Lake Atitlan Itineraries:

wp-content/uploads/2016/02/tucan-button.jpg Guatemala Highlands Tour

wp-content/uploads/2016/02/tucan-button.jpg Guatemala Family Adventure

wp-content/uploads/2016/02/tucan-button.jpg Luxury Tropical Honeymoon


Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan

No trip to Guatemala would be complete without spending a couple days, minimum, at Lago de Atitlán. The lake has a long history of captivating its visitors, from the ancient Maya to Aldous Huxley to today’s backpackers and adventure travelers and has been called the most beautiful lake in the world by explorers and passerbys alike. Lake Atitlan’s, meaning “"at the water" in Nahuatl”, shoreline is dotted with a more than a dozen small towns and villages, each with its own personality. Lake Atitlan itself offers water sports from kayaking to skiing to fishing, and wonderful hiking, street eats and shopping can be found in the surrounding areas. Below are some of the lago’s most popular villages.


Panajachel, a.k.a. Pana, is a shop hard by day and party at night with the Guatemalans kind of place. This well-developed town offers a lot of resources for both locals and expats. Panajachel’s main drag is Calle Santander and it’s said that the best shopping in Guatemala is found here. Pana has the perfect mix of natural beauty, resources, well priced goods, easy travel connections and a well-established expat community.

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, the lakes largest and least visited town, boasts strong traditions and community. Most of Lake Atitlan’s villages are built into slight hills, but Santa Cruz outweighs them in terms of a steep trek. This is perhaps a reason as to why the town does not see as many tourists. Santa Cruz is a traditional Mayan town and though there are several expats living here, there’s hardly any influence. Santa Cruz is a great place to dive into the Mayan culture and experience the lake a bit off the common traveler route.


Jaibalito is a tiny town only accessible by water or by hiking. Jaibalito is home to three great establishments, the local community is very friendly, and the views of the lake are wonderful. At night the noise of competing music and loud speaker swell and once the party has ended, as if they had been patiently awaiting their turn, the dogs began to bark in a wave from one side of town to the other. While it may not be the best place to take up accommodation, a day trip for hiking is well worth it.

San Marcos

Known for its mystical pull, Lake Atitlan shows this attribute best in the tranquil town of San Marcos. Yoga, massage and more, San Marcos is most popular amongst the hippie community. San Marcos is one of the most beautiful villages on the lake, but is also one of the smallest. For those not attending a yoga retreat we wouldn’t recommend it as a base camp, but for exploring your mystical side and the beautiful scenery, it’s worth a visit on both accounts.

San Pedro Guatemala

‘Backpackers' stomping ground – come for a week, stay for a lifetime’ is San Pedro’s acquired motto. Being the lowest priced town on the lake with excellent food, good accommodation and a wild nightlife scene, it’s no surprise that the waterfront is mostly comprised of backpackers who stopped in on their journeys and have yet to leave. At first glance, San Pedro might seem like just a tourist town, but a short walk up the hill leads to an entirely Mayan part of the town with brightly colored houses and a wonderful community.

San Juan Guatemala

The next big thing on the lake, San Juan is a mellow little place on the lake’s western shore. It’s just starting to appear on travelers’ radars and many old lake hands say this is what the rest of the lake was like way back before the crowds started arriving. San Juan is the next town over from San Pedro.


Lake Atitlan Accommodations


Villas Balam Ya
Villas B´alam Ya was designed to satisfy the needs of the most discerning travelers visiting the wonderful Lake Atitlan. Each villa is decorated with an impressive private art collection, traditional and modern textiles, an eclectic blend of furnishings, comfortable king and queen-size beds, en suite bathrooms and gourmet kitchens.

Guatemala Highlands Tour


Hotel Atitlan
The hotel grounds are located on an estate that was purchased by Moses and Blanca Rosa Rivera in 1926 to serve as the family’s coffee plantation. Each of the 60 rooms and suites features a private balcony overlooking the lake or the hotel’s tranquil grounds.

Guatemala Family Adventure Tour


Casa Palopo
Casa Palopó is located in Santa Catarina Palopó a picturesque town overlooking the spectacular Lake Atitlán in the highlands of Guatemala. The seven luxurious rooms and the two villa rooms are decorated with local artifacts, art and textiles.

Tropical Honeymoon


Laguna Lodge
This boutique hotel is a sustainable luxury on a privilege location. Located on the lakeshore of Lake Atitlan, Laguna Lodge was inspired by nature and built from volcanic stone, adobe and palm tree. Each of the six suites have spectacular views, wooden floors, adobe walls and are decorated with intricate woven textiles, fine linens and indigenous antiques.

Tropical Honeymoon


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