Lake Atitlan in Guatemala was formed many years ago, in fact, it is right on top of the crater of an old massive volcano. As the background you will see more volcanoes, steep mountains, and at least twelve beautiful villages. It is a great place where tons of activities are offered. The most popular destination of the area is the town of Panajachel with its funky cafes, delicious restaurants, and fun markets, so we won’t mention it, it is already popular enough.
But that isn’t the only village with visiting. Below you will find information about four of them.
The Top 4 Indigenous Lake Atitlan Villages You Should Visit:
1. Santiago Atitlan
This is a traditional Mayan town with volcanoes as the background. There are few hotels and almost no touristic infrastructure. So you will be able to see the local’s daily life first hand. None of the other Lake Atitlan villages will give you an insider view of how the indigenous of this region live better than this one. You will bump into locals wearing their traditional clothing as they pass by.
2. San Juan La Laguna
This town is located less than five kilometers away from San Pedro, the main party town around the lake. It is much more relaxed and has no shortage of hotels, making it a great option if you are traveling with your family and are looking for something much more relaxed.
But it is close enough to San Pedro so you can go and explore its colorful streets and enjoy the restaurants during the day without having to take a bus, just a 5-minute tuk-tuk ride will be enough.
3. San Marcos la Laguna
This is the best place for relaxation of the area, there are all sorts of activities for spiritual enlightenment like yoga retreats and any number of ‘new age’ activities. Traditional Maya spas are also available here with naturally heated hot springs. There are also some options for lovely accommodations with a beautiful background.
This is personally my favorite place to stay. Even though there are a lot of travelers, most are looking to relax and not to party.
4. San Pedro la Laguna
This is also a great stopover with volcanoes surrounding it. In it you will find a high ex-pat population but as you can imagine the Mayan population is even larger. I was truly surprised by the amount of great accommodations and fantastic restaurants that I found here. It has the reputation of being a place to relax but it also offers some fun stuff.
These villages are one of the best places to get to know the still alive ancient Mayan culture in Guatemala. Plus the background is amazing.
Have you ever been to the area? Which was your favorite town?
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