Day Trip to Santiago La Laguna

So I figured, let’s checkout Santiago today.  Santiago is a 45 minute boat ride past three volcanoes to the east side of the lake.  It is a place of contradictions.  First noticeable thing is that the hustle is really on there.  As soon as you set foot on solid ground you are immediately asked to buy everything imaginable whether souvenirs, food, drugs or just about anything else.  Leaving the dock you walk up the main street which is lined for half a mile with souvenir and food stalls.

The town itself is a fairly conservative Maya town where even the men still wear traditional dress.

Santiago La Laguna, Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala

Continuing up the hill, one comes to the main part of town and the church.

The present church was built in 1547 by Franciscan missionaries.  It has suffered considerable damage over the centuries from earthquakes.  It has also been repaired on different occasions and is still in daily use.

Santiago Church

Church Interior


Faces of Santiago

Before I headed back to the boat I wanted to visit Maximon.  Maximon is the cigar-smoking whiskey-drinking Maya Catholic saint who is revered and has a cult like following.  His location is moved regularly around Santiago so I give a local boy a few Quetzales to take me to his current abode.


I found him in a dark smoke filled den flanked by his handlers.  After paying my respects, I returned to the boat for the ride home to San Pedro.

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2 Responses to Day Trip to Santiago La Laguna

  1. Judie February 2, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    So cool, Philip!
    Photos and description gave a real flavor of the culture and locals~

    • admin February 3, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

      Thanks Judie. LOL–P

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