Day 27-28: San Juan La Laguna


The destination that I was most looking forward to in Guatemala was Lago de Atitlán (Lake Atitlán) because it came highly recommended by my friend, Heather, so I was really excited to head there after Antigua.

Lake Atitlán is a large volcanic lake  that’s surrounded by several small towns and villages that each have something different to offer. I initially thought that Elliott and I would spend most of our time in San Marcos, the hippie town, but we ended up checking out two of the other towns instead.


Our first stop on Lake Atitlán was San Juan, one of the less touristy towns, where we booked a two-story bungalow at an eco hostel with the four friends who we met on Caye Caulker. We stayed there for two nights and were able to enjoy a private space at an extremely affordable price.


After we got settled, the six of us went into town to check out the area and to pick up some food to make family dinners. We also stopped at a store to buy some beer and whiskey, of course.

Then we carried all of our goodies back to our bungalow and smacked on some fruit before we ate seasoned tortilla chips and refried black beans for dinner. 


When dinner was over, we cracked the beers, made some mixed drinks and puffed on the Cuban cigars that Elliott and Kris got in Antigua. Then the boys went out to the sauna to get the fire started, while the girls hung out and talked on the porch.

We sat in the sauna for almost two hours and then went back inside to go to bed. But first we had to take care of the GIANT spider that was right next to our bed. Luckily, Elliott, Paul and Lauren aren’t arachnophobes like I am, so they were in charge of catching and releasing the spider, which they did with one of the tortilla chip bags. They also affectionately named it “Siete” because it only had seven legs.


The next morning, Marina and I stayed at the bungalow because we were slightly hungover while the others went into town to get fruit and bread for breakfast.

By the time we were starting to feel better, it was raining, so we killed time in the hostel’s restaurant, where drank cappuccinos, read books, planned for the days ahead and played board games.

Elliott and Kris, our master chefs for the evening, made pasta and the six of us sat down for our last meal after about a week of traveling together.

– Brie

P.S. Thanks, Marina, for the great photos of Elliott and I smoking cigars.

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