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Activities around the Lake

Pennsylvania
posts: 409
reviews: 144
Activities around the Lake

Hello. Can anyone recommend a tour company for day trips around the lake? Also, what activites would you recommend for a 4-day visit. We have never visited the lake. We prefer non-touristy type activies. Thanks.

New York City, New...
posts: 1,286
1. Re: Activities around the Lake

At the risk of sounding like an a**, I get a bit of a chuckle when someone says they prefer non-touristy type activities but then asks for a tour company recommendation :-) Non-touristy activities on the lake include bathing, washing clothing, fishing from marginal boats, and tying nets to old plastic bottles that float and create critter trips for food.

Okay, okay. Where are you staying at the lake? With four days, you'll be doing a good amount of chilling i think. Activities to be had on the lake include:

1. KAYAKING. Most of the villages have at least one person down at the water's edge renting kayaks for about $2-3/hr per person. You can do anything from just paddle around the shore to visiting other villages depending upon how competent you are in the boat. Just watch the conditions, as the lake can be smooth as glass one minute and pretty choppy an hour later.

2. HIKING. Good hiking in the area, but go with a group or ask ahead about safety. You can access the San Pedro volcano from San Pedro or Santiago. A really beautiful hike is up La Nariz, above the village of San Juan (walk 45 minutes from San Pedro or take a Tuk Tuk). I just did this three weeks ago and they now have made the hike a park with admission, so depending upon who you talk to, some say that it is now safe to go independent (we were told it wasn't, but I can't figure out if that was just because someone wanted to make guide money off us). In Panajachel, San Marcos and San Pedro there are many tour providers willing to arrange.

3. HORSEBACKRIDING. All the villages have horses available for short and longer trips. You can either arrange through a tour office, or if your Spanish is good and you're feeling adventurous, ask around with the locals and someone will hook you up.

4. MOUNTAINBIKING. You can rent bikes or take a tour that go from village-to-village. Traveling independently between villages can be an invitation for a mugging, though, so ask before you go for the latest safety report.

5. CHICHICASTENANGO MARKET. If it's not on your itinerary, it's a good day-trip from the lake.

6. VISITING LAKE VILLAGES. Each is unique. Panajachel is the tourist center, Santiago has some tourist infrastructure and a lot of touts wanting to take you to see Maximon (google it), San Pedro is a mix of gringo backpacker and locals above, San Marcos has a lot of New Age activities, San Juan is traditional... You can probably score a guided tour, or just take the lanchas yourself and explore on your own.

5. YOGA -- It's everywhere...

Have fun.

Pennsylvania
posts: 409
reviews: 144
2. Re: Activities around the Lake

Thanks for your suggestions. Sounds like it is best to go with a group vs. independent travel? If you wanted to do the mountain bike ride or hiking ideas, where can you get more info on these activities...Pana??? Are there regular boat rides around the lake that stop at the villages that you listed? Thanks again.

New York City, New...
posts: 1,286
3. Re: Activities around the Lake

For things like local hikes, horseback riding, kayaking... as long as there are two of you, usually you can find someone to take you out. When you're on the ground, just ask around... You'll get your bearings pretty quickly with the established tourist infrastructure.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Yucatan Peninsula
posts: 18,470
reviews: 54
4. Re: Activities around the Lake

Do yourself a favor and spend some time in a Barnes and Noble or Borders with a Rough Guide or Lonely Planet guide to Guatemala. They're pretty out of date by the time they're printed for most independent travellers' needs, but should serve your purposes for finding out what activities exist around the lake and how to get from place to place.

5. Re: Activities around the Lake

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