San Juan Lake Atitlan Guatemala

After arriving in San Juan at the boat docks you climb a steep hill that has unique textile, painting, and art stalls on either side of the street.

Most of these products are produced by cooperatives of women from the village.

San Juan Lake Atitlan Guatemala

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San Juan Lake Atitlan Guatemala is Located on the Southern Shore of Lake Atitlan

San Juan La Laguna Painting Class

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San Juan Lake Atitlan Guatemala

After arriving in San Juan at the boat docks you climb a steep hill that has unique textile, painting, and art stalls on either side of the street. Most of these products are produced by cooperatives of women from the village.

The art here is very unique and unlike what you find in other villages around the lake. You also see many murals painted on the side of buildings throughout San Juan that are an expression of their culture.

San Juan Lake Atitlan Guatemala

The weaving in San Juan La Laguna is also different then the weavings, fabrics and yarns found throughout Guatemala. In San Juan the weavers use natural dyeing techniques that have been passed down through the generation. Their natural dyeing techniques include using pepper, achiote, coconut shells, tree bark, and many other natural products.

The colors turn out in softer hues. In the women’s weaving cooperative that I visited they demonstrated the process from raw cotton, spinning the thread, dying it with natural dyes and then weaving. If you want to purchase truly hand made products of the finest quality San Juan is the place.

San Juan Lake Atitlan Guatemala Coffee

Tucked off the beaten path is a wonderful organic coffee cooperative by the name of La Voz Coffee Cooperative. This is a full production coffee Cooperative with the coffee finca nestled into the hillside of San Juan and the surrounding volcano. For those interested in the coffee production this is a wonderful introduction into all the work that goes into your morning cup of coffee. For tours visit http://growyourowncure.org/lake-atitlan-coffee-tour/.

Beside San Juan La Laguna is the famous mountain formation called Indian Nose for its resemblance to a Mayan Indian. From the summit of Indian Nose you can view some of the most spectacular sunrises around the lake. The hike to the summit of Indian Nose takes a few hours and the views offer travelers a different view of Lake Atitlan few ever see. For more information on tours to Indian Nose visit http://growyourowncure.org/lake-atitlan-indian-nose-tour-san-juan-village/.

San Juan Lake Atitlan Guatemala Tours

After a hike up Indian Nose food is in order. You will want to plan ahead and make reservations (reservations are required) at El Artesano Wine and Cheese Restaurant. It is an exceptional Italian café and in my opinion one of the best restaurants around the lake.

San Juan Lake Atitlan Guatemala

The restaurant is set in a beautiful garden, the food and the presentation is amazing, the service is outstanding, and the prices are very reasonable. Don’t miss their cheese platter it is a feast for your taste buds. Reservation can be made by calling 502-4555-4773.

San Juan Lake Atitlan Guatemala

If you want to stay overnight in San Juan there are not a lot of options. Two hotels that I suggest are Uxlabil Eco Hotel  and Eco-Hotel Mayachik.

Uxlabil Eco Hotel  has 14 rooms and 2 bungalows. Its reception area and restaurant were inspired by the local Catholic Church that is over 200 years old. This unique hotel has carved stone on the outside, white walls inside and with round windows that according to them symbolize their respect with which you will be treated as well as the significance they attribute to the rite of eating with awareness.

Eco-Hotel Mayachik offers pet-friendly accommodation. They also have a terrace and views of the mountains, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant. Free private parking is available on site. Certain units include a seating area for your convenience. A terrace or patios are featured in certain rooms. The rooms have a private bathroom equipped with a bath or shower.

The village of San Juan La Laguna provides an excellent opportunity to see and experience indigenous life. It is a safe village and the locals are kind and friendly.

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