Travel, Food & Books

Walking from San Marcos to San Pedro

Hiking without a guide or walking between villages is generally not recommended for safety reasons, except between the route from San Marcos to San Pedro. Taking a boat is much safer, and the cost for one way should not be more than GTQ 25 to any of the towns around the lake.

But for adventure seekers like us, taking a boat doesn’t appeal to us. So, let’s walk!

Yesterday’s walk failed because we had a program and had set a time limit. It was different this time as we didn’t care about the time. However, we did plan to have a swim at Las Cristalinas on the way to our final destination, San Pedro, and also search for a hotel there. Trev started his walk with a boost of Vitamin C. The lady squeezed more than 20 oranges with her traditional machine to make a cup of Orange juice. We tried a little, and it was super fresh.

The weather was pleasant, with the temperature around 20°C, it’s not too hot even with a clear sky. The fresh breeze helped to make the walk easier. During our walk yesterday, we took plenty of stunning pictures, so this time we didn’t make many stops. But it didn’t stop us from admiring the picturesque view from time to time during the walk.

San Pablo La Laguna

After walking for about thirty minutes, we came across the first town, San Pablo. When we walked past here, I didn’t see any tourists, and it was so quiet. The people here were Tz’utujil, which was one of the 21 Maya ethnic groups. The village’s traditional speciality was the manufacture of rope from the fires of the maguey plant.

About a twelve-minute walk from San Pablo La Laguna, we saw people drying out coffee beans. Curious if they were for sale, we stopped by and asked. However, the person we met who was in charge didn’t know the price for selling it in a small quantity.

Nick’s Place Restaurante

Fifteen minutes later, we arrived at Nick’s Place Restaurante. Yesterday, we stopped here for a drink, and Trev had a small snack. However, this time we stopped for lunch. Trev and I had fish while Mike had his usual, Pollo Asada. Our meals were very lovely. The total bill was GTQ 175 including two Cokes and two lemonade.

Nick’s Place Restaurante Food and Drinks Prices:
GTQ 25 - Huevos Revueltos/ Panqueques
GTQ 30 - El Viajero/ Tz'utujil/ Chapin/ Homelet
GTQ 32 - Homelet Mixto

GTQ 35 - Pollo Asado a la Plancha/ Pollo Super Viajero: 3 Piezas de Pollo Frito/ Pollo Encebollado/ Pollo a ala Plancha/ Milanesa de Pollo
GTQ 40 - Carne Asada a la Plancha
GTQ 45 - Pescado Frito al Ajo/ Camaron Empanizado/ Camaron al Ajo/ Filete de Pescado a la Plancha o Empanizado
GTQ 50 - Caldo de Marisco: con Camarones, Cangrejos, Pescado y Almejas

GTQ 25 - Con Salsa de Tomate y Jamon/ Con Salsa de Tomate y Champinones
GTQ 30 - Mixta con Salsa de Tomate/ Con Salsa de Tomate a la Bolonesa
Pollo Asado a la Plancha
Pescado Frito al Ajo
View from Nick’s Place Restaurante
Sandwiches de Jamon
GTQ 47 - Pizza de Atun/ Jamon/ Tocino/ Champinones/ Hawaina/ Salami
GTQ 48 - Pizza Mixta: Jamon Champinones y Doble Queso
GTQ 50 - PIzza Super Nick's: Jamon, Tocino, Salami, Atun y Queso Craf

GTQ 10 - Sandwiches: de Jamon, Atun o Heuvo
GTQ 12 - Sandwich Mixto: Jamon y Queso
GTQ 13 - Sandwich Triple: Jamon, Queso y Atun
GTQ 18 - Tortilla con Carne o Pollo
GTQ 20 - Hamburguesa con Papas Fritas
GTQ 22 - Queso Hamburguesa con Papas Fritas
GTQ 25 - Guacamol con Nachos

GTQ 6 - Cafe Negro/ Te (variedad de sabores)/ Refrescos (Gaseosas)
GTQ 7 - Cafe con Leche/ Chocolate con Leche
GTQ 8 - Te Frio (Negro o Jamaica)/ Cuba Libre
GTQ 13 - Limonada con Agua
GTQ 15 - Limonada con Soda/ Licuado de Frutas con Leche/ Cerveza Gallo Pequeno/ Wisky/ Cerveza Montecabro/ Cerveza Corona/ Dorada Draft/ Heineken
GTQ 18 - Vino Tinto o Blanco
GTQ 25 - Michelada
GTQ 30 - Cerveza Gallo Litro
Limonada con Agua

Playa Las Cristalinas

Walking down the stairs at Nick’s Place, we arrived at Playa Las Cristalinas. But we were so disappointed to see that the Algae had conquered the water. It was impossible to swim, so we settled with resting at the pier, admiring the beautiful landscape.

The beach guard upon seeing us asked us for an entrance fee which cost GTQ 5 per person even without doing the kayaking or swimming. While walking down the beach, I spotted a plastic bag from the many rubbish around, and I took it to fill some sand for my collection.

San Juan

2.2km away from Las Cristalinas, we arrived in San Juan. This town was more developed compared to San Pablo, with more restaurants and shops around.

