Lago de Atitlan – Shopping in Panajachel, Guatemala

The second half of our too-brief stint in Guatemala took place in Panajachel, the biggest town on the shores of the Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala’s largest crater lake.  The enormous blue expanse, ringed by cloud-topped volcanoes on every side, was impressive.

Lago de Atitlan
View from our hostel

There’s no end to boat trips, hikes, kayaking trips, and bike rides you can take from Panajachel (locals call it “Pana”) around the Lago de Atitlan.  There is also an endless street of craft stalls with (allegedly) the cheapest prices in Guatemala.  We took advantage and shopped a lot!

Lago de Atitlan shopping panajachel
Love all that color!

We definitely didn’t have enough time at Lago de Atitlan!  Next time we’ll have to explore the smaller villages surrounding the lake.  It was a great short visit though!

 

Lago de Atitlan

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Otavalo Market – South America’s Greatest Mercado

Otavalo, Ecuador, was my absolute FAVORITE place on our trip so far.  It was just indescribably cool.  The main attraction is the Otavalo Market. It is a massive Saturday crafts market – supposedly the biggest in South America!  Tons of traditionally-attired Quechua locals take over the streets of the whole town center, selling beautiful artwork, handicrafts, livestock, clothing, anything you can imagine!  We also LOVED the food market, and all the great but cheap restaurants around town.  In general, Otavalo struck me as a excellent place to chill and enjoy a small-town atmosphere, while simultaneously soaking up indigenous Ecuadorian culture in a beautiful environment!  I wish we could have stayed longer.  Really though, the pictures have to do the talking!

Otavalo Market
Indigenous produce sellers in the food market.
Otavalo Market
Everything is so COLORFUL in Otavalo!
Otavalo Market
These fried mashed potato cakes are the best ever!!! Served with mystery meat, salad, and salsa! $1 per plate.
Otavalo Market
The indigenous people of Otavalo are famous for their awesome felt hats. I kind of wanted this one, but didn’t want to pack it for 8 more months!
Otavalo Market
The Saturday market is torture for a jewelry-lover on a budget like me!
Otavalo Market
Need a snack while shopping? How about some snails??
Otavalo Market
Beautiful fabrics.
Otavalo Market
This woman made Zach’s awesome poncho, our first souvenir of the whole trip!

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