Lake Atitlan one day - which towns to see?

Old Nov 13th, 2008, 12:18 PM
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Lake Atitlan one day - which towns to see?

I posted this question also on Lonely Planet, thought I would get Fodorite opinions as well.

We will be staying in Pana 2 nights in February, and will have one full day to see the various towns around the lake. With this limited time, which towns are must-see, which could we skip?

I think we will see Santiago for sure, then someone said we could walk from San Pedro to San Juan? This would be nice if it was safe.

Will it be easy enough to stand on the dock and figure out which boats go where? It seems like they run very often.

Lunch suggestions are welcome, also restaurant/bar suggestions in Pana.

Thanks
gigib is offline  
Old Nov 13th, 2008, 01:29 PM
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We stayed at Lomas de Tzununa and took a boat over to San Marcos one day. Then we caught the boat to San Juan, and from there, we took a taxi to San Pedro. You could walk, but I think it would be a bit far. That was it for 1 day. Another day, we went back to San Pedro to catch a boat to Santiago. I think you can probably go from Pana to Santiago.

We just flagged boats down, even from the dock at Lomas. They do run fairly regularly, although I don't think they run too late into the day.

That area is absolutely gorgeous - we loved it.
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Old Nov 19th, 2008, 02:12 PM
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If you want to try and do a lot, this may work. In the morning go to the Santiago dock in Pana and take the boat to Santiago. Spend a few hours in Santiago and then catch the boat from Santiago to San Pedro. Once in San Pedro you can take tuk tuks from San Pedro to San Juan on to San Pablo to San Marcos and finally Tzununa. Once in Tzununa (or any of the other villages along the route) you can catch the boat back to Pana. Each village has its own charms, my favorite is San Juan.
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Old Nov 20th, 2008, 08:21 AM
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www.lacasadelmundo.com my fav

tour around from there

san pedro area

can be a little dodgy.
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Old Nov 20th, 2008, 11:59 AM
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qwovadis - I found San Pedro to be a very safe and friendly town when I was there for about a week in 2007. I'm planning to head back this summer for a week or 2. I would never choose to hike between towns on the lake without a guide because of muggings I've heard about, but is there more I should know about San Pedro?
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Old Nov 20th, 2008, 12:35 PM
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jpan, thanks for your suggestion it looks interesting.

Do you have a rough idea of travel time for this? I can't get a mental grip on the size of the lake or how long it takes to get places. Tuk tuks onward from San Juan sounds like it might be fun, I suppose if it gets late we could get a boat back to Pana.

What would be particular to see in San Pablo, San Marcos or Tzununa? I'm sure the villages are lovely to see, but it may take TOO much time.

We often err on the side of trying to do and see too much...
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Old Nov 20th, 2008, 02:08 PM
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There really isn't anything to see in Tzununa. It's a small village, very poor, and it's not a place where you would stop. (Lomas de Tzununa, the hotel, is outside the town, about a 15-20 minute walk.)

In San Juan (if I'm thinking of the right village), there are a lot of galleries and artists. I think that's also where I bought a lovely woven scarf - pale pastel colours, very nice.

San Marcos is 'new agey' - pyramids, etc. - kind of interesting to walk through.



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Old Nov 21st, 2008, 09:58 AM
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Gigib give yourself 1/2 hr to go from Pana to Santiago on the boat the same 1/2 hour to go from Santiago to San Pedro. Once in San Pedro you could take a tuk tuk all the way to Tzununa in another 1/2 hour (but stop at the villages along the way). The boats stop running around 6pm daily so keep that in mind so you don't miss the last one.
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