If your creative family wants to experience authentic Maya culture, make a visit to San Juan La Laguna and its myriad artistic endeavors a must-see. One of the lesser known villages on Lake Atitlan (read less crowded), San Juan was covered in coffee fields just a few years ago, but today is a thriving hub for the Maya arts.
Visit Galeria Coche for a one-hour art lesson by a Mayan painter and take home your little canvas creations. Hosts Julian and Angelina Coche Mendoza warmly welcome you to their cool and color-bursting gallery. Head up the steep hill or take one of many tuk tuks to Casa Flor Ixcaco for a free half-hour weaving and natural dyes presentation. A female weaver explains the processes from bare cotton to a woven scarf (two-hour weaving lessons are also available). After learning the fascinating natural dye processes-from vegetables, fruits, tree barks and seeds-you will be eager to support this fair-trade weaving cooperative at their shop next door.