Tag Archives: Guatemala

Indian Nose Lake Atitlan Guatemala.

Towards the end of my stay i wanted to climb the Indians Nose Lake Atitlan for a sunrise view over lake. The view point is situated high above the towns of San Juan and San Marcos. As this was an early start i had to stay in San Pedro for the night as the tour departed from there.

Meeting up with the guide at 3.45 a.m. we made our way to the chicken bus for our 45 minute drive to the drop off point. I would say the bus averaged 8-9 mph over the journey as it was either on cobbled roads in towns, good concrete roads on steep inclines with hair pin bends, or broken roads filled with deep pot holes and ruts. I felt sorry for the locals who endured this everyday on their way to work ! At least i knew is was going to get off soon and never do the journey again.

After we jumped off the bus we headed down a road and then between a couple of houses following alley ways, paths and dirt tracks. My guide was stopped more than once and entered into long discussions with locals who were clearly telling him the way to go. He stuck to his guns twice but was convinced by the last man and we changed our route. After a 15 minute walk we started to climb steeply and we all soon got out of breath stopping 3/4 times until we made the top.

We waited a short while for the sun to start to rise but you could already see the three main volcanos. Also in the background you could see the volcanos in Antigua (over 50 kms away) with one of them occasionally blowing a puff of smoke just to let you know its there.

indian nose lake atitlan Volcano in background blowing off

indian nose lake atitlan
Sunrise at Indian Nose


lake atitlan Main volcanos with the volcanos of Antigua in the background

This was where we climbed, Indian nose, can you see it ?!


We climbed down from the top this time without my thighs burning but with my knees and calf muscles twitching. Instead of the chicken bus we selected a mini bus and then changed as it was far too comfortable to a tuk tuk. The tuk tuk had to contend with the same pot holes, deep ruts, steep inclines, sandy roads, stray dogs, numerous speed bumps and other tuk tuk drivers. Its not a job i would want, i bet all your arm and shoulder joints are shot to pieces by the time you are 30. I reckon theres a rest home full of ex-tuk tuk drivers, arms in slings, drinking from straws, either that or they put them humanely to sleep at the end of their useful life.


Antigua Guatemala

After relaxing by the water in Rio i jumped on the Litegua bus to get me to Antigua. For 125 quetzales it got me to Guatemala City and then onto a connecting bus for the remainder of the journey. Having heard that Guatemala City isn’t the nicest place to hang around (about 15 murders a day) i decided to skip it. The bus trip took longer than advertised (again) and we were all worried that we would miss the connecting bus. Luckily the next bus had waited even though we were nearly 2 hours late.  The short drive to Antigua doubled in length as it took us nearly an hour to get out of the city so a good 7-8 hours in the saddle that day.

I often book my accomodation ahead at least for the first couple of nights as i like to know where i’m going. I hate trudgeing round from hotel to motel checking prices and rooms with my bags on my back, i’d much rather get somewhere (even if its not exactly what i want) drop off my bags and go and explore.

I stayed at Hostal Posada de San  Carlos, a mixture of private rooms and dorms for backpackers. I feared Antigua was going to be a little expensive so I stayed in a dorm for about 12USD a night, it was clean, had comfortable beds, and good staff, in fact very good staff.

Antigua is in the central highlands of Guatemala and is well known for its well preserved Spanish influenced architecture and ruins of colonial churches. It has a great central square surrounded by imposing buildings.

Antigua guatemala

Antigua guatemala

Cathederal of San Jose next to the main square –

Cathederal of San Jose antigua guatemala
Cathederal of San Jose

Hermano Pedro, an ancient hospital –

Hermano Pedro antigua guatemala
Hermano Pedro

Many ruins of old churches can be found when strolling around town –antigua guatemala

Ruins of Antigua Guatemala
Church ruins of Antigua

If you come to Antigua make sure you have some comfortable shoes to walk around in, ALL the streets are cobbled and the pavements aren’t that wide !!

Cobbled streets of Antigua Guatemala
Cobbled streets of Antigua

Theres normally a volcano back drop somewhere –

Threres normally a volcano somewhere......antigua guatemala
Theres normally a volcano somewhere……

Antigua  can be an expensive place to stay, there are five star hotels, pricey restaurants, spas galore and many gifts to buy. But fear not as there are a few hostels, cheaper hotels, bars and cafes, and street food to eat in abundance in the evening.

I haven’t mentioned about the volcano trekking that can be done here but as i’m going to be back here in a couple of weeks, it can wait !