Lake Atitlan

Overview

Introduction

We think Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, with its enchanting backdrop of three volcanoes, is one of the most beautiful lakes anywhere—well worth a two-night visit. In the morning, the lake (a caldera, or collapsed volcanic cone) is smooth; by noon, the water is choppy; and in the late afternoon, it can get very rough.

The scenery (volcanoes and waterfalls) surrounding the lake is impressive, as are the 12 little villages ringing it (each named after one of the apostles). What we especially like about the Atitlan area (about 93 mi/150 km west of Guatemala City) is the strong Maya influence on the people, dress and food. Most visitors stay in the village of Panajachel, a well-developed tourism hub on the lake.

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