Vulcan San Pedro
San Marcos de Laguna, Guatemala
(Photographed from our hostel’s lakeshore terrace)
We arrived here in San Marcos de Laguna, after a two week stay in Panajachel, on the shores of Lago de Atitlán. San Marcos is only a short boat ride away from Panajachel, but it is worlds away in every other respect. It is small, very small, with a population of approximately 3,000 people. We were told that it had a hippie vibe about it, and it surely does. Meditation Centers, Yoga Centers, New Age Centers and Spanish Language Centers all abound. Rumor has it that “weed” abounds too, but we haven’t seen that yet (though I feel confident that we will). We were informed this morning, at breakfast, that San Marcos has no bank or ATM; if we need cash we’ll have to take another boat trip to one of the larger villages, possibly San Pedro, San Juan or back to Panajachel. Yep, that’s how small this place is. Cool, huh?
We’re staying at Hostel del Lago, right on the shoreline, for an amazing low season price of 50 GTQ (Guatemalan Quetzales), or approximately $6.40 USD per night per room. The current currency conversion rate is 7.80 GTQ = $1.00 USD. This provides each of us with a private room, shared bath, free breakfast (huge) and free wifi. Hostels aren’t for everyone, I get that, but for us it’s an inexpensive way to stretch our budgets. The high season rates will go into affect next week, and then our costs will soar into the stratosphere—we’re talking maybe $8.00 USD per person per night. Remember, this includes breakfast and wifi. The rooms are more than adequate, the shower looks acceptable and the banos is marginal. It is basic, cheap and completely to my taste. I like basic. The photo above was taken right from the communal terrace overlooking the lake and Vulcan San Pedro. If you’re wondering what $6.00 USD per night will get you, I’ve included some photos below:
I’m sure that I will have more photos to share of the hostel, and its surrounding property in the coming days, weeks and months (?). The word that quickly comes to mind is “quirky,” but charming. We got out for a short walkabout this morning, and you can see quite a lot in about 5-minutes (just kidding, maybe 7 to 10-minutes). There’s supposed to be good hiking and nature trails up in the hills, and even a nature reserve fairly close. The highlands are all about the vertical however, and wherever you choose to go it seems as if your destination is going to be straight up. Since leaving Merida a month and half ago, we continue to gain altitude: first San Cristobal de las Casas, then Panajachel and now San Marcos de Laguna.
Vulcan San Pedro
(Villages San Pedro – L and San Juan -R on the Shoreline)
Taken this morning from San Marcos looking across Lago de Atitlán