Guatemala II: Lake Atitlán & Antigua

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I am really behind with updating our travel blog. We are currently in Costa Rica and it is raining like crazy right now. So this is my opportunity to work on photos and text while sitting in a german bakery with a nice cup of coffee and cake, listing to the rain…..I have all I need:-)

Another beautiful drive – from Lanquin to Lago de Atitlán

During breakfast it started to rain – a welcoming change. The clouds and rain in the mountains felt very mystical. We left the Zephyr Lodge in Lanquin early for a long drive. We drove through Cobán then westwards on gravel roads via San Cristobal Verapaz to Cunèn. In these small mountains towns we passed through many street markets. So many people and stands that the road was so narrow and was challenging to get through. The very scenic road continued to Santa Cruz del Quiché, then Chichicastenango to Sololá. From there is a very steep road that leads down to the Lago de Atitlán. ….a lot of driving but never boring. paved, unpaved, good & bad road conditions, potholes, speed bumps, rain, sun, wind, up&downhill, steep, curvy, hot & cold, lots of small villages & lovely people, sheep, pigs, cows, dogs, chickens, horses…..

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Lago de Atitlán – beautiful volcanic lake in the Western Highlands of Guatemala

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Pierre’s Place just outside of San Marcos La Laguna

So glad we read about Pierre’s property in another travel blog. It’s one of our favourite camping spots for sure. This can be your base to explore the area. At his private boat deck you can get around easily with the many “lanchas” (small boats), that provide transport from village to village around and across the lake.

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@Pierre’s place. Fantastic views of lake and volcano

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@ Pierre’s place. View of San Pedro La Laguna and the Volcan San Pedro

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@ Pierre’s place. private deck. great swim early in the morning

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@Pierre’s place. chilling in a hammock and enjoying the views

Fantastic hiking along Lake Atitlán

We went for a day hike along the Lake Atitlán to Santa Cruz La Laguna. Pierre recommended us to stop in Jaibalito and visit Hans at his “Posado Jaibalito”. We enjoyed some Austrian “Spätzle” and fresh homemade bread – a wonderful culinary change.

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magnificent volcanic scenery

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along the hike we saw many great properties, vacation homes etc.

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To get around get a ride in a tuk-tuk

La Antigua Guatemala – a World Heritage site

Antigua is situated at a height of 1500m, surrounded by mountains and three volcanos. Just a short hike to Cerro de la Cruz provides fine views looking south over town toward “Volcán Agua”. At the tourism police, conveniently located next to the centre, we were allowed to camp for free. Very friendly and helpful police and they also share their showers and bathrooms with campers. Also a great place to meet other travellers. We enjoyed exploring this beautiful town with a great choice of cafés, restaurants, shops and markets. Just a little outside of Antigua is the Valhalla Macadamia Farm. After an interesting tour around the farm with sampling of macadamia nuts, chocolates and macadamia skin care products, we had to try the legendary macadamia pancakes (made with macadamia flour and nuts, served with macadamia butter and blueberry jam).

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at the bus terminal in Antigua. Most of them are reused U.S. school busses. We love how they transformed them into a piece of art!

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usually there is lots of stuff on the roof. While the bus is driving people are entering the bus from the back door.

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the streets of Antigua

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Overlooking Antigua from the north is Cerro de la Cruz provides fine views looking south over town toward Volcán Agua

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@Cerro de la Cruz

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@Cerro de la Cruz

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@the ChocoMuseo in Antigua. Who produces cacao? who eats chocolate?

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We were not surprised about this fact: If we look at the chocolate consumption per person in a year, Switzerland is the leader. Switzerland has the sweetest people on earth!

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Doris & Thorsten from Germany. Our neighbours at the camping of the tourism police

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legendary macadamia pancakes

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