Lake Atitlan Santa Catarina Palopo. We know that living in a small indigenous village isn’t for everyone, however, for us the village of Santa Catarina Palopo has provided a tranquil, interesting, and friendly atmosphere.
And for nature lovers and hikers like ourselves it has provided an endless backyard of mountains and trails to explore.
Another benefit of living in Santa Catarina Palopó is its proximity to Panajachel, considered the transport hub for the whole lake and the gateway to get literally travel anywhere.
This is important to us because we do not have a car, yet we have no difficulty getting to any of the villages around the lake or to any of the villages across the country of Guatemala as it is connected by a network of buses and colectivos.
Transportation in our local area consists of a few different options. From Panajachel to Santa Catarina Palopó one option is to walk the picturesque 5 Kilometers of a paved two-lane road that winds along the mountainside with panoramic views of the three volcanoes — Atitlan, Toliman, and San Pedro.
Another option is to take a tuktuk which is a three-wheeled mototaxi. Tuk’s are not only fast and convenient they are also very economically priced. To travel from Panajachel to our village of Santa Catarina it costs about Q25.
Lake Atitlan Santa Catarina Palopo
For a more local experience, you can ride in Colectivos, which are typically Toyota pickups that have small benches in the back bed of the truck where you sit. The colectivos in Panajachel stop at La Despensa, the largest grocery store in Pana, and located on the road heading to Jucanya on the corners of Rancho Grande and El Amate.
La Dispensa is a Walmart owned store that has pretty much anything you could want for your daily living. The cost of a colectivo from Pana to Santa Catarina is Q3.
Lake Atitlan Santa Catarina Palopo is a small indigenous village with many shops filled with art, weaving’s, and fabrics lining the streets.
Just a short walk from the main street as well as from the Church is the playa where you can walk along the beach to the hot springs. The hot springs are a great way to relax after a hike in the mountains and around town.
Along the playa, you will find an assortment of choices for food. Most days there is a woman that sells ceviche along the shoreline. It’s good and cheap and of course, with incredible views, it makes for a memorable experience.
There are also a couple of restaurants that are reasonably priced along the playa with views of the Lake. Hotel Villa Santa Catarina is located along the Playa and has a restaurant as well.
Lake Atitlan Santa Catarina Palopo provides an excellent opportunity to see and experience indigenous life. It is a safe village and the locals are kind and friendly.
If you are interested in touring the area http://growyourowncure.org/ offers many tours to choose from. The Lake Atitlan Santa Catarina Upper Rim Hike, Lake Atitlan Village Tour Santa Catarina Palopó and San Antonio Palopó, and the Semana Santa in Guatemala Good Friday Tour all offer visits to Santa Catarina as part of the tour.