Hike from Santa Cruz to San Marcos

A walk at the shore of Lake Atitlan


Lake Atitlan has been called one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Once you are here, you’ll definitely know the reason why. There’s an atmosphere of wellness, love for nature and harmony.  Once you fill your lungs with fresh air, and feast your eyes with its stunning colorful sunsets, you’ll be in awe, and will never want to leave!!

I am one of those that never left…one of my goals in life is to enjoy every bit of the lake as much as I can.  Going hiking is one amazing way to do so.  Here’s some information about my hiking day at the shore of Lake Atitlan.

The day started with gorgeous weather and great company.  Flavio the tour guide and I, met Kevin, Maureen, Emmett, Owen and Anja Speers who were staying at Casa Pamakanya in Jaibalito, as guests.  We were all in our most comfortable sports clothes, comfortable shoes, prepared with sun block, water, fruit, dried nuts and a hunger for nature!! You can see all of them in the picture bellow ready to hit the trail.

We started by taking a boat ride to Santa Cruz.  As soon as we got off the boat, we took a rustic wooden trail which is built along the shore of Santa Cruz, walking with the town to the right, and the lake to the left.  The wooden trail has been built by the waterfront owners to allow the people to walk along the shore line when the lake rises.  The weather was cool, and our spirits were ready to be amazed…the hike had started!!

We passed by restaurants and hotels where we could see many people just enjoying delicious food, warm sun and the beautiful lake.  Immediately, I was charmed by the hidden picturesque places along the trail, just sitting there waiting to be discovered by adventurous souls.

Next to Santa Cruz, there’s Jaibalito. This town is a rare combination of ancestral mayan lifestyle and the cosmopolitan influence of the community of foreigners that now call Jaibalito their home. Every Wednesday, they hold a “Gringo market” where you can find very interesting deals.

Flavio, wisely recommended a break at Jaibalito.  He treated us to apples and nuts (light and energetic food, perfect!!) We still had halfway to go.

On our way to Tzununá, we found pathways that were somewhat challenging…steep, rocky, under the midday sun…it was time for some serious hiking.  The kids in our group loved them!!

In Tzununá, we ran into a mother and her child who were collecting firewood for cooking. They go up the mountain and cut the wood themselves, bundle it together and carry it back home, as many of the native families have been doing it for generations.

As we were getting closer to San Marcos, we started seeing displays of art on the street.  the influence of travelers can be seen in the designs

Within San Marcos, the type of art displayed on the walls shows the personality of the town.  There are many people from all over the world who come to this mystical place to settle down, participate in spiritual, holistic activities or just come to enjoy one of the most interesting towns around the lake.

This is where our hike ended,  San Marcos is the last town of the hiking tour.  We got there just in time for lunch!! we saw many colourful and eye-catching restaurants, mostly vegetarian.  We decided to have lunch at Il Giardino, we enjoyed vegetarian pizzas and a veggie burger, it was delicious!!

So this was my experience taking the Santa Cruz to San Marcos hike. I’m definitely grateful to have had the opportunity to see the lake from completely different angles than I had before.  Even though the visit to these amazing places was very short, it was enough to perceive the different personalities each town has.

Even though they are so close together, they are significant differences in the lifestyle of their inhabitants,  the design of the houses, etc.

What amazed me the most, is the variety of nationalities and cultures that blend in and create a harmonic atmosphere which you can come and be a part of even if you are only visiting for a few days, or if you are planning to make Lake Atitlan your home, you can be sure you’ll be welcomed.









If you would like to know more about the tours we can set up for you, send us your information!!




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