Travel, Food & Books

San Marcos La Laguna

San Marcos is one of the places where you can have your picture taken up close with the landscape of Atitlán’s three volcanoes, San Pedro, Atitlan and the double-coned summit of Tolimán.

Panajachel to San Marcos

I couldn’t wait to get over there, so early in the morning at about 10 am we checked out from the hotel but not before saying goodbye to Cookie, the guard dog in Hotel Victoria. It was easy to get the boat as there was no queue for it.

The ride cost 25 GTQ per person, and we stopped at Santa Cruz and other places around the lake before reaching San Marcos after 25-minute journey.

As soon as we disembarked from the boat, two little boys approached us and asked if we had accommodation booked. Since we didn’t book any, we asked for their recommendation.

The little boy carried my backpack, and the older one led us to Hostel San Marcos & Bar, located about 50 metres away from the pier. We gave both of them a dollar each for the tip.

While waiting for the room to be ready, we went for a walk in this beautiful little new-age town. The weather was pleasant, perfect for wandering around admiring the colourfully painted walls along the walkway.

We had our lunch at Susi which was located near the square, and we took our time to savour the food and the peaceful view. I had Mojarra and Mike had Pollo Asado. Our meals together with soft drinks cost GTQ 70.

When we got back to the reception, they told us that our room was not ready yet. So we sat in the waiting area and used the internet. All of a sudden we heard a barking noise coming from under our seats.

The two little boys who helped us earlier knew what was going on. They tempted the dog with their food, and slowly, the skittish little puppy emerged from its hiding place. He’s such a cute little dog but also scared of an adult. He only approached the boys and other children in the compound.

By 3:15 pm, we finally got our room, and just before 5 pm, we went out to the lake. We got our spot on the pier, I was reading my book while Mike swam in the lake, and it wasn’t long before I spotted Trev emerge from a boat.

He’s wearing his Hawaiian shirt and hat, carrying his little backpack. He’s the only one in that boat. Talking about arriving with styles😃; He rented the boat and paid $20 for it, and the handmade hat he wore cost $35 made in Mexico.

After Trev placed his things in his room, he went jogging around the town while Mike and I sat at Susi waiting for him to finish his exercise. But we couldn’t stay out late in that place because it closed early.

We moved to another bar called Pasada Schumann located next to the Pier with a fantastic view of the lake overlooking the Volcanoes, and as much as we would love to stay longer at the place, it closed at 6 pm.

Drinks prices at Pasada Schumann

Beverages Hot/ Cold
GTQ 8 - Small Bottled Water
GTQ 9 - Coffee/ Tea
GTQ 12 - Soft Drinks/ Espresso/ Cafe Latte
GTQ 15 - Lemonade or Orange with Water
GTQ 16 - Chocolate with Milk/ Cappuccino/ Big Bottled Water
GTQ 18 - Lemonade or Orange with Soda/ Orange Juice
GTQ 20 - Shakes with Water (Season Fruits)
GTQ 24 - Shakes with Milk (Season Fruits)
Cerveza, Vino y Licores
GTQ 23 - Vino Blanco o Tinto (Copa)/ Kalimotxo
GTQ 75 - Vino Blanco o Tinto (1/2 Litro)
GTQ 175 - Vino Blanco o Tinto (Botella)
GTQ 20 - Gallo, Moza, Cabro
GTQ 25 - Montecarlo/ Michelada (Gallo, Moza, Cabro)
GTQ 28 - Heineken
GTQ 30 - Michelada Montecarlo
GTQ 32 - Vodka/ Gin/ Ron Appleton Especial/ Ron Anejo 12 ANos/ Amareto/ Malibu/ Baileys/ Kalhua/ Whisky Something Special/ Whisky Etiqueta Roja
GTQ 35 - Margaritas
GTQ 40 - Tequila/ Whisky Chivas Regal/ Whisky Etiqueta Negra/ Whisky Old Par

Hostal Del Lago

We asked the Tuk-tuk driver to take us to a local place, we were thinking about something like Cafeteria Jennifer in Antigua, but instead, he took us to Hostal Del Lago after charging us GTQ 5 per person. It was just down the road for about a 2-minute walk from the square.

