Lake Atitlán and Chitchicastenango
A shuttle bus picked me up at Casa Cristina in Antigua for one and a half hour journey to Panajachel. We traveled north on the main high way up into the Guatemalan highlands. After one hour Sololá appeared on basin rim of the lake Atitlán. It was a foggy rainy day, so no view of the word famous lake at this time. Sololá is a heavily populated town with a severe traffic jam. The steep descend down to Lake Atitlán starts immediately at the rim in Sololá. It´s a 600 meter drop down to Lake Atitlán from Sololá situated at 2114 meter. This is the deepest lake of Central America with 340 meter depth. Three volcanos are surrounding the lake creating an extraordinary landscape. Lake Atitlán is dubbed by some the world most beautiful lake.
In my point of view there are many other beautiful lakes around the world particularly in South America. After ten minutes driving on the serpentine road down to Panajachel the weather cleared up. It was time for the first nice view of the lake and a high waterfall on the other side of the road. Panajachel is the main resort at Lake Atitlán and for many tourists the jumping off point to other villages around the lake. These villages are served by boats from Panajachel.
. The shuttle bus dropped me off at hotel Posada de los Volcanos. This is a nice hotel with very service minded staff. They served the best breakfast I had during my travelling in Guatemala. The hotel is located on the main street a couple of hundred meters from Lake Atitlán shore. If you have a room on the third floor as I had you will have a nice view over the lake. I booked a shuttle bus to the market in Chichicastenango and another shuttle bus back to Antigua through the reception desk at the hotel. Everything worked out very well.
To my surprise Panajachel had a very nice Sushi bar located on one of the side streets closed to Posada de los Volcanes. I do recommend visiting this Sushi bar it had a wonderful garden with humming birds. It was far more than just a sushi bar it´s some sort of Japanese culture Centre. There girls come to learn Japanese dance. Of course they had delicious Sushi as well.
After an early breakfast at 07:00 in the morning it was time for the 40 km journey to the market day in Chichicastenango. The shuttle bus left Panajachel at 08:00 and arrived in Chichicastenango at about 09:00. There are two market days in Chichicastenango one on Thursday and the other on Sunday. I do recommend going on Thursday since most of the Guatemalan people visits on the Sunday market day. This is a world famous Indian market of Guatemalan highland and far more than just a market day. These market days are of strong religious importance to the local Indian tribes living in the highlands of Guatemala. On most of my pictures from Chichicastenango smoke will pour up almost everywhere. This is the Shaman priest doing their duty for the Indian tribes by burning incense. In particular this can be seen outside the four hundred old church San Tomás.
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