Tours and Tickets

Lake Atitlan Boat tour from Puerto Quetzal provided by MB Guatemaya Travel

Lake Atitlan Boat tour from Puerto Quetzal

Lake Atitlan Boat tour from Puerto Quetzal
5
Book in advance
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S$175.13
per adult
Reserve now & pay later: Save your spot free of charge with flexible booking.
Not sure? You can cancel this booking up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.
About
Board your air-conditioned transportation for the approximately two and a half-hour guided drive to the highlands of Guatemala and Lake Atitlan. Located at over 4,000 feet above sea level, the lake is over 1,000 feet deep and is surrounded by three very impressive volcanoes. The lake itself was formed after the last eruption 85,000 years ago. Once at the lake board a boat to take you to explore the most indigenous village known as San Juan La Laguna. There meet local artisans famous for making hand made textiles. After lunch board your boat again to connect with your land transportation and head back to Port Quetzal.
Know before you go
  • Duration: 9-10 hours
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Available languages
English, Spanish
Know before you go
  • Duration: 9-10 hours
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Available languages
English, Spanish
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Need help booking?
Call the number below and use the product code: 37551P19
Call +65 6670 9674
Important information
Inclusions
  • Transportation
  • Authorized Bilingual Guide
  • Bottled water
  • Boat service
  • Entry/Admission - Iglesia Católica de San Juan La Laguna
Exclusions
  • Food and drinks, unless specified
  • Tips ( We trust that your experience was satisfactory 10% suggested)
Duration
9–10 hours
Departure details
  • Traveller pickup is offered.
  • Our staff will be visible to you as you walk away from your cruise in Puerto Quetzal, Our guide will hold a sign with the name of the person who made the tour reservation
  • Ports:
  • Marina Pez Vela, Puerto Quetzal.
Additional information
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 14 travellers
Inclusions
  • Transportation
  • Authorized Bilingual Guide
  • Bottled water
  • Boat service
  • Entry/Admission - Iglesia Católica de San Juan La Laguna
Exclusions
  • Food and drinks, unless specified
  • Tips ( We trust that your experience was satisfactory 10% suggested)
Departure details
  • Traveller pickup is offered.
  • Our staff will be visible to you as you walk away from your cruise in Puerto Quetzal, Our guide will hold a sign with the name of the person who made the tour reservation
  • Ports:
  • Marina Pez Vela, Puerto Quetzal.
Duration
9–10 hours
Return details
  • Returns to original departure point
Additional information
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 14 travellers

5.0
1 review
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SutherinComfort
Corvallis, OR23 contributions
Lake Atitlan Boat Tour was Amazing!
Oct 2019
The port of Puerto Quetzal is very large. The terminal was gorgeous with tours being offered and a Jade museum, and shops of native crafts. Guatamala is the heart of Mayan country and many tours go to the historical sites.
This tour was booked through Holland America. We headed out of the lowlands and sugar cane fields for a 2 1/2 hour trip to Lake Atitlan. We passed sugar cane, coffee, and rubber tree plantations.

60% of the population are indigenous Mayan. Thanks to lots of revolutionary actions in the late 90's they finally got the right to send their children to school. And they were each given 1-2 acres of land.

The Mayans quickly discovered they couldn't make a living farming such small parcels, so they formed cooperatives of 100-200 acres and concentrated on growing high quality sugar cane. It is exported as sugar, and as high grade molasses, and high quality rum. Income is returned to cooperative members. The sugar cane is harvested by hand. They have machinery, but that harvests everything, poor quality, weeds, unripe, everything. They discovered the harvest costs were not reduced with machinery because so much cleaning was needed later before processing. The only problems associated with hand harvesting are snake bites, because the fields are home to mice, and therefore snakes (and hawks circling above). After harvest, they burn the fields to improve the soil, rid the area of rodents and snakes, and generally clean up the harvest remains. They get some environmental push back for air quality, though.

Also, they grow coffee, and again, since their land ownership is limited, they focus on quality. They know they can't compete in quantity with Brazil and Vietnam, so they focus on quality and have been winning international awards for both coffee and rum. The region is slowly improving as a result of these successful agriculture ventures. We stopped at a coffee plantation and got out to touch and talk about the plants (trees, really). They are hand harvested, partly because they get a better harvest, and similarly to blueberries, the coffee beans do not ripen all at the same time. Mechanical harvesting picks too many unripe berries.

And, they have some rubber tree plantations. It takes 3 years for a rubber tree to produce, but there were some acres already showing the harvest buckets. (Rubber is collected similar to Maple syrup.) They export the rubber to Hualtuco Mexico.

Next year, the first Mayan students in their history will graduate from high school. They are justifiably proud of that. And all schools now teach both Spanish and Mayan languages so graduates are bilingual.

Guatamala has 2 seasons; summer and spring. Rain is during 7 months of summer, ending in late October. Schools are out from late October-December for sugar cane and coffee harvest (children can work from age 12) so we saw many families on holiday, or moving to small cottages near the plantations so all the family could work).

In their politics, out of (roughly) 256 delegates, only 1 is Mayan, so 60% of the population is inadequately represented. With education and time, they hope to improve that situation. Population of Guatamala is about 15 million, most living in the cities.

