San Marcos de la Laguna, Lago Atitlán, Guatemala
Andrea shares her day at the San Marcos de la Laguna, where she had a rather un eventful day and some insight into the downsides on a non-touristy place.
Because traveling isn’t always happiness or fun or sunshine
Heading to the lake
It was the end of my Central- America trip, I had a bit over a week in Guatemala and decided just to see Antigua and Atitlan. It wasn’t easy to decide where around the lake to stay, but at the end I chose San Marcos because it isn’t as touristy as San Pedro and it had lots of yoga and meditation activities to do – things that I love and practice –
With the choice made, I head to the lake. It was a 4-hour trip from Antigua and I just had a weekend. I had big expectations to discover the amazing place everyone talks about.
I took a bus from Antigua to Panajachel – biggest town in the lake- and from there a fast – well, no literally- boat to San Marcos. At the end, the whole trip took me like 6 hours. I reached town Saturday midday.
My first impression of the place wasn’t good. It didn’t seem to be a proper town but a hall with hostels and restaurants on the sides.
I didn’t have a reservation so it took me 20 minutes to find a decent hostel with decent WIFI – I was working and traveling – Didn’t want to spend more time looking for a place, so I decided to stay there. I got a bed in their 12-bed-dorm and…surprise! I was the only one there. I had the room just for me! That’s great, I thought.
After wander the town for some time I just decided that I didn’t like it- at all-, it was small, the roads were narrow, it was dusty and all restaurants and coffees were expensive. All the yoga and meditation posters made the place to look like an exaltation of the new age, a trend instead of real philosophy.
I went back to the hostel and fell asleep. After a couple of hours nap, I woke up and decided to give another try to the town. Sadly, this time was worst: Everything was closed, it was barely no-one on the streets – and it was Saturday 6pm!! . So, I just decided to go for dinner and the only cheap place I found, I asked for a pizza to go and walked back to my hostel to eat it.
So, I reached the hostel and found out that I was still the only-one in the room, those were sad news! I wanted to have some roommates to hang out with. I set on my bed, started to eat my –by that time- cold pizza and also opened a box of wine that I had from the night before. I ate the cold pizza with wine, alone, in a dark hostel room in San Marcos, Guatemala. This is so boooring, I thought.
I had nothing else to do but to drink the whole box of wine, so I did. I got drunk and fell asleep again, it was around 8pm of a Saturday night.
The Next Day
The hangover woke me up in the middle of the night, I wanted to drink some water but I didn’t have anything with me. Headed to the bathroom and kitchen but we didn’t have water. I felt so miserable.
The next day I woke up and went back to Antigua. I was happy to leave San Marcos.
Who said that you have to like all places you go? Who said that stories need to be happy-ones?
This is actually one of my favorite travel stories and is about an extremely boring night and a place I didn’t really like. And that’s actually why I like this story: Because it is a real-life traveling story. Because traveling isn’t always happiness or fun or sunshine.
Andrea believes that there’s too much beauty in the world, and she likes to travel because she loves to see -and feel- it! She has friends in all continents, loves chocolate and wine, reads a lot and collects quotes. She stopped buying clothes when she figured out that everything she needs, she can fit in her backpack. She is currently working for the travel startup AllTheRooms