10. Lake Atitlán: Peddle and Paddle Overnight Trip
This overnight trip to Lake Atitlán gives you a great mix of activities without wearing you out on any one of them. Through the diversity of biking, kayaking and hiking, you get to experience the majestic lake in a variety of speeds, angles and perspectives. Whether you are cruising on the crest of the caldera ridge, paddling the azure-blue waters of Lake Atitlan, or hiking lakeside through the local towns – you’ll surely enjoy the fantastic views. At night you will rest easy in one of the most beautiful hotels in all of Central America.
Day 1: Country Road Ride
The group leaves from Antigua at 08:00, where you can fill up your water bottles and purchase any additional gear you might need. After meeting your guide and checking your gear, load up the vehicle and set out for a 2.5-hour road trip up into the highlands towards Lake Atitlan. Stop on the road for a coffee and bathroom break at a quaint rest-stop outside the mountain town of Tecpán (breakfast not included).
Upon arrival to the lake highlands area, you'll receive instructions on bicycle operation, safety tips, and a brief orientation of the surrounding terrain. Everyone has a chance to ask any questions they may have, apply sunscreen, and adjust clothing layers. Start out down a steep country road traversing the high tableland above Lake Atitlan. This mostly downhill ride takes you through several small villages and towns before rounding a final ridgeline and joining the road up from the Pacific coast bound for Panajachel.
At the first vista overlooking Lake Atitlán, your guide will stop and prepare a picnic lunch (included) and orientate you to the lakeside towns and geographic features of Lake Atitlan. After lunch, continue breezing down the quick and windy road to the lakeside town of Panajachel. From here, you will catch a boat taxi to Jaibalito, and the beautiful hotel Casa del Mundo. Casa del Mundo Hotel – built into the cliff-side - affords lake-front access alongside wonderful vantage points to appreciate the lake’s volcanic backdrop. You’ll check-in mid-afternoon and be free to rest and relax in a hammock, enjoy the beautiful sunset, or go for a cool dip in the lake! A delicious family-style dinner (included) is served at the hotel restaurant around 18:30.
Day 2: Kayak and Lake Hike
Breakfast and coffee (included) are served at 08:00, after which you will gather what you need for the paddle and lakeside hike. Paddlers don their swimsuits, apply sunscreen and meet down at the dock to load into their kayaks. Leave your hiking daypacks with your private boat taxi and board your kayaks for the north-shore paddle. Paddle westward 1½-2 hours past small towns and villages perched high on the steep sides of sheer ridges that rise right out of waters of Lake Atitlan. After passing the villages of Jaibalito and Tzununá, cruise into the bay of San Marcos la Laguna and trade your kayaks for your daypacks and hiking gear.
Climbing out of town on the lake trail which connects village to village, you'll be treated to spectacular vistas of volcanoes San Pedro, Tolimán and Atitlán. After 1.5hrs of hiking, roll back into Casa Del Mundo. From there, head back to Panajachel in a boat taxi, hop back on your private transport, and arrive back to Antigua just before sunset.