Armando discussed the reputation Guatamala has for crime. He said the capitol, Guatamala City, is largely Latino (Spanish descendants) and does have a big crime problem. He said there are gangs, drugs, extortion, and violence. He said people try to ignore the problem because they think they will have bigger problems if they tell the police.

However, in rural Mayan areas they do not have crime. The reason for that is the Mayan culture. If they discover a criminal, particularly if it involves bad treatment toward a female, or extortion, or drugs, they don't wait for the police, they take care of the problem themselves. They capture and kill and burn the criminal. Problem solved. And not likely to be repeated.

When we stopped, we realized there were police following us. Armando said since Guatamala has a criminal reputation, Holland America requires that any excursion longer than 2 hours (most of them, because of distance from port) have a police presence for security. The police men with our group were very pleasant and cheerful, so we were impressed with the effort.

Finally we reached the small town of Timolan, at an elevation of 5000 ft. It is an older town with very narrow streets that were largely shut down because of a town celebration for a patron saint. A town policeman boarded our mini bus and he directed the driver around all the side streets to reach the Atitlan Lake marina and dock so we could board the boat. The boat was quite festively painted and had a lower protected area as well as a canopied upper deck. Most of us sat up top.

We had a good time on board, and the weather was pleasant. We reached the banks of the lake and the boat's bow extension made for a very easy walk to the pier. We were instantly surrounded (swarmed) by vendors trying to sell us crafts. They were mostly ladies, dressed in traditional garb of a blouse of a plain color, and a skirt of colorful hand woven fabrics. They were determined we were going to buy lots of stuff!

But our guide just kept us moving forward toward a lovely resort and restaurant. It was beautiful! And we were treated to a lunch with linen tablecloths, napkins, ice tea or juice, and about 25 different foods set up buffet style in serving stations. Each had a little placard identifying the foods. A number of salads with dressings, and chicken and beef dishes, all in elaborate serving dishes and utensils. Guatemalan foods are not overly spicy, so were easy to eat. Delicious!

The area was tiled with marble floors. The tables were each set for 4 persons and we were assisted with wait staff that brought beverages and cleared the tables. Our guides ate with us and talked about the customs and politics. We all commiserated with each other over the state of each of our countries supposed leaders. Actually pretty funny how much we all hate our politics, regardless of country!

And, by the way, all the banos were flushing! With running water, soap, and hand towels!

Then we had to leave, running the gauntlet to the boat, through the swarming vendors. It was exhausting, and I finally caved in near the pier and bought a few things. From Lucy, who wove them with a back-strap loom in her own casa! Our guide had told us how to negotiate price, and what would be considered 'fair' from their point of view. (Cheap from our point of view.) So it turned out well and we all had an educational and fun time.

We returned on the boat for another hour to the town, and nearing the shore, we watched a man wash his hair in the lake. He was quite cheerful and we waved and cheered for him.

After we re-boarded the bus, we asked Armando about utilities to the residences. He said in big cities, where residences are close to each other, there is electricity and water. In rural areas, commercial businesses have electricity and usually water. A town may have established a large water tank. The people go to the water tank and fill bottles and buckets of water. Otherwise, they wash their clothes, and themselves, at the banks of rivers or lakes. We didn't ask about sanitation or plumbing. Seems a bit unlikely.. we did see folks burning trash in their yards.

Since gourmet coffee is a big thing and exported from Guatemala, Armando said he had coffee available for purchase. It is all Fair Trade (farmers make a living wage in safe conditions) and the price was reasonable. A number of folks bought the coffee, and I think it was quite a good price. But keeping in mind our flight weight and baggage restrictions, I skipped it. Later, I found out it was half the price for the same thing sold at the port terminal.

It was a 2 1/2 hour trip on the bus back to the port. The ship was was scheduled to leave at 5:30. We had 2 mini buses. We were running late. Our bus driver Eduardo was a master driver, we made it to the port in 2 hours. Although the roads were divided 4 lane, they had over 30 years of use with many patches and potholes, bus had no seat belts and minimal cushioning, so it was quite an experience. Yay! We made it in time! Eduard and Armando more than earned their tips!

This was a great tour, and we were met with friendliness, kindness, and generosity. Such a lovely experience!
Written 26 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
About the operator

This experience only has a few reviews, but you can read what other travellers have to say about the operator.

By: MB Guatemaya Travel
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Amazing and Informative tour!
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100% Recommend You Do This!!
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Excellent walking tour
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Two days of excellent tours
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So great the first time we did another tour on our 2nd trip.
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Passionate and Informed Tour Guide
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Excellent tour with an excellent guide
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Incredible tour
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Top notch shuttle experience to Lake Atitlan
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Frequently Asked Questions about Lake Atitlan Boat tour from Puerto Quetzal

Lake Atitlan Boat tour from Puerto Quetzal will start at 7:00 AM. Discover and book Lake Atitlan Boat tour from Puerto Quetzal on Tripadvisor


Lake Atitlan Boat tour from Puerto Quetzal price starts from S$170.90. Discover and book Lake Atitlan Boat tour from Puerto Quetzal on Tripadvisor

Lake Atitlan Boat tour from Puerto Quetzal cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Lake Atitlan Boat tour from Puerto Quetzal on Tripadvisor