Regarded as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, Lago de Atitlan (Lake Atitlan) is located in Guatemala’s western highlands, ringed by majestic volcanoes, verdant slopes and picturesque villages where the Mayan culture is still prevalent. The lake region’s natural beauty and relaxed atmosphere make it an increasingly popular destination among tourists and backpackers.
The scenic region around Lake Atitlan is a natural playground where visitors can enjoy a number of outdoor activities. The lake itself offers boat cruises, swimming, jet skiing and kayaking, while the surrounding volcanoes, farms and hills present opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, bird watching, touring coffee plantations, and exploring archaeological Mayan sites such as those at Sambaj and Chiutinamit.
Lake Atitlan’s main entry point and best known town is Panajachel, which provides plenty of options for transportation, accommodation, restaurants and nightlife. The flourishing villages of San Juan and Santa Cruz la Laguna also offer tourist amenities. San Pedro and San Marcos are more laid-back villages, ideal for backpackers and those looking for off-the-beaten-path destinations. Santiago Atitlan and Santa Catarina Palopo are traditional villages where visitors can experience authentic Mayan culture. A variety of boats provide transportation across the lake and between villages.