Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sightseeing - Touring around Lake Atitlan

From "Things You Should Do" sightseeing-touring/lake-atitlan
Lake Atitlan and Semuc Champey - Guatemala | Fun Things to Do

The first, Lake Atitlan, is relatively easy to get to. .... Bikes Without Borders, an nonprofit NGO, uses bikes as a tool for development around the world. ... Bikes Without Borders invests in the infrastructure of communities...

Lake Atitlan and Semuc Champey - Guatemala
Guest Author: Mike Brcic
Mountain Biking in Guatemala

Two of the most beautiful places I have ever seen are in Guatemala, and both involve my favorite molecules hydrogen and oxygen (clue: in the right proportion, they make water). The first, Lake Atitlan, is relatively easy to get to. The second, Semuc Champey, involves a little more adventure, a la Romancing The Stone, but is worth every ounce of effort.

I first visited Guatemala last March, on a scouting trip for my adventure company Sacred Rides Mountain Bike Holidays. I was there to do a trial run of a new trip we’d set up with the help of some local guides; my wife and I decided to extend our trip with a couple of weeks on our own. We were not disappointed.

Guatemala is a country with a long, storied, and often tragic history. Most recently, the country was mired in a brutal civil war that lasted 36 years and ended only in 1996. Today, the country enjoys peace, yet poverty still affects a majority of its citizens, of whom almost 70% are indigenous Maya. Despite its tragic history and poverty, the people of Guatemala are among the friendliest and most beautiful people I have ever met.

Rarely have we passed through a Guatemalan village (seeing the country from the seat of a bike you pass through many communities) without the residents waving as we pass by, a friendly ‘buenos dias’ or ‘buenas tardes’ sending us on our way, or perhaps ‘que le vaya bien’ (‘may it go well for you’, or ‘good luck’) delivered with a wide grin. Children often race alongside us, laughing and screaming, amused at our bicycles and strange hats (our helmets). (more)


Steve said...

This is a fantastic place to take your mountain bike, the volcano is litered with countless tracks lined with beautiful trees and greenery. The dusty and rocky tracks are fun and can get very fast.

catherine todd said...

Thanks for commenting, Steve... where can people rent mountain bikes around the lake? What was your starting point?

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
View of Lake Atitlan and volcano from my apartment balcony in Panajachel. Taken by Catherine Todd June 2008.