What?! Five Weeks In Guatemala!

San Marcos La Laguna on Lake Atitlan

After four quick days in the colonial city of Antigua, we made the four hour drive to San Marcos La Laguna on Lake Atitlán. The drive was beautiful as we passed through numerous Mayan villages and rural Guatemala. San Marcos/Lake Atitlán is located in the Guatemala highlands with the lake having an elevation of 1,562 meters. Similar to Denver in the U.S.A.

The above photo is the view of Lake Atitlán from our temporary home, affectionally dubbed the Eagle’s Nest. We love it. 🙂

Permaculture examples in Guatemala

Jungle living in Guatemala

So, back to the title – Five weeks in Guatemala?! What exactly are we doing here?

Simply put, we are getting our lives back in order. Traveling for over a year has taken a toll on us, both physically and mentally. Now, I know what you’re thinking; you’ve been on vacation for a year, your mind and bodies should be in the best shape ever!

The truth is we are way out of shape, overweight, addicted to technology and just plain unhealthy. While we have loved virtually everything we’ve experienced and every place we have visited, we have also indulged in the food and drinks along the way. On top of eating and drinking our way through most cities, we didn’t do much in terms of physical activity. Walking was not enough, which got us to our current state.

Garden at our Airbnb

Living off the land in Guatemala

Enter San Marcos, Guatemala.

San Marcos is known for its healthy living among expats and visitors, which is exactly what we wanted before our return home for the holidays. We found a fantastic location on Airbnb (surprise, surprise) for our time here, which is located remotely and forces us to walk roughly 15 minutes down into the village. And, the walk back up is a workout in itself!

The space has stunning views and was built with the purpose of being self sustaining, which has worked out well so far. The garden area was designed and planted using a technique known as permaculture, which uses different plants, herbs and vegetables working together to grow and flourish. We have everything from coffee, lettuce, peppers, cucumbers, tomato, corn, oranges, limes, spinach, papaya, passion fruit and tons of herbs (basil, rosemary, lemongrass, turmeric, etc.) at our disposal to pick and use for meals.

Solar powered house in Guatemala

And, living off the grid

To go along with a self-sustaining way of eating, the place is also completely solar powered!

It takes a little getting used to, but we are starting to enjoy when the house powers down in the evenings. Not having the ability at your fingertips to check your email or go online has been nice to be honest. Getting away from technology and focusing on reading, writing, or (gasp!) talking to each other, has been a pleasant end to our days.

Permaculture at work in San Marcos La Laguna Guatemala

Permaculture at work in San Marcos

While we are enjoying our down time, we do plan on getting out for some activities. Kayaking, coffee bean picking, taking a fermentation class and touring a permaculture farm are currently on our list of to-dos.

However, we’ll still be leaving plenty of time for yoga, reading and getting healthy in general. Work outs are a lot more enjoyable when you have this for a view!

Yoga in San Marcos La Laguna Guatemala

Yoga anyone?

Curious on our results after 5 weeks? Read all about our experience getting healthy in San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala! 

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About Alana

Alana is one-half of Great Big Globe. She loves animals, the Wisconsin Badgers, exploring new countries and chasing the sun.


  1. It’s another amazing place that’s still waiting for me 🙂

  2. You sure picked an amazing place to relax and recharge for a while. I think that it is really important to identify when you need that time to slow down.

  3. oh I loooove your workout view… such a view is very motivational ..
    Healthy travels! 😉

  4. 5 weeks of rest, healthy eating, and rejuvenation sounds like heaven. I love the idea of no power after dark. Ironic how that leads to a reconnection and recharging.

  5. I’ve been here! It’s a beautiful place isn’t it? Great travels 🙂

    Crystal recently posted… How to Kill a Man with Your Bare Hands

  6. Guatemala looks beautiful. I would love to be doing yoga overlooking the water and the mountains!

  7. Looks beautiful – we’re travelling slowly at the moment – sometimes its good to take a proper break. We’re off to South America in June, I’ll be researching this when we go!

  8. Looks awesome! Can’t wait to have you home for Christmas!
    Love you guys.

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