Lake Atitlan, or Lago de Atitlán, impresses most travelers with its scenic beauty. This city offers lovely views of a volcanic lake hemmed in by velvety green volcanic hills. Imagine sipping a tall citrusy drink by the waterfront, while watching the local fishing community navigate the shimmering waters of the lake in their rustic boats, against a backdrop of volcanic peaks. Over the years, this Guatemalan destination has continued to charm travelers with its beautiful lake and surrounding hills that are rich with a lush growth of vegetation.
Volcanic Peaks and Lake
Hiking and Trekking
Recommended Guatemala Tours
Places: Antigua (2 days) → Lake Atitlan (2) → Flores (3) → Guatemala City (1)
Tour Highlights: Colonial Heritage and Ancient Ruins, Volcanoes and Coffee Plantations, Mayan Communities, Scenic Beauty, Volcanic Peaks...
Casa Palopó is a traditional Mayan villa turned hotel with sprawling grounds and terraces nestled right by Lake Atitlán. Soak in gorgeous views of the lake and surrounding volcanic peaks from various vantage points throughout the property.
Atitlan Hotel & Gardens, a ten minute drive away from the town of Panajachel, offers you a comfortable stay by Lake Atitlán. Built on an erstwhile coffee plantation, the lodge is styled like an 18th century Spanish colonial estate overlooking the lake.
Spend a refreshing day boating on Lake Atitlán and visiting some sites to get to know local cultures and lifestyles a little better. After breakfast at your hotel, set out for a leisurely boat ride of about half an hour across Lake Atitlán. Ride out to the village of San Juan La Laguna to visit a women’s textile cooperative. Watch how colorful fabrics are hand woven and dyed naturally before the traditional handloom is ready for the market. Learn about the local artistic community when you drop by the studio homes of the region’s famous naïf painters. A Mayan encounter awaits you at the town of Santiago, where you learn about the age-old culture and tradition of the T’zutujil Maya. Get to know more about the traditional handicrafts, ancient belief system and spiritualism of the local community, before returning to your hotel. (Half Day; Time of Day: Morning; Fitness Level: Easy; Please bring comfortable walking shoes and a wind-breaker).
Mayan Encounters at San Marcos La Laguna
Explore ancient Mayan customs and traditions on this unusual day trip to San Marcos La Laguna, accompanied by your local guide. Be part of a sacred fire cleansing and protection ceremony at San Marcos, conducted by the resident community. Soak yourself in the mystic experience. Interact with the local highland villagers to understand more about their deeply spiritual practices, such as many of the age-old Mayan customs and long pilgrimages to holy sites. Discover the mysteries of the magnificent Mayan calendars with their accurate readings of the cosmos down the millennia. (Half Day; Time of Day: Morning; Fitness Level: Easy; Please bring comfortable walking shoes).
Kayaking down Lake Atitlán
Enjoy a wonderful kayaking experience across the imposing Lake Atitlán on this day trip. Discover secret nooks and crannies, hidden coves and verdant lakeside vegetation as you kayak along the calm cerulean waters. Soak in the natural beauty of the surrounding highland landscape. Relax, sit back in your kayak, and just enjoy your ride. (Half Day; Time of Day: Morning; Duration: 1.5 hrs; Fitness Level: Easy; Please bring waterproof sandals or shoes).
Hiking at San Pedro Volcano National Park
Explore the fascinating volcanic hill of San Pedro on this adventurous day trip. Right after an early breakfast at your hotel, set off for the San Pedro Volcano National Park with your local guide. Take a boat ride to the San Pedro La Laguna village, and onwards to the San Pedro Volcano National Park that is tucked at the southern end of the highland village. Look out for beautiful coffee and corn plantations along the way. Also pass by the region’s cloud forest, the last natural habitat of the endangered Horned Guan. If you’re lucky, you may even spot some of them during your trek. Admire the panoramic view as you reach the top of the crater. The area is lush with tropical vegetation. Rest awhile, as you sit down to enjoy a delicious packed luncheon spread. Climb down the volcanic hill and return to your hotel. (Full Day; Time of Day: Morning; Duration: 8 hrs, 0700-1500 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Lunch box included; Fitness Level: Moderate; Please bring comfortable hiking shoes and don’t forget your camera).
Explore Life in the Highlands of Guatemala
Leave Lake Atitlan behind for the picturesque highlands of Guatemala! After a sumptuous breakfast, drive through a stunning landscape where you can see the locals busy with their everyday duties such as herding sheep and dairy cows. Gaze upon hillsides planted with vegetable and flowers. Explore the bustling Chichicastenango market that functions only on Thursdays and Sundays. People from various nearby communities congregate at this market to buy and sell crafts, textiles, and all kinds of household goods at a bargain. You will also get to see a unique church which follows both Mayan and Catholic traditions. (Full Day; Time of Day: Morning; Duration around 8 hrs; Private Activity & Transfers; Fitness Level: Easy. Lunch is not included).
Visit the Archaeological Wonders of Iximche from Lake Atitlan
Start off for Iximche in Tecpán where the marvels of an ancient civilization await you. Tranquil pine forests welcome you to this site where the ancient Mayan Kaqchikel city was situated. The city is known for its role in the Spanish conquest of the region. You will see temples, a ball court, and ceremonial plazas at this site that dates back to 1463. Till date, rituals to please the gods are held here, and you may just get to see one during your visit. Tecpán has some great restaurants if you would like to have lunch before proceeding to your next destination. (Half Day; Time of Day: Morning; Duration around 5 hrs; Private Activity & Transfers; Fitness Level: Easy. Lunch is not included).