Sights in Lake Atitlan

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Lake Atitlan sights offer plenty of options beyond watching the vast spread of the beautiful lake. Lake Atitlan is believed to have been formed nearly 85,000 years ago. Since the lake is situated at a considerable height, it provides a scenic view of many Guatemalan sights. The most popular of Lake Atitlan sights have been quoted below.


This is the main town of the Lake Atitlan region. A small town, it is visited by thousands of international visitors every year. It is common to see mountaineers and high-altitude adventurers camping here. Panajachel is worth staying for at least a day. During the daytime, visitors can shop at the small, colonial-styled souvenir shops. Popular sights here include a historic catholic church that was constructed in the 16th century. Panajachel has a number of cultural centers. These provide insight into the unknown aspects of Mayan culture. From Panajachel, a trip to the nearby San Buenaventura Nature Reserve can be easily arranged. Though this reserve doesn’t boast of abundant wildlife, it is worth visiting for those who want to undertake a trek or a jeep-ride into the forest. People visiting Panajachel during October can look forward to be a part of the San Francisco de Asis festival.

Small Villages

Visitors can explore the small villages around the lake. This area is inhabited by unknown tribes, many of them claiming to be descendants of the Mayan Kings. The town closest to the lake is Santiago Atitlan. This town is popular for its shrine of Maximon—a feared Mayan God. For exploring Mayan culture, the nearby sites of Chiutinamit and Sambaj are recommended. These are just an hour away from the lake. Other nearby towns that are worth-a-visit includes Santa Cruz la Laguna and San Pedro Laguna. These places are inhabited by the Tzutujil tribes and people referred to as the ‘Kaqchikel Mayans’. These are some of the rare places where clothes are still printed and worn in the traditional, Mayan manner. Visitors can also undertake an underwater, archaeological tour that traverses through the submerged Mayan caves.


A popular sight is that of the surrounding volcanoes. Lake Atitlan is situated within a deep crater and is surrounded by hundreds of dormant volcanoes. The upper reaches of the paths around the lake can be accessed via a horse-ride. From here, many volcanoes are visible. This includes volcanoes that have erupted in the past and now exist in the form of craters filled with rainwater and volcanic ash. Other Lake Atitlan sights include the nearby coffee farms. Visitors can also head to the Las Tarrales Nature Reserve. The village of San Pedro Laguna is famous for its natural, thermal spas.

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