Today we’re going to be talking about 24 hours or a day in Lake Atitlan. Are you guys ready for an adventure? Let’s begin.
So you only have 24 hours in Lake Atitlan – what are you going to do? 24 hours might seem like a really small amount of time, but it’s not. You could actually get a lot of time done. And believe it or not, the majority of the people who come to Guatemala really only stay there for about 24 hours.
Obviously, if you have more time and I have another episode of what to do if you have 48 hours or two days in Lake Atitlan.
24h in Lake Atitlan
Start in Panajachel
But the majority of people really only have 24 hours in Lake Atitlan, so, minus the 8 hours, you’ll be sleeping, resting, or whatnot. So you’re left with about 16 hours. The majority of people, when they have this kind of itinerary, only one day there they start in Panajachel which is the main town of Lake Atitlan.
This is where the majority of the people arrive to. And Pana, it’s actually a really cute village to walk around. You could have breakfast there. Everything is pretty much on the lake, obviously. But Santander st., which is like the main street, it’s leading up to the lake.
Related Read: Staying in a Glass House on Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
All around that lake area, there’s a market and local typical stuff that you could buy from Guatemalans. Ceramics, jewelry, clothing, textiles, you name it. So just wandering around there for a couple of hours is a really fun way to start the morning.
Hire a Private Boat
I would definitely recommend you take a local boat if you only go to one village, but because you only have this one day, I recommend hiring a private boat.
They’re usually about $100, maybe $125, and they’re with you the entire day. So that is really the coolest thing of all. This way you’ll be able to go and see maybe two or three other villages around lake Atitlan rather than with a local boat. It could take you hours to get to one village, then get off because you’re also working on their time.
They usually get really packed and stuff. Definitely, something I recommend if you’re going to be spending a couple of days there because it really makes part of the experience. But for one day, rent a boat with obviously the driver. So with the driver renting the boat for the day. I recommend the most popular villages to visit would be San Marcos, Santiago, and San Pedro.
Visit San Marco or San Pedro
Maybe you would have another place that you could go and visit. But overall, these are the two, aside from Panajachel, two most popular places to visit. So you would get off, and then you could just walk around San Marcos pretty much as all little trails. So there’s very little driving.
You don’t have to drive. You could walk around everywhere there. Just walking around along the lake. They have cliffs, just gorgeous.
San Pedro definitely has a little bit more vehicle mobility, but you could easily walk around everywhere you have to.
There are a bunch of restaurants all around the town. The towns are really tiny. So when I say go and visit a town, you can literally visit a town. Just walking probably will take you maybe an hour.
Eat at a Local Restaurant
Then I would really recommend spending some time, maybe getting a drink in one of the restaurants, local restaurants along the lake, or even having lunch in one of the villages.
So that obviously will take you a little bit longer to do as well.
Related Read: Lush Hotel (Aaculaax) in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
If you actually want to, just go and visit the villages first and then come back to Panajachel so that you could enjoy Panajachel in the late afternoon and evening, you could just juggle it.
Either way, you just go straight to the pier. Super easy to find. You cannot get lost in Pana. Just go to the pier, go to the lake, and you’ll see a ton of boats everywhere. So just head over there, get yourself a boat and visit the little villages, and you will be done around five.
It’s a good thing because around 05:00 p.m., the water on the lake actually becomes a little bit crazy, and it becomes much more active. That’s why you also might not want to be on it at that hour as well. It’s better to be already on land so you don’t have to worry about it, I don’t want to say waves, but definitely, there is a current for sure.
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