Before leaving Lago de Atitlan, we spent a couple days at San Pedro del Lago, a bigger town than San Marcos with a reputation for its night life on the weekends.
We arrived on a Friday, right on time for the parties, and checked out a couple of crowded bar. When Stephen and Alex went back to the hostel, Max and some new friends joined the post-midnight crew, bar hopping and eventually following a herd of local travelers down street, out of the main part of town, across some farmlands, to a little house on the water, where a DJ, plentiful mixed drinks, and a colorful strobe light kept the party going until the crack of dawn.
The next day, we checked into a different hostel called Rise and Shine, one which several people had recommended, but was full when we stopped by the night before.
The sign says ‘Yoga and Meditation’ and the word for welcome in 6 different languages
We had a short but sweet one-day stay there, meeting lots of chilled out travelers and the hostel’s owner, Mario, a South African who has been running Rise and Shine for the past 3 years.
The travelers were the kind of people who would come to San Pedro for the parties but choose to stay at a yoga/meditation hostel for the relaxing vibes. We felt right at home and got along well with everyone.
We spent a few hours of the evening with Mario and another traveler in ‘El Sanctuario,’ the hostel’s meditation room.
Mario led us in a guided meditation practice, the first he had ever led, which we all found to be quite tranquilo (tranquil).
After a half hour of mindfulness practice and breath work, we chatted with Mario for another couple hours, discussing meditation, breathing, philosophy, spirituality, and other related topics.
We were all quite impressed with Mario’s meditation dialogue, the soothing quality of his deep voice, and how articulate his language was in our conversation that followed. It was especially impressive that he had never led a meditation before; he had only been led by others and practiced on his own.
Afterward, we expressed our gratitude, said goodbye, and prepared for our early morning departure from that infinitely intriguing lake.