Best Tourist Places to Visit in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, America
Lake Atitlan is a large crater lake placed in the Highlands of Guatemala at 14°42′ N 91°12′ W, with a maximum depth of 340 meters, Lake Atitlan is considered as the deepest lake in Central America and also it is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.
Lake Atitlan is located around 70 km from World Heritage Site, Antigua and 105 km from Guatemala City, the capital of Guatemala. It covers an area of 130.1 sq. km. and measures a surface elevation of 1,562 meters.
Lake Atitlan is home to variety of fish species which are the major food source for the native people. Also the lake is well supported for surrounding villages to grow agricultural crops like coffee, tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, avocados, pitahaya fruit and onions.
The towns surround the lake are Panajachel, San Pedro La Laguna, San Marcos La Laguna , Santiago Atitlan, Santa Cruz la Laguna , San Juan, San Antonio Palopo, Santa Catarina Palopo, San Lucas Toliman and Tzununa.
Etymology of Lake Atitlan:
The name of Atitlan derives from Nahuatl language and its literal meaning is ‘at the water’. Atitlan Lake was highly liked by the German explorer Alexander von Humboldt and he called it ‘the most beautiful lake in the globe’.
How to reach Lake Atitlan?
Lake Atitlan is surrounded by Santa Clara La Laguna to the west, San Lucas Toliman on the east and Santiago Atitlan towards south. It can be reachable from Santa Cruz La Laguna and Jaibalito by boat. Among all these towns, Panajachel is the best way to reach Lake Atitlan.
The airports located near Lake Atitlan are Quiche Airport (50 km), Quetzaltenango Airport (80 km) and La Aurora International Airport (110 km).
Chicken buses are ideal for those who come from Guatemala City, operating every hour from 6AM to 4PM. It costs around USD $15 per way from Antigua to Panajachel, served by ATI. There are tuks-tuks are available for local travel costing from 5-10Q. Tourists can also reach nearby towns by boat though lake which costs15-30Q per way.
Food and Shopping near Lake Atitlan:
There are many general stores located around the lake offering different textiles, paintings, jewelers and fresh fruits as well.
The major food corners around the lake include:
- Las Chinitas
- Circus Bar
- Sunset Cafe
- Solomon’s Porch
Things to do in Lake Atitlan:
- Volcano tour
- Bike tour
- Coffee tour
- Kayak adventure
- Bird watching tour
Other places of interest near Lake Atitlan include:
- Santa Catarina Palopo Church
- The Maya Traditions Herbal Medicine Garden
- Cojolya Museum
- San Antonio Palopo
- Hotel Posada de Don Rodrigo Museum
- Tzantizotz Nature Reserve
- Atitlan Butterfly Sanctuary
- Indian’s Nose
- Casa Cakchique
- Colonial Church
- Mystical Yoga Farm
- Hotel Atitlan Gardens
- Volcan San Pedro
- San Marcos Holistic Center
- Atitlan Nature Reserve
Best time to visit Lake Atitlan:
From June through September is the ideal time to reach Lake Atitlan.
Accommodation Options near Lake Atitlan:
The hotels located near Lake Atitlan provide all the upgraded facilities including AC, medical service, 24 hour room service and internet access, swimming pool and restaurant. The middle range hotels charge around $50 per night for two persons. List of the prominent hotels and villas near Lake Atitlan are as follows:
- TOSA La Laguna
- Casa Palopo
- Villa Sumaya
- Posada de los Volcanes
- Hotel el Arca de Noe
- Hotel Atitlan
- Hotel IslaVerde
- Hotel Posada de Don Rodrigo Panajachel
- Villa Santa Catarina
- Hotel Primavera
- Hotel Utz Jay
- Jardines del Lago
- La Casa del Mundo Hotel
- La Fortuna at Atitlan
- Vulcano Lodge
- Lomas de Tzununa
- Posada de Santiago
- Laguna Lodge Eco-Resort & Nature Reserve