Lake Atitlan and its traditional villages

Lake Atitlan: The vision of this 130 square kilometer lake, born 85,000 years ago from a volcanic eruption, is spectacular; especially at daybreak when its waters are mirrored. 

Video from @threadcaravan

Lake Atitlan and its traditions

On its banks, Lake Atitlan hosts several villages that have largely kept their traditional way of life, based on fishing and culture (corn, coffee).  The weaving tradition is strong and each has its own costume.  A tour of the lake quickly takes on the air of a fashion show presenting magnificent hats, jewelry, and sumptuous fabrics in colors and patterns of infinite diversity. 

Two and a half hours from Antigua by the legendary Pan-American route, Panajachel is the most important city on the shores of the lake.  Over the years, the old quiet village has become a small cosmopolitan city. However, it still reserves great discoveries, especially when you sit on the terrace of the Sunset Café to enjoy a magnificent view of the lake and its belt of volcanoes. 

A little house with a view on Lake Atitlan
A little house with a view on Lake Atitlan. Picture from @threadcaravan

From Panajachel, beautiful walks join villages, like Santa Catarina Palopo, with its turquoise blue houses on the hillside. Going up the terraces overlooking the village, where farmers cultivate flowers and vegetables, you can enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the lake. 

A little further on, San Antonio Palopo is nestled at the bottom of a cove rising on the side of the mountain.  A single street crosses it, but a multitude of staircases and narrow alleys invite you to explore it. In order to discover other, more distant villages, you can take the boat.  Indeed, Santiago Atitlan has become an active craft center, renowned for its huipiles, a sort of hand-woven blouse decorated with patterns.  We worship a funny icon, represented in the form of a wooden mannequin wearing a hat on his head and a cigarette on his lips. 

The perfect place for zen people

At the foot of the volcano of the same name, San Pedro is surrounded by fields of coffee trees. If the bottom of the village is bathed in a festive atmosphere quite touristy, the top deserves a stroll to tasting a more authentic atmosphere. 

We finish this tour of the lake with a halt hauled to San Marcos. People come here to meditate, to taste delicious vegetarian dishes, or to enjoy massages or yoga classes. Enough to recharge your batteries in order to be  “Zen” and disconnected.

mountain on a lake at sunset in lake atitlan guatemala
Lake Atitlan at sunset. Picture from @threadcaravan

Where to land to see Lake Atitlan

Choosing where to land is always a difficult question. Depending on what you want to visit, where you can stay, whether you want to include this destination inside a road trip, the choice will be different. However, here the choice is simple: the easiest is to land in Guatemala City, which is the capital of the country.

What’s the weather like around Lake Atitlan

Temperatures are very stable throughout the year. However, there are two seasons in Guatemala. First, the rain season. It starts in May and ends in October. Then, the dry season. It lasts from November to April. This is the best time to visit.

Temperature averages around Lake Atitlan
Temperature averages around Lake Atitlan

Where to sleep? Hotels around Lake Atitlan

There are hotels and villas around Lake Atitlan. As mentioned before, the “zen” spirit is present around the lake. Indeed, lots of hotels organize meditation sessions, massages, and relaxing activities. This is the perfect place to recharge the batteries.

Travel responsibly in Guatemala

I enjoy finishing my articles with eco-tourism advice. I did it for Arches National Park, Sequoia National Park, Bali, Yosemite, Madeira, Adirondacks, Antelope Canyon, Uluru, Death Valley, La Salar de Uyuni Tour, and the Cathedrals Beach. Indeed, we should preserve such places. Please travel responsibly and make sure you keep this place as beautiful as it currently is.

See you somewhere in the world.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *