From here, the only way was down. Still several hours though, to Antigua Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan. Also known as Santa Catarina 🙂 A picturesque small village, almost devoid of any modern facilities. The community center turned out to be our refuge for the night: not much more than a big room, with two toilets. And, as a treat, the temazcal: a Guatemalan sauna, a heated very low room where you could rinse your skin with steaming hot water in the dark.
Symphony of snoring
Shaken and scared
How to book a tour
There are several tour companies offering to organize the tour to Lake Atitlan (and other popular treks, such as Santa Maria and Tajumulco). The indisputable market leader is Quetzal Trekkers. They leave to Lake Atitlan twice a week, often with the maximum of 20 participants.
But if you are with a small group yourself, or prefer to join a smaller company, there are other options. They though usually only offer the tour for a minimum of three people. If you remain in Xela for several days, you can register your contact details so they will contact you when other people show interest as well.
Some of the companies:
– Monte Verde Tours: one of the few companies that does a one-day trip to Tajumulco. Lake Atitlan is done for groups of three persons or more
– Altiplanos: on 6a Calle east of Parque America, they also offer most regular tours
– Quetzal Tours: another small company offering tours since 2011
– Quetzal Trekkers: the biggest one. They are located in Casa Argentina. Knock at the door and wait until someone opens, then proceed down a small stairs all the way to the back. Tours can be booked online as well
You can find more pictures here.