San Marcos La Laguna is believed to have a spiritual energy and so it attracts hippies, yoga instructors, and new-age philosophers by the boatload. We love a good yoga class and sound bath so we couldn’t resist. If you are on Lake Atitlán visiting San Marcos is a must.
What To Do in San Marcos La Laguna
There are plenty of places to practice yoga in San Marcos however some of them are only for retreats. It is good to have a plan before you go. You can see the entire San Marcos La Laguna calendar online here or look on the bulletin board across from Circles Hostel and Café for schedules. There are also tons of fliers around San Marcos with special events, workshops, and trainings. Reading all of the fliers is even an entertaining way to spend an afternoon. They have workshops for everyone from nudists to Pleiadian believers.
Yoga Forest is a beautiful retreat center up in the mountains above the lake. It is about a 15 minute hike through the forest and is breathtaking upon arrival. They have a huge yoga platform that looks like a tree house with a view of the lake and Volcano San Pedro. Even the view from the outdoor bathroom is a dream!
You can stay at the Yoga Forest, they have a few options on Airbnb, which include yoga and meditation classes.
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If you are a visitor inquire about classes. We went to a spiced sunset sweetness class which included hatha yoga, a sound bath, and ceremonial cacao. It was amazing! We also attended an Ecstatic Dance Party with Grant’s family that was super interesting to say the least. And in true San Marcos fashion it included a cacao ceremony too. The music was great, the people watching was even better, and it was fun to try something new!
The Eagle’s Nest has even better views than the Yoga Forest. Their yoga platform practically floats above the clouds. I believe it is still under construction to host retreats but for now you can rent an Airbnb there or attend their popular Saturday Sunset Cacao Dance. We never went to this one but heard it was a lot of fun. Be extra cautious walking down afterwards, the area can be very dangerous at night.
We did a morning vinyasa class at Hostel del Lago and it was great! They offer 2 daily yoga classes to the public on their awesome deck overlooking the lake and volcanos. Be sure to bring your bathing suit to lay on their dock or go for a floating savasana afterwards.
Las Piramides is the OG retreat center in San Marcos. Known for their intense moon course and sun course, Las Piramides has been teaching yoga and meditation for decades. They have daily classes open to the public. We went to a meditation class inside the big wooden pyramid and it was pretty cool. It was our first meditation class so we didn’t have anything to compare it to but everyone practicing was very observant of this sacred space.
So what is a cacao ceremony already? Well apparently the Mayans, and everyone in San Marcos, swears by the stuff. It is basically 100% pure, bitter cacao you drink. Its intention is to have a heart opening effect to prepare you for a yoga, meditation, or ecstatic dance class. The way it is advertised you’d think it was an illegal substance but you get a buzz no stronger than a double espresso.
You can find cacao most places in San Marcos and it is often included in classes. If you simply want to try some at a restaurant we recommend Giardino They bring out a tray with not only cacao but various toppings such as local honey, cayenne pepper, and volcanic salt.
Due to its clientele, a whole foods plant based diet is obviously very popular in San Marcos. Several restaurants have vegan and vegetarian options and lots of delicious smoothies and juices.
We especially loved Medicine Foods. They have tons of healthy, delicious options and a myriad of elixirs in a serene outdoor garden setting. It is a vegan’s dream! Unfortunately on our most recent visit they were closed permanently due to an issue with their landlord. Hopefully they are just switching locations! Check their FaceBook page to stay updated.
While the smoothies are pretty basic, the atmosphere of this café is a dream. Daybeds and floor pillows are surrounded by fresh flowers and driftwood. It is a great place to relax after a class.
Jump off the the Trampolín
Visit the Cerro Tzankujil Nature Reserve. It is around $2 and is a great place to spend an afternoon. There are a few benches, decks, and trails, but it is most known for its jumping platform, or trampolín. At around 20 m (65 ft) it is a little scary but fun. Be sure to land properly I had a bruise for a few days! There is also a little rope swing and people hanging out on the rocks. It is a refreshing adrenaline rush for a mellow day.
Want more information to plan your trip to San Marcos La Laguna? Check out the Guatemala Lonely Planet here.
Visit San Marcos La Laguna and discover your inner child, get out of your comfort zone, or simply have fun!