"A typical Cakchiquel Maya village" San Antonio Palopó by toonsarah
San Antonio Palopó Travel Guide: 12 reviews and 38 photos
The people here are Cakchiquel Maya, and if you also visit Tz'utujil villages such as Santiago Atitlàn you’ll soon spot the differences in their traditional costumes. Whereas in the latter bright reds and embroidered flowers are the norm for huipiles, here, without exception as far as I could see, every woman and girl wears the same lovely shades of blue in narrow vertical stripes.
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.
But despite the few tours it is much less visited than Santiago and feels much more genuine. Locals definitely outnumber tourists on its streets and if you stray any distance from the dock and church, as we did, you will find yourself the object of curious (but not unfriendly) looks.
The village clings to the steep hillside that rises from the lake, with its little white church catching the eye perched high above most of the other buildings. Apart from the church there is little of architectural merit; this is a relatively poor community and houses are basic rather than decorative.
But this is a very good place to come to get away from the crowds of Panajachel or Santiago Atitlàn, and to get a flavour of everyday life on the shores of Lake Atitlàn.
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