San Juan la Laguna: where the most beautiful lake in the world is

Antonio Mudarra
Antonio Mudarra

Guatemala is a magical destination with a unique natural and cultural heritage, as well as a privileged geographical location. The richness of the legacy that the Mayan civilization has left remains intact in its inhabitants and their way of life.

A mystical country, the heart of the Mayan world, with a great diversity of places to discover and experiences that you will never forget.

Guatemala City is located 200 km away. San Juan La Laguna and San Pedro La Laguna, both very close to each other and located on the shores of one of the most beautiful places in Guatemala, the Lake Atitlan. The charm of both lies in the beauty of the landscape in harmony with the urban layout. They are two population centers that preserve a rich gastronomy along with the crafts and traditions of the place.

Charles of Nattule, visited the community and learned first-hand the 8 plans in San Juan La Laguna that you can't miss. You will be able to see first-hand a Community project exceptional that will transport you back in time.


The Organization of the Mayan World, with Guatemala at the forefront this year with the help of Inguat, is promoting 7 community projects throughout the Mayan region that covers El Salvador, Mexico, Honduras, Belize and Guatemala, helping to promote the progress of these communities through tourism. Getting to know a community and experiencing first-hand how it works will become an experience that you will never forget and that will help you value your reality.

At this stop, the Rupalaj K'istalin Community Tourism program of San Juan La Laguna has helped many families and contributed to the arrival of tourists to this area with a unique natural charm. The association distributes its benefits obtained through tourism among its neighbors and helps the conservation of its culture and nature.

If there is something worth visiting Guatemala for, it is its delicious gastronomy. When you try it you will discover the multiculturalism and the essence of the Mayan culture (still very present). Among the products that cannot be missed: corn, chirmoles, beans or plantains.

One of their star desserts is “jocotes” with honey and cinnamon. Eating them on November 1st is a tradition in Guatemala.


If there is something unique that defines the city of San Juan, it is the color of its streets and its cheerful drawings that show the customs of the community. Art is present in each of its corners.

In the painting workshop at the Chiya' Art Gallery, a space dedicated to art and the exhibition of its cheerful paintings, they will explain in detail how to represent curious shapes such as the “nahual” or “nawal maya”, which means energy, spirit or force of the beings and elements of nature. You will only have to grab your canvas and brush, choose your Mayan horoscope sign and show your painting skills.


One of the main attractions of Guatemala is the Lake Atitlán, the “most beautiful in the world” and one of the deepest in Central America. Next to this, 3 great volcanoes: the Atitlán volcano, the San Pedro volcano and the Tolimán volcano (known as “The Three Giants”). These three volcanoes surround Lake Atitlán and give the place unparalleled beauty. Attention to the legend of the Xocomil in Lake Atitlán, is worth knowing.

From Cerro de la Cruz you can enjoy a spectacular sunrise that will leave you breathless with views of the volcanoes and the lake. The locals themselves assure that “it will be the most beautiful thing your eyes will see forever.”


Among the traditions there is one that stands out, the “Tree Ceremony”. An ancestral ceremony of Mayan origin where mysticism comes to life. An act where gratitude is shown to the “creator” for all the goods received and the benefits that Mother Earth offers.

Juan Diego performs the ceremony on a tree bark where he places a circle of sugar, pieces of a tree sacred to the Mayans and white, yellow, red and black candles that represent the four cardinal points (also blue and green). Through fire, thanks are given to the “Ajau” for its favors
in their Mayan language Tz'utujil.


Among the streets of San Juan is the House of Culture, where the brothers Evelia, Jorge, Gaspar and Santos Tzep delight tourists with the Ancestral Mayan Music group "Tz'utuj Q'ajom" with music concerts made from of Mayan instruments built by themselves and lyrics sung in Tz'utujil.

You will be impressed by the sound where they imitate jungle sounds such as water, wind or animals like the jaguar. Music that provokes a feeling of freedom and joy.


The walk along the Ecological Trail Route will take you to the place where the Mayans performed one of their rituals that helped them in hunting. Proof of this is the giant stone Mayan head present along the route and which they used to perform rituals and ask blessings from the gods. Throughout the tour you will discover the rural way of life of the villagers and their organic crops.


Another workshop is the making of Guatemalan chocolate, completely artisanal, where you will learn the traditional techniques of the locals to make this delicious delicacy. From the drying and roasting of the cocoa bean to the grinding on the grinding stone where the mixture is made with milk, stevia or other flavors.

In their store, they have many varieties of flavors, all made naturally.

Apart from cocoa, Guatemala is a powerhouse in coffee exports, with impressive coffee farms, which you can visit in one of our tours.


Another group of women from the Community are dedicated to the development and production of cotton textiles where all the threads extracted from cotton are dyed with natural dyes such as beet, annatto seeds, avocado leaves, guava, rosemary or pepper. .

Something very curious is that they have the “gift” of varying the intensity and tone of natural dyes depending on the lunar phase. 🌓

This production is carried out by the women, who dedicate their time to weaving and thus contribute financially to their families through sales made in the store. All the items they sell from scarves to bags are labeled and named according to who made it.

One fact: it takes a week to make a single scarf.

Guatemala is lucky to host the incredible mayan legacy that has left an indelible mark. Knowing the community projects that are currently being carried out will make you definitely fall in love with this wonderful country.


  1. Increíble esta historia, crear bolsos a mano, y además de forma sostenible, es una de las formas de respetar al medioambiente y mantener nuestras raíces vivas

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