GUATEMALA – From Chichicastenango to Lago Atitlan, Tikal discovers the colors of Guatemala

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After a good night of sleep and after having recovered from our emotions of the last day (the full story here), we are back on the road. A nice asphalted road (with holes but still asphalt) in direction of Chichicastenango.

Chichicastenango

This village is well-known for its market on Thursdays and Sundays, one of the biggest in central America.

Great, we are Thursday.

We park the van in the iOverlander spot for the night, and walk to the center.

We already know the village from our previous visit 2 years ago. Today it looks like there are even more people. A lot of handicraft and many tourists at every corner… We would be tempted by a nice piece of fabric but we will see on our way back…

We walk through the colored market, full with farmers from the surroundings who come to sell their vegetables and fruits. And we finally see the with church of Santo Tomas. The flower vendors stay on the stairs in the middle of a cloud of incense coming from the inside of the church: Mayan and Catholic rites merge in a mystic whisper.

Around 4PM the vendors start to clean their stand, time for us to go back to the van for a fresh and peaceful night.

in the morning we start the drive to Lago Atitlán.

Lago Atitlán

Let say it now, Lake Atitlán is one of our favorite places in Guatemala: volcano, nature and villages (more or less touristic).

We decide to drive to a campground in San Marcos, owned by a French guy, Pierre. Before enjoying the view, we have to drive all the way down on a bumpy and very steep road. The access is quite complicated but our low gear helps a lot and saves our brakes! So we take our time and enjoy the gorgeous view.

After some tiny roads in the villages on the way to the campground, we finally arrive and find a place for the van:

We feel so good here that we finally stay 1 week. So we meet our new neighbors.

And we fall in love with this view:

The campground has its own dock for the colectivos boats of the lake to stop. It allows us to visit the village around and come back easily from the center of the village.

San Marcos

San Marcos has become a very touristic and new age spot: one principal road where we can find clothes, yoga and spiritual classes, restaurants and maybe many other things… but not so much local people and a lot of tourists.

But if we walk a bit further, we find this amazing and peaceful view, for us the best view around the lake and its volcanoes.

San Pedro de la Laguna

There are several more or less touristic villages around the lake. After 2 years, San Pedro seems more touristic… but on Sundays, we can walk in the market and enjoy the authentic part of the village.

We arrive with a huge motivation at the lake, well decided to hike to the summit of one of the volcanoes… but the weather was not very clear the mornings and our great motivation has vanished with the days. We will just look at them from here. It is also nice!

After more than 7 days in the campground, we decide to move forward, direction our favorite city in Guatemala: Antigua.

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