Santa Cruz La Laguna, Guatemala
14° 45' N 91° 13' W
May 06, 2010 16:39
Distance 50km

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La Iguana Perdida and Chichicastenango

After a night's sleep full of nightmares (I couldn't stop thinking of creepy crawlies) and feeling sleepy we hop on the boat taxi to Panajachel in need of coffee and breakfast. The boat taxi is Q15 for foreigners and only Q5 for locals (and if you are not careful they will charge you as much as they feel like..  so know the price and stand your ground). The dock has both coffee (plastic cup, nicely caffeinated) and breakfast. Breakfast is in the form of interesting local pastries. They are ok, but pretty bad for bloody sugar levels which are swinging wildly with the fast-burning food plus caffeine. We wait in the sun and the shuttle picks us up at around 8.20am. We sit in the front of the minibus, so get a great view of the journey. Long stretches of green fields, workers pottering around, tiny villages on winding roads up to the market. The only stop we make is at a 'fruit checking point' (!). This is to check you are not smuggling the 'wrong types of fruit' into the next area. This must be something to do with agriculture or diseases, we guess.  Luckily no fruit smugglers on our bus so off we go again

The market is a huge blur of beautiful bright fabrics and handicrafts. Native Guatemalans selling their work, sometimes a little too tenaciously. We have a proper breakfast here, where I order for myself in Spanish. I have chorizo, beans, feta-esque cheese, vegetables tortilla and OJ and Joe has huevos rancheros (eggs in a tomato salsa). We walk around the market marveling at all the colours everywhere. I buy a cool wooden bowl for dips coloured in reds and blues. The blankets are woven with great craftsmanship. Lunch is at a comedor around the outsdie of the market. We have pollo al la plancha (Q40, ok) and pollo pepian (Q25, delicious).  The Pepian is a local Guatemalan dish involving a paste that consists of tomato, ground pumpkin seeds and a little garlic. The actual market food looked quite dirty so we didn't try any of this, although we really wanted to.

After more browsing we come across a hotel we can hear music drifting out of. We have a peek and there are bands playing and parrots hanging out in a big courtyard. We pay (annoyingly) to use the facilities before the long journey home.

After the bus, and boat journey we we arrive back at la Iguana Perdida. We take a seat on the sofa out the front which overlooks the lake. We read our guide books and watch the sun fade away. Dinner is again at 7pm sharp. This time the starter is a lentil soup with croutons. This is very tasty and the croutons are nice and crunchy. The main course is a lasagne (vegetarian and meat varieties both on offer). grilled vegetables and a cabbage dish mixed with sultanas. The lasagne is great - nice chunky vegetables and creamy sauce. The dessert is a cake again, this time carrot. I have to make a little room for it ;-) The food is really good here. We have a beer then head back to the hut with candles. 

Photos / videos of "La Iguana Perdida and Chichicastenango":

breakfast of coffee and pastry to keep the low blood sugar level shakes away - unfortunately both are quite low GI, so it won't last long on the way between Lago de Atitlán and the markets of Chichicastenango on the way between Lago de Atitlán and the markets of Chichicastenango on the way between Lago de Atitlán and the markets of Chichicastenango markets of Chichicastenango on a Thursday (which is the best day to go) markets of Chichicastenango on a Thursday (which is the best day to go) markets of Chichicastenango on a Thursday (which is the best day to go) markets of Chichicastenango on a Thursday (which is the best day to go) markets of Chichicastenango on a Thursday (which is the best day to go) markets of Chichicastenango on a Thursday (which is the best day to go).  This is part of a pano of the church where a traditional Mayan ceremony was underway (no photos allowed) Dried fish on sale at the markets of Chichicastenango on a Thursday (which is the best day to go) Dried fish on sale at the markets of Chichicastenango on a Thursday (which is the best day to go) markets of Chichicastenango on a Thursday (which is the best day to go) Huevos Rancheros (eggs with a tomato sauce) - Joe said this was OK, but not as good as mine.  The slices of watermelon which were allowed to float in the tomato was not a great touch. Traditional breakfast (desayuno típico), with beans (frijoles), chorizo, cheese, tortilla markets of Chichicastenango on a Thursday (which is the best day to go) postal prices in Guatemala for international post (Europe, UK, USA, etc) markets of Chichicastenango on a Thursday (which is the best day to go).  This is part of a pano of the church where a traditional Mayan ceremony was underway (no photos allowed) markets of Chichicastenango on a Thursday (which is the best day to go).  This is part of a pano of the church where a traditional Mayan ceremony was underway (no photos allowed) markets of Chichicastenango on a Thursday (which is the best day to go).  This is part of a pano of the church where a traditional Mayan ceremony was underway (no photos allowed) markets of Chichicastenango on a Thursday (which is the best day to go).  This is part of a pano of the church where a traditional Mayan ceremony was underway (no photos allowed) markets of Chichicastenango on a Thursday (which is the best day to go).  This is part of a pano of the church where a traditional Mayan ceremony was underway (no photos allowed) markets of Chichicastenango on a Thursday (which is the best day to go) markets of Chichicastenango on a Thursday (which is the best day to go) jugo (fresh juice) jugo (fresh juice) Soup and tortillas at lunch Lunch of chicken and pepian Lunch of chicken Lunch of traditional Guatemalan dish of Pepian - the sauce is made with tomato and ground pumpkin seeds parrots at the hotel parrots at the hotel the random hotel we went into which had lots of parrots in the yard Sweeping video view of the Lago de Atitlán, from the pier at the village of Santa Cruz de La Laguna Some locals, viewed out the shuttle window, gathering their wares for sale at the market.  Notice how they are all dressed traditionally, with the colours of the village. A weird amusement park, with dancers and music in Chichicastenango dinner at the Iguana Perdida, Santa Cruz de La Laguna dinner at the Iguana Perdida, Santa Cruz de La Laguna dinner at the Iguana Perdida, Santa Cruz de La Laguna dinner at the Iguana Perdida, Santa Cruz de La Laguna