Main Claire's Itchy Feet logo

Things to Do in San Marcos La Laguna Guatemala

Are you planning a trip to Guatemala? I’m sure San Marcos Lake Atitlan is on your list if you are. There are plenty of choices of places to stay around the lake, and you can’t go wrong with any of them. San Marcos La Laguna is unique, especially if you enjoy the alternative, “new age,” and spiritual vibe. San Marcos is commonly known as a vortex, and for good reason. This guide to the top things to do in San Marcos has recommendations for what to do in San Marcos Guatemala, including things to do in San Marcos at night!

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $39. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies. 

Why Visit San Marcos La Laguna Guatemala

There are so many fun San Marcos things to do, and the entire town has an incredible energy. It’s hard to describe if you haven’t been, but you’ll understand when you go. The village’s position, beside the lake and surrounded by volcanoes, partly makes it unique.

Because of this energy, San Marcos attracts many people who want to heal or be healed. For this reason, San Marcos Lake Atitlan is a great place to find a therapist and therapy if you have any health, emotional, or spiritual issues. For such a small place, there are many healers—there’s also a lot of stuff to do in San Marcos that isn’t focused on energy work.

San Marcos is also a great place to study yoga. Whether you want to do your Yoga San Marcos Teacher Training or do a Yoga Retreat in Guatemala, there are several options. San Marcos has many Ashrams offering teacher training and retreat centers that teach everything from crystal healing to growing mushrooms.

San Marcos Lake Atitlan,lake atitlan,san marcos,things to do in san marcos,yoga san marcos
Image of Scarlett (@changevibrationmovement)

Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress. 
Best San Marcos ToursClick here to check out the top San Marcos tours
Best San Marcos Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in San Marcos
Best San Marcos Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in San Marcos

If that isn’t your thing, I recommend going to San Marcos Guatemala for the morning or afternoon. Stroll around the center (it’s small and only takes 10 minutes), get a nice organic vegan lunch, and maybe book a massage!

How to Get to San Marcos

The only way I recommend getting to San Marcos is by boat. You can easily catch a public launch from any village near San Marcos. If traveling from Antigua or Guatemala City, go to Panajachel first by tourist shuttle. Then get a boat—it’s far more accessible and safer. A boat from Panajachel should be 25Q max. You can book a shuttle to San Marcos or Panajachel through GuateGo here.

San Marcos Lake Atitlan,lake atitlan,san marcos,things to do in san marcos,yoga san marcos

Where to Stay in San Marcos

Hostel Pacha Mama offers very basic accommodations, so don’t expect much. But the average price of a bed for the night is $7 USD—so you get what you pay for!

Hostel Ahau is a bit nicer and a very relaxing place to stay. It does book up quickly, so reserve your room in advance.

Lush Atitlan is my top pick if you prefer to stay in the main village and have more money to splurge. Breakfast isn’t included, but the rooms at Lush Aitlan are clean and spacious. The hotel has excellent WiFi and a shared space to hang out and relax in the gardens. If you’re visiting San Marcos in the rainy season, check their rates, as they usually offer a hefty discount. My friend got a single room there for less than the cost of a dorm room at Hostal del Largo!

Another good option is Paco Real Hotel Boutique.

Quick Tip: View my full Guatemala packing guide here including a downloadable checklist. And check out my Guatemala Essentials shopping list here.

Circles is a hostel and bakery— if you want to know about the best things to do in San Marcos Lake Atitlan, this is the place for up-to-date information. There’s a noticeboard full of info just inside the bakery. The food is so good here, and they have the best bread around the lake, which isn’t easy to find in Guatemala! Even if you don’t stay there, ask about what to do in San Marcos while you grab a bite.

If you decide to stay here, you get the third night free when booking for three nights. Breakfast is included, making it great value for money. They also have great WiFi (by San Marcos Lake Atitlan standards).

San Marcos Lake Atitlan,lake atitlan,san marcos,things to do in san marcos,yoga san marcos

If you want to stay in San Pedro, I recommend Zoola San Pedro AtitlanAmiGosHotel Tinamit, Cristalinas Cafe, or Hotel & Restaurant at Lake.

