Located in the Guatemalan Highlands and in the heart of the former Mayan civilization, Lake Atitlan is one of the crowning jewels of Central America. The area surrounding the lake has been a national park since 1955 and since then the country has been seeking to advertise the lake as a pristine tourist destination. It is easily one of the most stunning locations in the Central American country.

The lake is formed from a volcanic caldera (where the volcano has collapsed into the empty caverns left after its eruptions) and it is believed to have formed from the eruption some 84,000 years ago. Guatemala is worth seeing for many reasons including the Mayan ruins.


About Lake Atitlan

Today it is renowned as one of this planet's most stunning lakes and has grown to become Guatemala's most popular tourist attraction. The lake has many features that make it so appealing, one is the tall cliffs that abut parts of the lake and are perfect for those bold enough for cliff diving.

  • Fun Fact: Lake Atitlan Is The Deepest Lake In Central America
  • Max Depth: 1,120 Feet
  • Length: 11.2 Miles
  • Width: 5.0 Miles

The region around the lake is rich in avocado orchards and coffee as well as many other kinds of agricultural produce. The local people inhabiting this region are mostly indigenous and have descended from the Mayans. This is a good place to visit if tourists would like to see Mayan culture today.

Related: You Can Visit Tikal, Guatemala, The Ruins Of The Largest Ancient Civilization In The World

Things To Do

There are many things to see and do in and around this gorgeous and picturesque lake. These include hiking through surrounding forests, touring the volcanoes dotting this region, taking a bike tour, touring the local villages, kayaking, and bird watching (this region is biodiversity rich in birds and other plants and animals. If the traveler is big into coffee, then consider a coffee tour! It is off course too much to do all of these things in one day but travelers can choose from a selection of them!

  • Activities On The Lake: For Those Travelers Seeking To Get Wet Hiring Kayaks, Jet Skiing, And Diving Are All Options
  • Trekking: This Is Galore For Hiking, But If A Traveler Wishes To Rest Their Warely Feet Then Consider Horseback Riding
  • Renting Bicycles: Bicycles Are Available For Rent At The Kukulkan Adventure Center
  • Volcanoes: Way Too Much For One Day, But There Are Three Volcanoes One Can Climb, These Are San Pedro, Atitlan, And Toliman (Some Might Take More Than A Day, Atitlan Normally Needs Two Days)
  • Cost Of Climbing Volcanes: Around $40 (There Are Entrance Fees, Boat Fees And More If One Wants A Guide)
  • Cultural Tours: Booking Cultural Tours Of The Local Villages Is Possible With Travel Atitlan

There are a number of tour companies here. Travel Atitlan (they do cultural tours, climbing, trekking, and bike tours). Then there is Kukulkan Travel (they offer a range of adventure tours, boat tours, biking, kayaking, and hiking tours). Travel And Health Guatemala is a great option for those wanting everything to be fully planned, they also coordinate trips to popular national destinations. Finally, there's Andrenalia Tours, they organize tours to the hot springs at Fuentes Geoginas, as well as almost every other tour in the region including tours of beer factories and they have their own certified guides.

  • Visa Policy Of Guatemala: Guatemala Is Visa Free

Lake Atitlan is really a destination travelers should spend more than a day at. But if tourists only have a day then it is possible to have that day just as packed full of things to see and do and one can take. One could stay a week here and not have the time to see and do everything.

Related: Visiting The Stunning Maya Ritual Caves Of The Mayan Peninsula

Indian's Nose

One more of the local landmarks is the Indian's Nose situated on the mountain above the cities of San Marcos and San Juan. If travelers want to see this there are also a number of guided horseback tours to the top. The Indian's Nose also affords one of the most stunning and spellbound views of the picturesque and blue lake that is Atitlan. In addition, it mirrors the lake's three volcanoes.

The Local Population

Most of the people in the region are descendants of the Mayans or the Cakchiquel and Tzutuhil groups in particular. People in this region are very friendly and welcoming and many are practicing their old traditional ways of life. There are a number of traditional attractions here and it is great for shopping for local crafts. Travelers can find all sorts of local crafts like chains, bracelets, drums, hammocks, fabrics, pots, and more. Finally, no one should forget about trying Guatemalan food!

Next: Everything Visitors Can Do In One Day In Rio Dulce, Guatemala