A Weekend on Lake Atitlán

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Ok, so it was more like 36 hours on the lake, but at least it was beautiful! We arrived in Guatemala City around 10 am last Friday and had a shuttle coming to pick us up around 11. In reality it arrived around 12:30, and with the other stops and our driver getting lost, we didn’t make it to Panajachel until a little after 5 pm that night. So much for having Friday to explore!

Exhausted from our far too early flight that morning, we promptly set out to find some highly anticipated Guatemalan coffee. It was so good! Just as we were told, if you ever make it to Guatemala: drink as much coffee as you can! Instilled with caffeine, we made our way down to the lake just in time for sunset. It was a beautiful setting, with multiple volcanos surrounding the lake. Once it was dark, the street vendors came out and we had a tasty dinner of steak and chicken tacos.

Our first taste of Guatemalan coffee from Cafe Loco, and the sun setting over Lake Atitlan.

Saturday, we spent the day exploring the small and (what turned out to be) incredibly touristy town. There were markets full of colorful souvenirs, several expat coffee shops and restaurants, and that’s about it. We probably should have taken a boat to one of the other small towns along the lake, but we didn’t know where we wanted to go to. Plus by the time we realized Panajachel didn’t have anything to do, it was late enough in the day that we wouldn’t have had more than an hour or two in another city before the boats stopped running.

Mother nature seemed to know that we needed a little excitement that evening, and while we were out at an expat bar socializing with other gringos, the power went out in the entire city due to incredibly strong winds. The locals said it’s been an exceptionally windy February, and since it was a Saturday night, the power probably wouldn’t come back on until Monday. We lit candles and chatted a while longer until we ventured out looking for any place that might be selling food despite the blackout. We found another awesome taco truck working off a generator, and then went back at our hotel for the night. The power still wasn’t on in the morning, so we grabbed an early shuttle back to Antigua. Despite the picturesque setting, we probably wouldn’t go back. At the very least, it was pretty to look at and a good way to relax before Vesper had a week of Spanish school in Antigua.

Cervezas by candle light

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