San Juan (population 11,000, mostly Tz’utujil)
“San Juan is just a short tuk-tuk drive or 30-minute walk from its neighbour, San Pedro. It is not as developed as much for the tourist, but this is one of its many charms. The town is well-known for its weaving and textile cooperatives in which all-natural dyes are used. San Juan is an exceptionally clean and friendly place, where most locals are happy to have a chat. Of all the principal villages on the lake, San Juan offers perhaps the most authentic Mayan experience for the traveller”. – Credit to Lake Atitlan Magazine – January 2019

Restaurante Xe Kuku’ Aab’aj

We stopped by for a drink in Restaurante Xe Kuku’ Aab’aj. We should have tried the Tz’utujil food, but we’ve already had our lunch back at Nick. The view overlooking the lake was amazing, we could see San Pablo and San Marcos from this restaurant. I had Pineapple juice, Mike had Limonada and Trev had his Coffees. The total bill was GTQ 53.

View from Restaurante Xe Kuku’Aab’aj

This restaurant also offered foreign dishes with specialisation in seafood and Tz’utujil’s meal. They have a special room for group and organization booking at a special price. Those who are interested in booking it for a special event or gathering, please contact them directly.

Opening Day and Time:
Monday to Saturday: 7:30 am ~ 9:30 pm
Sunday: 8:00 am ~ 3:00 pm
Tel: (502) 4225-1763 / 4136-5973

Decoration in Restaurante Xe Kuku’Aab’aj

Restaurante Xe Kuku’ Aab’aj Food and Drinks Prices

GTQ 35 - Big Braktas (Ensalada de fruta, pan integral, huevos, frijoles, platanos y queso)
GTQ 40 - Desayuno Ranchero (Huevos rancheros, frijoles, queso y platanos)/ Omelet de Queso (Frijoles, platanos y frijoles)/ Panqueque con Fruta/ Ensalada de Frutas (Yogurt y Granola)
GTQ 45 - Desayunoo Xe Kuku' Aab'aj (carne, huevos estrellados, frijoles, platanos y queso)/ Huevos Revueltos (tomate, cebolla, jamon y frijol)/ Omelet Mixto (Frijoles, platanos, queso y creme)

GTQ 60 - Pollo Encebollado (Ensalada y papas fritas, escabeche y Guacamol)
GTQ 70 - Pollo a la Plancha (Ensalada y papas fritas, escabeche y Guacamol)/ Milanesa de Res (Ensalada, papas fritas y Guacamol)/ Bistec Encebollado (Ensalada, Papas Fritas y Guacamol)
GTQ 75 - Curry de Pollo Papas y Ensalada/ Burrito con Pollo/ Chile con Carne Papas Fritas, Ensalada y Guacamol
GTQ 75 ~ GTQ 100 - Pescado en Limon/ Pescado Frito/ Pescado al Ajo
GTQ 95 - Fajitas de Res (Papas, Ensaladas y Guacamol)

GTQ 60 - Ensalada Cesar/ Ensalada Chef (Pepino, Tomate, Queso Craf)
GTQ 75 - Ensalada Tres Quesos
GTQ 40 - Soda de Verduras/ Sopa Tzutujil
GTQ 50 - Sopa de Pollo

GTQ 25 - Sandwich de Jamon
GTQ 30 - Platanos Fritos
GTQ 35 - Sandwich Mixto/ Taco de Res o Pollo 3x
GTQ 45 - Hamburgeusa con Papas
GTQ 50 - Sandwich de Pollo
GTQ 65 - Nachos Chile con Carne y Queso Mozarela
GTQ 75 - Nachos con Pollo y Jalapeno

Platos Vegetarianos
GTQ 35 - Taco de Verduras
GTQ 40 - Sandwich de la Casa
GTQ 45 - Hamburguesa de Zanahoria con Papas Fritas
GTQ 50 - Nacho Chapin
GTQ 60 - Espagueti con Champinones y Salsa de Tomate/ Burrito Vegetariano
GTQ 65 - Pizza Margarita Pequena

Bebidas Frias
GTQ 10 - Agua Pura en Botella/ Gaseosas
GTQ 12 - Limonada de Fruta con Agua
GTQ 15 - Limonada con Agua/ Te Frio/ Cerveza Gallo en Botella/ Cerveza Moza
GTQ 18 - Licuado de Fruta con Leche/ Jugo de Naranja
GTQ 20 - Limonada con Soda/ Chocolate Frio
GTQ 25 - Cafe Frio/ Cuba Libre
GTQ 30 - Mojito de Hierna Buena y Ron/ Cerveza Litro Gallo
GTQ 40 - Michelada

Bebidas Calientes
GTQ 10 - Te de Sabores
GTQ 15 - Cafe Negro/ Chocolate
GTQ 18 - Chocolate con Leche
GTQ 20 - Cafe con Leche
GTQ 25 - Capuchino

It took only about thirty minutes to walk from San Juan to San Pedro. But with the gravel road, and with the dust flying around us when a Tuk-tuk drove past, it felt ages before we finally reached this bustling little town, and at a certain point before descending the slope to San Pedro, we almost got chased by dogs.

Before that, we stopped by looking for the sauna place near the slope going down to town, and although it was written open, no one attended to us.

San Pedro

San Pedro

We also found a place for us to stay a night tomorrow, the room was beautiful, and I couldn’t wait to start exploring this town tomorrow. The room cost 100 GTQ per person or $29 for the two of us. But when we gave her $40, the lady told us that the bank there only accepted 50 and 100 notes.

We had no choice but only to pay her when we checked in tomorrow, but Trev paid his. We took the boat home and paid 10 GTQ per person. The boat wasn’t full, and we stopped at the San Juan jetty and another one before we finally arrived at our destination.

According to my altimeter application, in total, we’ve walked for 11.5km in two hours and twenty-six minutes. The walk was a great way of exercise, up and down the hill with beautiful scenery accompanying us along the way. Worth the sweats!

Travel Date: 04th January 2019

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