Exceptional Places Original Story

Lush Atitlan – San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala

Located on the shore of Atitlán lake, surrounded by majestic volcanos, San Marcos La Laguna is a small fisherman Mayan village with a special mystic beauty that makes you want to stay still. From its narrow streets, to lush gardens and New Age colorful graffities, San Marcos La Laguna is a secret hidden gem that gathers an eclectic community of Mayans, adventurous travellers and artistes seeking new creative and spiritual energies. No picture or movie could really capture the feeling one has, when setting foot on San Marco’s streets for the first time.


It takes time and at least four transportation means: a plane to Guatemala City, a local bus to Antigua, another one to Panjachel and a 45-minute boat ride to San Marcos La Laguna. Don’t worry, once you are there the fatigue will be replaced by a feeling of zen and completeness.


Lush Atitlan is by far the most charming and luxurious place in San Marcos La Laguna. This family-owned hotel, built from the ground up by its owners, has an Italian “dolce vita” feel. Green gardens, white stones, rooms decorated with impeccable taste and Guatemalan art pieces, overlooking the lake and stunning volcanos will make you spend as much time outdoors as well as in your room. If you want to indulge yourself, book the Mirador honeymoon suite to catch the first rays of the sunrise from your own bed.


Start your day with breakfast (included) at Lush Atitlan. All produce is locally sourced and coffee is amazing. Their secret flavor? Adding a tiny little spoon of bergamot powder in their coffee bags.

At lunch time, take a sea front table at El Tul y Sol and order la comida tipica: chicken, fish or seafood with rice.

At dinner time, try the noodles at Allala, a hidden Asian restaurant, where Mayan women prepare exotic dishes in a mishmash, mystical ambiance. Bistro Love is the best place to dine, drink and dance. Taste the Shamanic Chocolate Cocktail and enjoy the hippy vibes by the fire place before heading to a live concert at El Camino restaurant.


Early risers and yogis, don’t miss the surise morning yoga class at The Yoga Forest (count a 30-minute hike to reach the place)! The view from the yoga deck is breath-taking and will fill you up with positive energies. Spend the rest of the day soaking under the sun at Cerro Tzankujil park where you can rent paddle boards and kayaks to explore the wonders of the lake.

San Marco La Laguna is equally a pit stop for a large variety of activities. Traditional and local art lovers will enjoy a day trip to San Pedro La Laguna while outdoor aficionados will put their hiking shoes to climb the nearby volcanos: Toliman, San Pedro and Atitlán. Spiritual souls will enjoy meditations, holistic experiences, acupuncture, massage and reiki sessions. So many choices, so many unforgettable experiences. Namasté!

Information and booking: Lush Atitlan

Photo credits: Livia, Lush Atitlan

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