My friend Julia is developing an incredible retreat center close to San Marcos. They have several places to stay, and I can’t recommend them enough! I stayed there—it was the most blissful I’d been in years. In Panajachel, I recommend PanaHouse or Selina Atitlan.

I also wrote an entire accommodation guide for Antigua, Guatemala City, and Lake Atitlan.

Why I Don’t Recommend Staying at Hostal del Largo

I don’t recommend staying here—it was awful, and my standards aren’t exceptionally high. The hostel was dirty and dark (the light didn’t work), the breakfast wasn’t great, there was no hot water, and the morning yoga class was canceled. That said, it is a great place to go for food, take a yoga San Marcos class, chill out on their deck, and spend time reading their notice board, which is always full of workshops and offerings. Visit, don’t stay there!

San Marcos Lake Atitlan,lake atitlan,san marcos,things to do in san marcos,yoga san marcos

San Marcos things to do change quickly, and it can be hard to keep up. For the most up-to-date workshops and events, go to Circles. There’s an invaluable Facebook Group for stuff to do in San Marcos—it’s also suitable for posting requests, as people are always happy to help.

Things to Do San Marcos

Yoga San Marcos: Where to Practice

Del Largo in San Marcos has daily classes close to the center of town. If you want to take a drop-in class at one of the Ashrams, I recommend Yoga Forest. Ask in Circles, and they will help direct you there (you will likely need a tuk-tuk), or, sometimes, someone will come and pick people up from there.

If you want to self-practice, head up to Eagles Nest. Guests are welcome to use the incredible yoga platform. Book your stay here.

Most of the yoga retreats in Guatemala are also in Lake Atitlan—read more about them here.

A Guide to Yoga in Guatemala

Learn to Grow Mushrooms

Want to learn how to grow your own mushrooms? The Fungi Academy offers a weekly workshop on Tuesdays.

Attend a Cacao Ceremony at Keith’s House in San Marcos Lake Atitlan

You can’t go to San Marcos Guatemala without visiting Keith, the Cacao Shaman. He offers group cacao ceremonies on Wednesdays and Sundays from 12:30 to 6:00 p.m. It’s 200Q for first-timers and 100Q after that. This is a unique experience—if energy healing work is new to you, it might be overwhelming, but go and see what you think.

Join a Kirtan

San Marcos Lake Atitlan,lake atitlan,san marcos,things to do in san marcos,yoga san marcos

I recommend going to the Ashram in Tzunan (there’s only one). Take a tuk-tuk from San Marcos for around 30-40 per person, and ask for the Ashram. You go through Tzunan and pass the Hostel Bamboo on your left. Across the bridge, there’s a dirt path on your left—go there and find the door/gate. The Kirtan lasts for hours every Friday at 11:00 a.m., making it one of the best things to do in San Marcos at night. You get cacao to drink and some instruments to play with. It’s a magical experience and donation-based, so you pay what you can afford.

Find a Good Therapist and Do Some Healing Treatments

You name it, you can find it in San Marcos. I recommend posting what you’re looking for in the Facebook group and asking for recommendations. Do this just before you arrive to get the most up-to-date information, as people come and go quickly in San Marcos La Laguna Guatemala.

If you’re interested in herbal medicine, see my friend Julia at Casa Curativa—shes magical and offers private appointments.

my friend Julia at Casa Curativa

Guatemala Travel Guide Planning

🧳 Any recommendations on what I should pack for Guatemala?

Yes! I have created a whole packing guide to Guatemala which you can read here and you can also check out my packing list for Guatemala on Amazon here.

🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m in Guatemala?

I strongly recommend using GottoGo. You can book almost all transport in the major tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in Guatemala?

I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide. They have a lot of options!

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance.

I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise Skyscanner or Expedia are my go-to flight searching platforms.

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The 3 best platforms that I normally use are Booking.comHotels.com, and Expedia They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack. 

Final Thoughts on Things to Do in San Marcos La Laguna Guatemala

I hope this Things to Do San Marcos Guide shines some light on this mystical place to help you find what you want. Don’t forget, you can ask me any questions in the comments below—I’m always happy to help.

The Beginners Guide to San Marcos Lake Atitlan