We will spend the morning on visiting some of the villages around the
lake. After reading about them, the one I want to visit is Santiago
We want to climb Volcano Pacaya, which is a two
drive from the lake (120 Km). The idea is being there at dusk in order
of having a better chance for taking the lava bright in the photos. As
I’ve read this could be a hard walk we probably will use horses for it.
After that visit, our only task will be going to Guatemala airport, at
45 Km from there, where we will deliver the car and have the hotel, the
closest one to the airport.
We’re awakening early, as usual, and we can get
with the sunrise a great view of the three volcanoes across the lake.
We can see it from our bed, just by falling apart
the curtains of the window. Somehow, when we’re down at 7 AM for our
breakfast, they’re wearing some clouds as if they were too shy as per
The restaurant is really crowded at this time of
the morning. All the people are French. It must be a big group leaving
now based on the amount of baggage we could see at lobby.
At the moment we can see the peak of some volcano
free from the dining room we’re leaving for some pictures from the
garden. We’re sad by the missed chance of this morning, when we could
clearly see all three volcanoes, but I never thought they could be
there just for 30 minutes.
This hotel is besides the ferry quay, but we’re
told in reception desk that ferries to Santiago are leaving from a
different one, a further one.
Once at street an old man with shabby clothes who
comes with us. We end ashamed by our reservations when he leaves us in
the public boat to Santiago asking nothing in exchange.
We purchase two one way tickets by 30 quetzals
each. We’re told it is a 45 minutes trip, that there is a boa at 10 AM
there for coming back, which assure us being at hotel before 12 PM, the
time we’re going to be picked up, and they also told us we’re leaving
in 10 minutes.
These public boats are cheap, but have no time for
leaving, although they insist they have. Those 10 minutes are really 40
when we’re leaving. The problem is they always try to leave as full as
The trip is not taking 45 minutes either, but 25,
which compensates the delay. The volcanoes are growing in size as we’re
approaching to the other side of the lake. Sun is strong today and I
can feel my arms burning.
When we arrive, there are several vendors offering
clothes and jewelry. A boy offers tuk tuk by 10 quetzals and we take it
with no second thoughts.
We’re going with him this entire street full of
shops at both sides up to the part with vehicles. There we get into a
red tuk tuk and get a deal: from taking us to Cathedral square and
coming back by walking by 10 quetzals, to coming back with him by 20
quetzals. Then we add a tour by the city and visiting a sighting spot
in the hill by 40 quetzals in total.
Santiago Atitlan is a peculiar town and we like
it. The Cathedral is dressed for the Easter and we’re enjoying
everything we can see.
We’re enjoying the tuk tuk ride by the narrow
streets too and the driver makes his best for us getting fun with him.
We’re delivered on time back to the quay and at 10
AM we’re on board, but we still must wait for one hour until the boat
gets full and leaves.
At 11:30 AM we’re back at hotel closing our bags.
The van picks us up finally around 12:30 PM and we reach Antigua some
minutes before 4 PM.
We’re going to have less time than expected here
in Antigua, but the main thing is lunching. Two blocks down the shuttle
office, where they’re keeping our baggage, we get into a small
restaurant where we eat fillet with mushroom sauce, brochette of meat
and one quesadilla, a sort of cheesecake, for sharing, everything by
180 quetzals. The courses are big with two sides to choose. We both
choose the same two: paste of potato and the best guacamole I’ve tasted
in my life.
The time has almost gone in the meal because,
everything was delicious, but they were slow. We’re at the office at
5:50h waiting to be picked up. When they come it is already dark and,
after a one hour’s ride, we’re delivered the first of the group in the
van at our hotel, close to the airport, in a secure neighborhood,
fenced and guarded by armed men.
In Hotel Casa Blanca Inn we’re helped in
everything we need and even they’ll take us to the airport tomorrow at
5 AM for free.