Travel Experta’s Interesting Facts – Lake Atitlan Area

The entire Atitlan Lake, which is ten miles at its widest, was formed thousands of years ago in the crater of a massive volcano. It’s so deep, over a mile down, that many scuba divers wonder if some rare marine creature will emerge one day. The lake, with it’s incredible views of quaint Mayan villages, massive volcanoes such as San Pedro Volcano and hillsides is worth a long visit. Stay at one of the villages which is only accessible by boat, or at the popular hot spot Panajachel with it’s funky cafes, delicious restaurants and fun markets.

Find out everything there is to do around Lake Atitlan.

Ringing this beautiful lake in Guatemala are a bunch of tiny villages. The most popular of all is San Pedro, where you can enjoy cheap Spanish classes and international cuisine. San Marcos is also popular for its yoga retreat, Pyramids, along with an inside peak to how indeginious live. But these are just a couple of hamlets to visit, so spend some time here and explore! But the largest town around the lake is Santiago.

Where is It?
See the map

Places to Be

These are the most popular hot spots in this region. But for the gotta-see-it-all traveler, scroll down to the CITIES LESS TRAVELED to get the goods on this whole region.


You have arrived to a tourist oasis conveniently located on the banks of Lake Atitlan with a view to die for. Pana is surrounded by three volcanoes: San Pedro, Atitlan, and Tolimán, a visitor will have their fill of indigenous culture and colorful markets, delicious restaurants and cafes, plenty of activities, and a great nightlife. Hop on a boat to any of the neighboring villages such as San Pedro de Laguna, San Marcos de Laguna and many more for a day trip or an extended visit.


…..* Walk around the colorful town
…..* Take a boat across the lake to a neighboring village
…..* Visit Reserva Natural Atitlan
…..* Have your pick of delicious restaurants

San Pedro la Laguna

The one-time backpackers Shangri-La has now grown to be a great tourist stopover. With majestic volcanoes surrounding the small town with a high ex-pat population and and even higher mayan one. You’ll be surprised by the great accommodations to be found here and even more astonished by the number of delicious restaurants and fun bars. Even though the town is best known for lounging around and soaking in the amazing views, it’s also full of fun activities that will entertain everyone.


…..* Thermal Springs
…..* Learn spanish at a number of the spanish schools
…..* Kayak and boat tour
…..* June 29 – The Feast Day of San Pedro

San Marcos la Laguna

Are you in the mood for spiritual enlightenment, yoga retreats and any number of ‘new age’ callings? You’ve come to the right place. This tiny lakefront town, is full of silent retreats, meditation and yoga classes and lovely accommodations to offer you tranquility with a dash of magificent scenery.


…..* Traditional Mayan Sauna
…..* New Age retreats, courses and readings
…..* Yoga Class

Santiago de Atitlan

This traditional Mayan town, nestled cozily amongst the three Volcanoes: San Pedro, Atitlan and Toliman, is worth a visit. None of the other Lake Atitlan villages will give you an insider view of how the indigenous of this region live. It is not unusual to bump into Indians wearing their traditional clothing as they pass by any one of the 35 churches.


…..* Local Market (Friday and Sunday)
…..* Visit La Iglesia Parroquial Santiago Apastol, home to Maximon (Mayan God)
…..* Hike the trail to the veiwpoint
…..* Horseback ride around Santiago de Atitlan’s countryside

So much TO SEE in the Atlantic Lowlands and Coastal Region!

Lee más sobre el Lago Atitlan, en Guatemala.

Museums & Gardens

…..* Butterfly Garden
…..* Orchid Garden
…..* A Bird Refuge
…..* La Iglesia Parroquial Santiago Apóstol

Parks & Reserves

…..* Reserva Natural Atitlan
…..* The Indian’s Head


…..* San Pedro Volcano
…..* Atitlan Volcano
…..* Toliman Volcano

So Much TO DO in the Atlantic Lowlands and Coastal Region!

Nature Activities

…..* Bird and Wildlife observing
…..* Hiking
…..* Boat Ride


…..* Scuba Diving
…..* Jet Skiing
…..* Kayak
…..* Canoeing
…..* Fishing
…..* Paragliding
…..* Swimming
…..* Mountain biking
…..* Off-road vehicle tours
…..* Rock climbing and
…..* Horseback riding

Cultural Activities

…..* Shopping at a local market
…..* Learn Spanish
…..* June 29 – The Feast Day of San Pedro
…..* October 28 – Maximon’s feast day (Santiago de Atitlan)

Less Traveled Cities

…..* Santa Cruz de Laguna
…..* San Juan la Laguna
…..* San Antonio Palopo
…..* Santa Catarina Palopo
…..* San Lucas Toliman

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About Marina Kuperman Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 10+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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