Traveling through Central America, I kept hearing I had to visit Lake Atitlán, a body of water in a volcanic crater in Guatemala.
The lake was formed by filling an enormous caldera from a volcanic eruption 84,000 years ago.
Lake Atitlán houses several towns along it's edges; San Pedro, San Marcos, Santa Cruz, Panajachel, San Juan and a few others.
After hearing about San Marcos as the green smoothie drinking, yoga doing, hippie town I decided that I would stay there.
I meant to stay only a week, swim in the lake, do yoga, hike a volcano, maybe take some Spanish classes, but I ended up staying a month.
I was absolutely hooked.
That is, once I got past my own judgements and criticisms of hippies wearing a half dozen layers of patterned clothing and no shoes who embrace each other for what feels like minutes as they pass. I'll admit that even my yoga loving, mostly vegetarian diet, collective consciousness believing self had to adjust to this over a few days.
This reputation often proceeds San Marcos but I promise you that if you can look past the fanaticism, San Marcos offers many options for personal growth.
There is no shortage of things to do in San Marcos Guatemala, here's a few to get you going.
TIP: To get to the Yoga Forest is quite the trek and class is at 7am so you don't have too much time to get lost. I recommend asking someone exactly where to find the path, not just on the back street behind the school you'll find rocks painted with flowers and follow the path. This isn't all the information you'll need. Try looking for the path a day or two before you decide to go up here so you don't miss out on this opportunity.
Keith's Cacao Ceremony
Not to be missed. Keith is a wise and sweet man, often with a cat curled up in his lap. This ceremony is five hours long and he leads you through a meditation and we ended up in a group energy transfer and healing.
Swim in the Lake
Seems obvious but there are so many places to jump in and play in the lake. Either from the dock of your hotel, or from the nature reserve.
Reiki is a Japanese technique that reduces stress, promotes relaxation and healing by tapping into our chakras to align and balance them.
Hike Volcano San Pedro
A strenuous but lovely 5 mile roundtrip hike up a volcano on the shores of Lake Atitlan, climbing 4,000 feet to reach the peak of 10,000 feet. It begins in the town of San Marcos so you'll have to take a lancha (small boat) to the neighboring town, and then take a tuk tuk to the entrance of the trailhead.
Love Probiotics Fermentation Workshop
Love Probiotics is a small business based in San Marcos, whose ever growing product line includes kombucha, apple cider vinegar, raw sauerkrauts, organic kefir yogurt, peanut butter and much more. They regularly offer workshops, but you can also coordinate a workshop for 5+ people.
Shamanic readings can help you deepen your understanding of your life and the choices you make through analysis of your true self and your ego.
TIP: If you’re not in San Marcos, but still want a reading, I highly recommend Tabitha Ellis Shamanic Witch.
Root Flute Sound Journey
Dan Hansen creates and plays instruments as a guided meditation. These unique instruments aid in deep emotional processing, remembrances and reconnections of self to evoke a pathway of receiving greater insight to themselves, their purpose and moving into transformational growth. Wednesdays at 12:30 at La Paz. Dan also does it in Colorado the rest of the year.
Sundays at 10:30, the Yoga Forest offers a Mayan Cacao Ceremony and the opportunity to dance to soulful beats and smooth grooves.
Rent kayaks and enjoy some time splashing about in the water.
Past Life Readings
Sign up for a one-on-one session to shed light on your past lives. Better understanding of these can help you identify patterns of behavior in order to help you make better decisions more true for you and your purpose. Check the community boards for updated information
Reserva Natural del Cerro Tzankujil
Just past Hotel Aaculaax on the lake is a small nature reserve with short trails, swimming spots, and La Trampolina, a seven meter high platform where you can jump into the water.
Salsa dancing lessons for beginners at Thursdays at 5 at Ananda Healing Center. Check the community boards for updated information when you're there.
Hostal Del Lago
Hostal del Lago offers nightly events such as movie screenings, DJ's, karaoke, poker, fire and drum circle, and more. Check their board as activities change weekly.
Hike Indian Nose
A large mountain situated between San Pedro and San Marcos, accurately describing what appeared to be the face of an Indian. The top of the mountain is over 9,000 feet and is a lovely sunrise spot!
What better place to learn or continue your Spanish than in a Spanish Speaking country? Classes are one-on-one to provide you with specific and dynamic lessons that you actually want to learn!
Las Pirámides Meditation Center
A meditation center for private escapes from the busy mind or for retreats.
Make sure you check the Community Boards located throughout the town for updated information on available classes, workshops, and events!
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