There are 13 villages or pueblos around Lago Atitlan. Perched on the hill of San Marcos outside the gringolandia and on the outskirts of town, I visited Hotel and Restaurant Jinava.
Let's face it, the lake is amazingly gorgeous, peaceful and the reason it draws tourists. That's why I live in Burlington...cause I love Lake Champlain!!! Water is cleansing, blessing, vitality, peace.
Coming by boat, you just ask the driver to drop you off at the Jinava dock. By foot, I almost missed the entrance, as it is clad in vines and flowers and off the main street of the locals town of San Marcos.
The restaurant is small and perfectly perched overlooking the water. The 180 degree view along with a cup of coffee and a simple breakfast was just about the best way to start the day (after the 15 minute walk uphill to get here...)
Is is slow season. Very slow season. When I asked if the coffee was instant, the guy looked at me and shook his head. "No, no, this is strong, good coffee. You need it strong this morning, I can tell." He smiled and brought me back the best cup of coffee I have had in Guatemala. Along with leftover sludge. Sweet! (No, I didn't drink that).
Flowers galore hung over the path and surrounded every vista.
After breakfast I made my way through the skinny stone trails down to the dock. If you stay at the hotel, you have access to their "kayak." I just sat and enjoyed the warm, peaceful morning. I was the only visitor in the entire hotel. I think they would've let me do just about anything.
I made my way back up, and up, and up to the street through the maze of bright green. Stopping often to photograph the flowers of all shape, color and size, I finally made my way back to the entrance, where still, the view was quite breathtaking.