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Boat Transportation from village to village

New York City, New...
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Boat Transportation from village to village

We will be traveling to Lake Atitlan in early July and am having trouble finding information on how the boat taxis operate. Are they plentiful at the docks of each village and do they run frequently? What hours of the day do they operate? Are they on a set route & schedule? How long is a boat ride from San Pedro la laguna to Panajachel? Anything else I need to know will be much appreciated. Thanks for your help.

The Dalles, Oregon
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1. Re: Boat Transportation from village to village

The boat ride between Pana and San Pedro takes about half an hour and usually costs 20 quetzales (about $2.50). The boats are fairly frequent between the main villages and go when there are enough passengers for the captain to justify the trip. Sometimes they'll tell you the next public boat is hours away (not really true) but for a much larger sum they'll take you right away. We've waited 20-30 minutes a few times but usually less. There may be an exception leaving from Pana, but in general they stop at dark in my experience (~6pm).

Hopefully others will chime in with more specifics. Happy trails!

Bethesda, MD
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2. Re: Boat Transportation from village to village

A lancha direct between Pana and SP takes about a half hour, like Stacey says. But if the lancha makes stops along the north shore villages and docks, it's more like 45 minutes to an hour.

Panajachel...
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3. Re: Boat Transportation from village to village

It depends where around the lake you want to go! Pana is the hub. From Pana to Santiago Atitlan from the main public dock there are boats about every half hour and the price is Q25pp do not pay more! There is also a boat from Santiago Atitlan to San Pedro.

For the north shore villages Santa Cruz round to San Pedro, there are boats from the Tzanjuyu dock leaving approximately every 20 mins. There is one that is direct to San Pedro and the price is actually Q25pp, you'll be lucky to get it for Q20 as the boat drivers are right *****rs most of them!! Otherwise there is a boat that stops off at all the villages and the prices vary depending on which village!

The boats basically run from 6.30am - 5pm, but to and from Santiago Atitlan from 8am - 4.30pm.

For San Antonio and Santa Catarina there are no boats, just a pick up from the market in Pana. For San Lucas Toliman there is a bus from Pana.

You simply pay as you get off - always try to have the correct change!

Do try and stay at at least 2 different villages as they are all very unique!

Saint Louis...
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4. Re: Boat Transportation from village to village

I was going to ask this same question, but did a search and found this thread......I am going to spend an entire day going to all the villages around the lake. Can someone advise the best way to do this independently? Is it best to go to Santa Cruz first and just hop one to another? Do some boats go village to village?

Thanks

The Dalles, Oregon
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5. Re: Boat Transportation from village to village

Tour boats go village to village but most boats have a route that just connects 2 or 3 villages. I would limit the number you visit since you just have 1 day, otherwise you will only have time to see the area around the dock and the main roads which will not give you a clear image of the culture and nature of each - those areas cater to tourists. I would check out which towns have their bigger market days on your day and try to catch a market or 2. Although my favorite town on the lake is San Pedro, it's the sort of place that you have to really get away from the docks and the main path between them to get a feel for the place. For quick visits I like San Juan and Santiago Atitlán and my favorite market is Santa Clara (2sday and Saturday) but I think it's too far up the hill to be included in your day.

Santa Catarina Polopo could maybe be visited on a different day to save time - so close to Pana. If you want to make stops at more than 2 or 3 villages then I think it would be better to arrange a tour; you will only have an hour or 2 per village anyway. If you speak decent Spanish and want to control how much time you have in each, doing it on your own would be preferable. Have a great visit, whatever you decide!

6. Re: Boat Transportation from village to village

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