This place was a bit packed, they have a bar with Western food, but the service was a bit slow. It took them more than thirty minutes before we finally got our burgers. While waiting for our food, we finished two bottles of Gallo beer.

Hostal Del Lago Food Prices

GTQ 35 - Steam Veggie/ Fried Rice
GTQ 40 - Chili
GTQ 45 - Tofu in Garlic and Lime
GTQ 35 - Tomato/ Pesto
GTQ 50 - Broccoli and Cream

GTQ 45 - Vegetarian
GTQ 50 - Pescado
GTQ 55 - Hamburger/ The Bryan
GTQ 50 - Fish Burrito/ Fish and Chips/ Fish Taco
GTQ 55 - In Garlic and Lime

GTQ 45 - Mediterranean
GTQ 50 - Chicken

GTQ 45 - Pepian/ Plato de Sarah
GTQ 50 - Green Thai Curry

On our first night, early morning before 6 am, we were awakened by some animal running on the roof and couldn’t get back to sleep. At first, I thought it was a monkey, but when I saw the small feet on the roof, only then I realised that it was a squirrel.

This thing happened every morning during our stay there. It’s like our alarm clock. Someday I felt mad at it, and some other day I thought it was funny.

Before going for a walk to San Pedro, we had our breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant which was about 180 metres away. The service was slow, and it took them almost an hour to prepare our order. I had Pancake, Mike had Eggs, and Trev had Oat. During our three-night stay, the three of us always ordered the same menu.

First attempt to walk to San Pedro

We started our journey at 11:20 am, and on our way, we dropped our laundry at the shop next to the restaurant. It cost GTQ 51 and will be ready by tomorrow. On our first attempt at walking, we have a plan to watch the match between Liverpool and Man City in one of San Pedro’s pubs – Alegre Pub.

But we failed because we were too mesmerised by the stunning view and ended up stopping many times, and we ran out of time. We did manage to walk to San Juan before taking the Tuk-tuk that cost GTQ 10 per person to the pub. According to my altimeter application, in total, we walked for 6.4km in one hour and thirty-eight minutes on that day.

There were plenty of food and drink choices in the bar, and I ended up having the common one, a burger. It tasted better than the one we had last night. When the match finished, we took the boat back. It cost GTQ 15 per person.

The next day, we attempted the walk again, and it was a success. I wrote it in Walking from San Marcos to San Pedro entry.

When we came back from the walk, I showered with the cold water and went to see the sunset while Mike and Trev went for a drink. I thought of going to the Cerro Tzankujil, but what I didn’t know was that it had an entrance fee and I left without bringing any money with me, so I settled with watching the sunset from the pier.

Cerro Tzankujil
Foreigner: GTQ 15
National: GTQ 10
Opening day and time: Monday ~ Sunday, 8 am ~ 5 pm

I didn’t go out anywhere that night, and Mike and Trev also came back early after their drinks. I couldn’t wait to go to San Pedro tomorrow morning!

San Marcos (population 3000, Tz’utujil and Cakchiquel)
“Entering San Marcos from the dock is like entering another world. Here, there is very little interference from the modern world. Known as ‘spiritual haven’, San Marcos boasts a multitude of centres for meditation, yoga, massage, reiki, alternative therapies, and more. Or, if you are looking for something a bit more active, try cliff-diving, kayaking, swimming, or hiking to shamanic ritual locations. San Marcos also features an abundance of excellent garden-style restaurants with healthy food and drinks in a pleasant jungle atmosphere. Or just fall asleep in your hammock with your favourite novel..” Credit to: Lake Atitlan Magazine – January 2019

Hostel San Marcos & Bar

The room costs 150GTQ per night with a private bathroom and breakfast, and there’s also a choice for a private room but with a shared bathroom which costs 120GTQ per night. We never liked sharing a bathroom with others, so we opted for the private bathroom and also booked one room for Trev.

We stayed here for three nights, and during our stay, most of the time, I couldn’t connect to the internet from the room. Also, quite often we didn’t get any water in the toilet and had to shower in cold water because the electric heater wasn’t working.

Another thing was about the staff; They were very laid back. On the day when it was time for us to check out from the place, we had to wait for hours for them to give us the balance of the money as we’d paid extra for the accommodation.

Travel Date: 02nd ~ 05th January 2019

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