San Antonio Palopó Travel Guide

  • Crafts for sale, San Antonio Palopó
    Crafts for sale, San Antonio Palopó
    by toonsarah
  • San Antonio Palopó
    by toonsarah
  • Counting money after a sale
    Counting money after a sale
    by toonsarah

San Antonio Palopó Things to Do

  • Church of St. Anthony of Padua

    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...

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  • San Antonio´s church.

    San Antonio used to be a catholic town, now much of the inhabitants are protestant. The white washed church worth a look.

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  • Boat to San Antonio.

    It used to be buses to San Antonio, but after the Stan Hurricane the roads are in a very bad shape. The best way to reach the town is by boat (40 minutes). If you are adventorous you can also get local pick-ups cars to the town.

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San Antonio Palopó Transportation

  • By boat to San Antonio Palopó

    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....

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  • Boat

    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...

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San Antonio Palopó Shopping

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    by toonsarah Written Dec 27, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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).

    Handicrafts seller on the steps of the church

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San Antonio Palopó Local Customs

  • Traditional locals

    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...

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  • Coffee

    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.

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San Antonio Palopó Favorites

  • Life in the village

    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...

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  • A quick tour

    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...

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