Those on a budget will be glad to know that, with a little advance planning, you can cross the two of the main borders between Mexico and Guatemala on your own and for a fraction of the price offered on private shuttles.
From the bus ride down the hairpin-laden highway, you and every other first time visitor will crane your neck through gaps in the trees to catch a glimpse of the incredible vista. As the bus continues to roll down at high speed, it will suddenly open up to a perfectly blue lake studded with volcanoes.
Welcome to Lake Atitlán, where you can check out anytime, but will probably never want to leave.
Given the limited budget choices on San Marcos, Hostel San Marcos is a decent enough option, especially considering the good-quality breakfast included in your room price at a local restaurant.