It might come as a surprise but snorkeling is actually more floating than swimming. A general rule to stick by is to not use your hands. Fold them across your chest to help keep you warm. Float, glide, and direct yourself using your fins. Swim at a pace that allows you to breathe normally. Snorkeling is supposed to be a relaxing activity. Remember, if you’re out of breath and flailing like a whale, you are most likely doing something wrong. If you’re not a strong swimmer/floater, there is nothing wrong with using a life jacket. Using any sort of floatation device also helps you focus on your breathing, allowing you to fully relax.
There's graffiti on the walls, there's a lot of litter and random clothes just laying around, homeless people sleeping around, couples intensely making out who need to get a room, and it people walking by will smell like weed. It was nothing too bothersome, but just a warning if you're trying to go to a nice, secluded and romantic beach, DON'T come here.
In most cases you need to have boots on the ground to find the really cheap long-term accommodations. Online locals usually jack up their prices to get the 1 to 2 weekers who will pay $1000s for a nice place. To get yourself started, you can find places as cheap as $29/night on AirBNB (try VRBO too) and you can negotiate those prices much lower if you’re staying long term and it’s outside the busy tourist season. I usually start with AirBNB and then ask around to find the cheaper places when I get to know some locals.
Across the lake from San Marcos is the notorious village of San Pedro de la Laguna where young backpackers and burn-out expat hippies go to escape reality for awhile. You will find fascinating Mayan villages and yoga retreats that dot the shores of the lake. This area of Guatemala has a perfect year-round temperate that hovers around 25 degrees Celsius during the day.
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