Leaving Antigua to venture into Guatemala’s verdant highlands, passing over-flowing ‘chicken buses’ and the famous Chichicastenango market (Thursdays and Sundays), arrive at the country’s finest natural asset; the magical, volcano-ringed, mirror-flat Lake Atitlán, where the aim of the game is to unwind amidst pure natural beauty.
A setting so enchanting as to inspire the extraordinary worlds within Saint-Exupery’s ‘Le Petit Prince’, the shores of the lake are home to a large part of Guatemala’s indigenous communities, each of which upholds an individual trade, such as back-strap weaving, pottery or beading. With a local guide, explore the small villages around the lake by private boat, journeying from port to port to piece together the magic elements of this ‘micro-world’, meeting inspiring local craftsmen, and learning about the thriving indigenous cultures of rural Guatemala.
Traditional dress is still worn throughout the country and each community showcases its own patterns and colours. A haven for textile-lovers, the intricate handcrafts found in the tiny villages around Lake Atitlán are impossible to pass-by: from hammocks to bed-spreads, hand-woven baskets to colourful purses and table cloths.
There is an undeniable mystical air about Lake Atitlán, making it the perfect setting for some holiday R&R.