San Marcos La Laguna Business Signs

Things to do in San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala

In City Guides, Guatemala by Erik @ DIY Travel HQ2 Comments

There aren’t many things to do in San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala but check out what we thought & decide for yourself if it’s worth visiting.

Things to Do in San Marcos La Laguna

San Marcos La Laguna has seen the end of ‘free love’ with the emergence of a new class of commercialized hippies. Aside from hostels, cafes, Spanish lessons, and spiritual healing there is literally nothing to do in the touristy part of town.

There is one main path filled with business after business, and that’s it. Don’t expect any to be cheap as they are run by foreigners.

Expats have set up spiritual retreats and other seminars that cost up to two months of living on San Pedro La Laguna or San Juan La Laguna! Either way don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before any trip to Guatemala.

There weren’t many things to do in San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala but Lake Atitlan is definitely worth visiting – it’s one of the best destinations in Guatemala.

Find more inspiration in one of the Guatemala guide books below! 

San Marcos La Laguna Commercialzed Hippie Village
San Marcos La Laguna has turned well-being into an expensive set of businesses.

1. Main Plaza

For us the best part of visiting San Marcos La Laguna was the local section consisting of a church, plaza, and playground.

The stone church was ordinary inside and out.

San Marcos La Laguna Church
If you stop and listen, you can hear birds singing near the church.

We enjoyed watching the faithful crawl on their knees to the altar before returning the same way.

San Marcos La Laguna Crawlking on Knees Faithful in Church
The faithful crawl back and forth as if each lap was the same as saying a Hail Mary.

Staying in San Pedro La Laguna, you don’t get to see or hear wildlife much.

Listening to birds sing showcased just how small San Marcos La Laguna really is. The whole town could probably fit inside the plaza’s auditorium.

San Marcos La Laguna Auditorium
I’m not sure who the architect had in mind when they built this auditorium.

2. Playground

Tucked behind the plaza is a small playground. It has a few of your childhood classics including slides and monkey bars.

Sometimes you have to make your own fun, or just leave in 40 minutes like we did.

San Marcos La Laguna Playground
You should have seen us imitating our Olympic gymnastic routines on the rings and monkey bars!

Getting To & From San Marcos La Laguna

Getting to San Marcos is easy from San Pedro La Laguna.

Simply hop into a ferry that stops at San Juan La Laguna, and then San Marcos La Laguna.

Locals pay Q5, but foreigners are required to pay Q10 / $1.35. The return trip goes straight to San Pedro La Laguna.

San Pedro La Laguna to San Marcos La Laguna Boat Ride
The best part about visiting San Marcos La Laguna was the boat ride.
Chill out in San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala - home of spiritual retreats and self-development on Lake Atitlan. Find out what else there is to do in this quaint little village #lakeatitlan #guatemala

*** The Final Word – There is absolutely no reason to visit San Marcos La Laguna, even if you are or have a hippy fetish ***

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means that we receive a small commission if you click on a link & purchase something that we’ve recommended, at no extra cost to you.

Visited in September 2016


  1. San Marcos looks like a charming little town. I was planning on staying a few nights there. Do you think two days is too much? I am also planning to visit Chichicastenango from San Marcos so that will probably take up at least half a day if not an entire day and using the town as a base to visit some of the other villages around the lake.

    Looking forward to your advice!

    1. San Marcos is nice if you want to veg out, but not to sightsee. There is a nice little park that circles the headland that we only saw from a boat ride. Apparently, you can cliff jump there. Boat connections are best from San Pedro or Panajachel though. You can also walk to Indian Nose or San Pedro Volcano from San Pedro so we recommend there as the best base. It has comforts that you are used to if you want, but you can also stay further away from the tourist hub if you want to immerse yourself in Guatemalan culture.

      In terms of reaching Chichi, you either need to spend the night before there or visit from Panajachel if going independently. Otherwise, you will arrive too late to see the market in full swing. You could also take an organized tour from most villages on Lake Atitlan. Hopefully this has helped.

Leave a Comment

one × two =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.