lake atitlan - Love is project

Here’s your guide to traveling like a local in Lake Atitlán, Guatemala.

ICYMI, we just launched a new bracelet collection in partnership with Mercado Global. Our favorite part of the process? An excuse to travel to beautiful Lake Atitlán, Guatemala.

Founder Chrissie Lam with women in Guatemala wearing their love bracelets

This volcanic crater is filled with sparkling blue water, and surrounded by verdant wildflower-covered hills with a rich Mayan history. Each of the villages ringing Lake Atitlán comes with its own distinct culture and color palette. Though we just can’t get enough, here are a few of our favorite spots.

Stay - Just a quick five-minute boat ride from Pana is the paradisical La Fortuna eco-lodge. Soak in a hot tub overlooking the gently rippling lake, and eat a delicious home-cooked meal. If you make your way to Antigua, try the Good Hotel. It’s a gorgeous former private mansion known for a social business model that invests back into the community of UNESCO-protected city.

Eat - If you’re a planner, book a reservation at San Juan Village’s Café El Artesano for stellar homemade Italian food with an even better view. If you’re more of a wait-and-see traveler, just hop across the street to sister restaurant Il Cantuccio. When we’re craving healthy eats, we head to Caoba Farms, or to Saberico’s charming garden.

Snack - Fuel up at Crossroads Café in Pana, which has been locally sourcing and roasting beans since 2000. If you’re looking for a sugar rush,  stop by La Tienda de Doña Gavi for top-notch vegan ice cream in a homey space.

Drink - Indulge in smoky mezcal cocktails at Café No Sé, or loosen up with live music at the Adra Hostel.

Original Love Bracelet in Guatemalan vintage store

Shop - Explore the massive Chichi market on Thursdays or Saturdays. On off days, explore the the plethora of locally-owned shops various villages around the lake, from Santiago to Santa Catarina. We particularly like Utz Po’t-San Pablo (Calle Santander 4-74c; no website) for high-quality vintage textile pieces.

Handmade by local Guatemalan artisans to spread the love for love is project

Honor: Support local artisans by donning a handmade bracelet from our Atitlán Collection. Woven on mini foot looms, our newest LOVE bracelets are inspired by the woven hair ribbons Guatemalan women use in their hair wraps. 

For more reading on this magical country, check out our photographer, Anna Watts's article on MEDIUM here.

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