After 5 riding days we deserved another rest day. This time in Panajachel, nicely located at the Lake Atitlán at an altitude of 1597 meter in the southwestern Guatemalan Highlands, less than 150km from Guatemala City. The town is located on the Northeast shore of the lake with a fantastic view of the three volcanoes, San Pedro (3020m) and the twins Atitlan (3537m) and Toliman (3158m). Panajachel” derives from the Kaqchikel language and roughly translates to “place of the Matasanos.” Matasano is a fruit tree native to the lake credited with an array of curative powers. As the name ‘rest’ day suggest it is injected into the tour to rest and enjoy the hospitality and service of the location. I take a total rest and enjoy the day in the hotel or at the beach, without diving too deep into the touristic flair of this city. Others take a boat ride on the lake or stock up spare parts in the local bike shop.
Where are you hiding, boss?
Associated with the Copan Ruins National Park is a feeding station and release aviary to reintroduce the scarlet macaw (Ara macao) into the Copan Valley.
Copan, once called “the Athens of the New World” for its 400-year reign as the Maya world’s undisrupted cultural, artistic and architectural center, was the starting point to explore more of the new city and the nearby ruins.
After a walk through the village and a stop by the post office to mail the key of my hotel in Gracias, which I accidentally carried through the last stage I walked the few kilometers to the ruins.
As a Tour d’Afrique cyclist you can be sure you always feel in heaven when you are at a rest day location.
However you need to qualify for the best treat and the rules are unknown
Here is how Jessica sleeps the 2 nights in Copan Ruinas (incl. a complementary bottle of red wine)!