybe it's different if you spend a few more days there and find a place to get a good massage.....or maybe not?

Thought to be one of the cheapest of the lakeside villages, San Pedro, is also another “hippie magnet.” If you’re looking for drugs, this is the place. Just like we were warned, within minutes for exiting the lancha we were approached by a local “guide” offering tour services and recreational drugs, if we so desired. We did not. The actual town is a bit of an uphill hike from the docks, but most of the tourist action is near the water. We took in both scenes on our Sunday afternoon excursion.

The people of Guatamala, especially around the lake, are looking for make Lago Atitlan one of the new 7 Wonders of the World. While we still haven’t decided if it the lake is worthy of the title, you can cast your vote if you believe it to be true. Surely the Guatemalans will appreciate your help.

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