Sunshine Tienda Travels: Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Sunshine Tienda hit the the pavement in December and traveled to Guatemala.  We were so excited to explore the towns around Lake Atitlan and then spend a couple days over Christmas in Antigua.  We found some fabulous things for the shop of course but also were able to meet some amazing people, eat some insane food and see some of the most beautiful things.  Take a trip to Guatemala through our eyes!
The landscape of Guatemala's playground, Lake Atitlan.  (And the view from our house.)
One of the hammocks we found in a town on the lake. Of course had to hang it up!
Our little spot to relax and eat breakfast...and have our happy hour...and eat dinner.  We stayed at Villas B'alam Ya outside of Panajachel on the lake. The customer service and detail that they put into our stay was impeccable.  Highly recommend them if you're planning a trip. Every night they would have dinner prepared for us by local Guatemalan women in our house and they'd so nicely pretend like they knew what we were saying in spanish.  The house was built around the views so no matter where you are in the house that's the first thing you notice.  
Our hotel arranged for a private boat tour to several towns on the lake.  Highly recommend this if you're in the area!  Each town is so different and so beautiful.  The whole experience was very laid back. No time frame we had to worry about- they encouraged you to take your time and enjoy what their country had to offer.  
View from our lunch spot in San Pedro.
One of the women's textile co-ops in San Juan.  They were such wonderful women, so friendly and eager to show us how they weave and dye.  We'll be working with them in the future so keep an eye out!
The best hammock hut I've ever seen.  You can thank her for the new hammocks we have for sale at Sunshine Tienda!
That's San Pedro. A total hippie/ backpacker town.  If you have any desire to take a summer and live here, you should.  They have a lot of Spanish schools and places to live short term.  Would be an awesome adventure. 
The women in San Juan were so friendly.  Best spot to go and find yourselves some Guatemalan textiles.  I have never seen so many looms in all my life.  We hugged.  I have no idea why...I don't normally hug people after I buy things from them but they're just so friendly!
She is the maker of our new pom pom throw/ table runner.  I love how every piece is multi-use...honestly, you can do anything and everything with beautiful textiles.  
The best and pretty much only way to get around town.  
Introducing the Tuk Tuk.
Except for the Chicken Bus. This is also a popular mode of transportation.  Apparently they bring the school buses back from the US and adjust the motors accordingly and bling 'em out.  
View from the top balcony at our house in Panajachel.

A couple of tips:

  • To get to Lake Atitlan, it's about 3-4 hours by car from the airport in Guatemala City.  You can also take a helicopter if you want to fork over the cash!  Makes the commute a little easier ;)
  • Hotel recommendation: Villas B'alam Ya- they'll stock your kitchen with wine and any food you need before you get there so take them up on it! Each house is very private with amazing views.
  • Request a boat ride to at least 3 lake towns.  We visited, San Pedro, San Juan and Santiago.  
  • San Pedro- good for food
  • San Juan- amazing for textiles
  • Santiago- huge market and a little more touristy- largest city of the 3
  • There's a ton of fried chicken in Guatemala so get ready to eat
  • Recommend seeing the Chi Chi Market, it's about 45 minutes from Panajachel and you can either get a car to take you or one of the chicken buses.  This market is the best on Thursdays and Sundays.  It'll take you all day so give yourself some time!  We'll have our next post with details on Chi Chi and Antigua. 



1 comment

By Ruthie Byrne, on

I’m ready to go!!!! These pics are amazing!! The best online store that shows and explains exactly where products come from. By the time u finish reading this you feel very personal with what you purchase!!!!

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