Santa Catarina Palopo
Santa Catarina Palopo. We understand that living in a tiny indigenous hamlet is not for everyone; nonetheless, Santa Catarina Palopo has given us with a peaceful, intriguing, and welcoming environment.

This little community on the banks of Lake Atitlan is a 20-minute drive from Panajachel, accessible by Tuk Tuk or local pickup. The vehicles are parked near the Yellow Bridge in Pana.Transportation in our local area consists of a few different options. From Panajachel to Santa Catarina Palopó, one option is to walk the picturesque 5 kilometers of a paved, two-lane road that winds along the mountainside with panoramic views of the three volcanoes—Atitlan, Toliman, and San Pedro.

For a more local experience, you can ride in colectivos, which are typically Toyota pickups that have small benches in the back bed of the truck where you sit. The colectivos in Panajachel stop at La Despensa, the largest grocery store in Pana, located on the road heading to Jucanya on the corners of Rancho Grande and El Amate.

Another option is to take a Tuk Tuk, which is a three-wheeled motorcycle taxi. Tuk Tuks are not only fast and convenient; they are also very economically priced. To travel from Panajachel to our village of Santa Catarina costs about Q25. Boats yes the village has a boat dock which I have not sorted out the schedule or other.

And for nature lovers and hikers like ourselves, it has provided an endless backyard of mountains and trails to explore. We often hike from the Godinez Mirador, winding along the mountain trails ending in Santa Catarina, fortunate that the tour companies have not found where the trail starts.

Along the playa, you will find an assortment of choices for food. Most days, there is a woman who sells ceviche along the shoreline. It’s good and cheap, and of course, with incredible views, it makes for a memorable experience.

There are also a couple of restaurants that are reasonably priced along the Playa with views of the lake.  Hotel Villa Santa Catarina is located along the Playa and has a restaurant as well. Santa Catarina Palopo provides an excellent opportunity to see and experience indigenous life. It is a safe village, and the locals are kind and friendly.

During Semana Santa, we love to attend Easter Sunday and see the carpets prepared. Their service is early in the morning, allowing us time to then head to San Antonio Palapo and make carpets.

There are two resorts close to the town, Tzampoc Resort and Casa Palopo one of the top-rated properties in Guatemala.