Travel the stunning Lake Atitlan by boat, making stops at several charming villages to learn about the local people, produce, and history.
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Travel by private boat from one end of Lake Atitlan to the other. Explore the villages of San Marcos, San Juan, and Santiago. Visit art galleries, women’s weaving cooperatives, and a medicinal plant garden.
Approximately 6 – 7 hours.
As you depart from Santa Cruz heading for the west end of the lake, you will see the villages of El Jaibalito, Tzununa, San Marcos, and San Pablo along the north shore. San Marcos is your first stop. Here you learn about the many holistic healing centers, such as meditation, yoga, healing etc. There is also an option for cliff jumping if you dare.
Next up is San Juan, the “Swiss village” of Lake Atitlan. Here you have a guided walking tour lasting approximately 2 hours. Visit the art galleries of several famous San Juan painters and see them at work. See how beautiful fabrics are made, from harvesting the cotton and spinning it into yarn, to dyeing the yarn and creating unique fabrics with the back strap loom. The medicinal and curative herb garden in the village is operated by the midwives of San Juan. You will be given samples of each plant and learn of its curative powers. Natural soaps, teas, and shampoos are also made on site. There are no entrance fees at the cooperatives, but keep in mind that your gift of purchasing products or giving donations are how these centers function.
Your next stop is Santiago Bay, which is a photographer’s dream. At the visitor center, learn about the life of the Tzutujile Maya, the history of the traje (traditional clothing), their spiritual beliefs and Maximon. There will be time for lunch before you visit the local church and Maximon. The Mayan people visit Maximon to ask for healthy crops, to cure illnesses, find love, or cast a spell on a neighbour. The Catholic church was first constructed in 1547, and still has two original wooden alter pieces from that time. It was the site of many incidents during the 30 year civil conflict, which ultimately lead to the murder of Father Stanley “Alpa” Rother in 1981. You will visit Father Rother’s personal living quarters, learn about his efforts to help the villagers during the war, and discuss the history of the war. Then return back to Santa Cruz.
Donations or gift purchases are encouraged at the cooperatives. Easy walking involved.
There’s a small admittance fee for Maximon.
There are no entrance fees at the cooperatives, but keep in mind that your gift of purchasing products or giving donations are how these centers function.
After you book your experience, you will receive a confirmation email from us confirming that your payment went through. You will then be connected directly to the tour operator, in case you have any further questions. We are also happy to answer any questions about the tour, or travel in general in your country of destination.