Location: Located in the western Highlands of Guatemala.
Attraction Type: Lake.
Significance: Deepest lake in Central America, it is also arguably the most beautiful lake in the world. Besides natural beauty, it is also the place of Maya culture.
Best time to Visit: November to March.
Visiting Hours: During day time.
How to Reach: Panajachel, the most popular place around the Lake Atitlan is easily accessible from Guatemala City by bus. International travelers need to come down to La Aurora International Airport.
Nearest Airport: La Aurora International Airport (GUA)
“The place where the rainbow gets its colors” — as the meaning of Mayan word ‘atitlan’ suggests, Lake Atitlan is truly the destination which could mesmerize anyone with its amazing natural beauty. Arguably the most beautiful lake in the world, Lake Atitlan is a volcanic lake surrounded by small towns and villages of Maya people who are known for being cordial, shy, fun loving and friendly to the strangers. Hence, apart from the natural beauty of the lake, it is also an amazing experience to live among the Maya people.
Lake Atitlan, also known as Laguna de Atitlan, is located in the western Highlands of Guatemala. With a maximum depth up to 340 meters, it is the deepest lake in Central America surrounded by three volcanoes, viz. Tolimí¡n, Atitlí¡n and San Pedro on its southern edge and also a few small towns. Panajachel, the most popular attraction among the tourist, is placed beside the Lake Atitlan and offers some of the best natural views that one can ever get. Besides the natural beauty, Lake Atitlan is also for those who have interest in Maya culture and want to have a feel of it.
Things to Do
Lake Atitlan is the destination where one would find the confluence of natural beauty and Maya culture. The most visited place in the Lake Atitlan area is surely Panajachel.
San Buenaventura Nature Reserve:
Visit the Nature Reserve of San Buenaventura which occupies almost half the valley of San Buenaventura in Panajachel. Go for the self-guided walks through the characteristic ecosystem. The Butterfly Preserve is a major attraction of the nature reserve where you can learn the life cycle of the butterflies. There are also around 500 live varieties of butterflies. A Bird Refuge may also be visited.
Groups with more than 6 heads: US$10 per head
Nature Trails and Bird Refuge: 08.00 a.m. to 05.00 p.m.
Butterfly Sanctuary: 10.00 a.m. to 03.00 p.m.
There are several other attractions in and around Lake Atitlan. Visit the small laid-back town San Pedro la Laguna, Santiago Atitlan, located on the south edge of the lake and is known for a shrine to Maximón. You can also visit San Marcos La Laguna, Santa Cruz la Laguna, San Juan, San Antonio Palopo, Santa Catarina Palopo and San Lucas Toliman etc. And don’t forget to visit the “Indian’s Head” located atop the mountain above the cities of San Juan and San Marcos.
Those who love adventure can go for kayaking and jet skiing. You can also go for diving at Santa Cruz la Laguna.
There is no dearth of accommodation in Lake Atitlan. In fact, you have plenty of options to choose from. Some of the hotels in Lake Atitlan are as below:
Posada del Bosque Encantado
Tel; (502) 5208-5334
La Riviera de Atitlan
Tel: (502) 7762-0310
Related Links :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSygSWEyji4: For great views of the beautiful Lake Atitlan, click on this link! You can also check out the way of life of the local residents.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiDPwRvSHJU: For some more exciting views of the Lake Atitlan and the region around it, watch this video!