There are two main reasons to come to San Antonio. One is to see the pretty church, perched high above the village. The trucks will bring you to its door, but if you arrive by boat it’s a steep but rewarding climb up from the dock. The views from here are great (see photo 3), but don’t be so distracted by the view that you fail to pop inside. When...more
There are two ways to get here from Panajachel: pick-up truck (cheap but bumpy) or boat (dearer, because you will have to hire a private one as the ferries don’t call here, but more scenic). Actually there is a third way – some of the tours of the lake call here too.We opted for the boat as it seemed a nicer way to travel, despite the higher cost....more
We got here by boat as part of a tour that included two other villages, however, you can catch a direct boat from Panajachel for just a couple bucks (15-20 Q). If you'd rather get here overland, there are regular pick-ups between Panajachel and San Antonio Palopó (stopping in Santa Catarina) and leaving approximately every thirty minutes (the last...more
The other attraction that draws visitors to San Antonio is the opportunity to shop. The distinctive blue huipiles are on offer everywhere and are probably a more wearable design when you get back home than the more ornate ones elsewhere. Other handicrafts are generally of a good quality and prices seem a little lower than in other villages – I paid just 50 Q for a large colourful shawl / scarf that has already become a real favourite. The only downside is that we found the women here far more insistent on showing you their goods and if you’re not interested it can be hard to convince them of that fact.
What to buy: For more everyday shopping there is a small local market next to the church, and a few shops on the path between dock and church. Down by the water a small shack sells snacks and cold drinks (the latter was very welcome after our climb).
San Antonio Palopó is one of the more traditional villages around the lake. The people here are Cakchiquel Mayan and the men wear traditional clothing of red shirts with vertical stripes, pants with a small woolen blanket wrapped around their hips called a rodillera. The women also looked very traditional wearing similar color combinations with...more
Just down the hill from the main church, I noticed a woman sorting through what appeared to be coffee beans drying in the sun. In addition to selling their local handicrafts to tourists, many of the locals make a living through agriculture and since this is Guatemala, coffee is the most important crop.more
Although the church is likely to be the first thing that catches your eye, don’t let it be the only thing that you see here. The village streets are unprepossessing and there are no buildings or architectural merit, but a stroll around them is a pleasant way of spending some time. Whereas near the church we found that local women were rather...more
My buddy Ryan and I were only in San Antonio Palopó for about an hour, which was just enough time for a quick stroll around town and in the area around the church. My initial impression was of a place that was more traditional than the other villages and perhaps a little poorer. The locals were a little stand-offish although the women up near the...more