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San Antonio Papoló

11km away from Panajachel after Santa Catarina lies the larger village of San Antonio Papoló. With a population of 2,650 San Antonio feels less touristy than other nearby villages. Altitude varies somewhere between 1590 and 2220m above sea level, depending on whether you venture to the shore of Lake Atitlan or into the mountains. Before the 1980's access to San Antonio was either by footpath or motor boat, but since then a road linking it to nearby Santa Catarina and beyond has drawn more tourists to the area. The majority of people here are also of indigenous Cakchiquel Mayan descent, but dress differently. Here the emphasis is on the women's traditional dress comprising of a navy blue skirt and a blue or red striped huipil. The men also wear a version of the red striped shirt and visitors will note the occasional red turban-like head dress. If arriving by boat across the lake, it's hard to miss the gleaming white colonial-style church. There are also hot springs nearby and a cave nestled in the mountain behind, which is often used for local ceremonies. There isn't much accommodation to choose from but the standard is quite good. In terms of food, guesthouses usually serve food but there are also several places in the town to eat. The local textile co-operative is worth a visit and by buying some of the woven products you contribute to sustaining its future. San Antonio celebrates its patron saint St. Anthony of Padua on the 12th of June, so if you are visiting around then, expect a great festival atmosphere.


Other places nearby San Antonio Papoló: Tzununá, San Lucas Tolimán, Santa Cruz La Laguna, Santa Catarina Palopó, San Marcos La Laguna, Jaibalito, San Pedro La Laguna, Santiago Atitlan, San Juan La Laguna and Panajachel.

29 Jul 2010

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