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Adventures on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala

Lake Atitlan in Guatemala brings wonder to my family and I every time we visit. There seems to be an endless amount of things to do and see.

Lake Atitlan in Guatemala

Normally, the basic route of Lake Atitlan is either staying in Panajachel – which is the main town with funky markets and a large selection of restaurants or visiting one of the more accessible villages. Santiago was our other choice before simply because you can drive there.

However, we never thought about staying in a more remote area until I got in touch with Lee and Elaine from Kayak Guatemala for an adventure, family trip.

How To Get Around Lake Atitlan in Guatemala

  • The villa is located in Santa Cruz, so the only way to get there is by boat.  My suggestion – best to arrive early in the day to avoid rain and the wavy conditions of the lake in the afternoon hours. 
things to do in guatemala
  • There are pathways around this area, but the more remote villages are usually foot only traffic.

What to do While Visiting Atitlan

Traveling with Kids can be a challenge, especially when you have a baby. I was so impressed with the Family Day Special that is offered to entertain everyone’s tastes – including toddlers!

  • The Guide – The reason I am mentioning Alex as a separate point was because Lee and Elaine called him their ‘treasure’. They even went as far as to say you won’t even see your kids they will be so entertained. Well, I know my two year old who is going through serious separation anxiety, and I can now vouch for Alex – he is a true find! I couldn’t believe how much fun my baby was having with him. I was able to get a whole hour of freedom to eat lunch while the ran after chickens, hopped on trampolines and rolled around with the puppies.
panajachel atitlan

  • Kayaking – what a great way to really see the lake.  They have kayaks for all ages. My eight year old did his first solo kayak adventure with one that fit his size perfectly.

  • Cliff diving – ok this is a surprise, but I had to share it here since this was my oldest’s highlight of the kayak tour. Alex takes you to a secret area where you can climb up some rocks and jump into the lake. I literally lost my husband and son there for over one hour while they did what boys do – go nuts!

  • Rock Climbing – if climbing stones during kayaking isn’t enough. Then get ready for some rock climbing. Take a short hike to a wall that is perfect for kids and beginner climbers.

  • Massage – This was my treat. Elaine is one of the only TRUE and trained massage therapists that I have met in Guatemala. And I have been here long enough and visited enough spas to know the good from the bad from the ugly (yes I’ve had that kind of an experience too). Elaine is amazing. Her 25 years of experience does wonders for you and also gives you a great escape from daily stress!

The Family Day Package is one of the most innovative ideas for the area. It includes the boat ride from Pana to Santa Cruz and a full day of fun, with lunch. The Massage is extra but sooo worth every penny! Plus they offer a lot more Atitlan tours and adventures. 

Personally, I wish all places in Guatemala offered a family tour. It can get a bit complicated to please everyone, but it’s so great when someone has it all worked out for you.

Hint, Hint – Lee and Elaine 🙂


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