Solola Guatemala is a department where you can find the famous Atitlan Lake, The Pan-American Highway goes across this department. Even before the highways were built, and the Spaniards arrived, Sololá was a major trading post for the Mayas. It connected various coastal, lake, and communities from the highlands of Guatemala. An amazing place to travel to with many of the top activities to do in Guatemala, in this post you’ll the best places to visit in Solola, Guatemala.
To this day, you can find in Sololá, on Tuesday and Friday are some of the largest markets in Guatemala. The markets are anything but the typical tourist haunt, and are primarily for buying and selling among the various highland communities. However, you can find excellent textile products and some arts and crafts here.
Sololá is one of the few places in Guatemala where the men still wear the elaborate traditional garb, with shirts featuring intricate embroidery over multicolored cloth; the cut of the shirt looks like something out of the American Old West.
Places to visit in Solola, Guatemala:
This town is situated in the southwestern Guatemalan Highlands, and is located 140 km from Guatemala City, on the northeast shore of Lake Atitlan. Panajachel also called Pana is one of the most popular towns for tourists to visit in the country. A major center for tourists visiting the Lake Atitlan
Pana is a well-developed town with tons of attractions and points of interest for ex-pats and locals. The two is home to trendy coffee shops, street food vendors, and restaurants serving both local and international cuisine. If you’re looking to buy some Mayan textiles and local artisan pieces, you should head to Calle Santander, the town’s main road.
San Pedro la Laguna
Another small, walkable and safe town, this time located on the southwest shore of Lake Atitlan. San Pedro la Laguna has been gaining a lot of tourist attention due to the Spanish schools, and its proximity to main attractions like the lake and some Guatemalan volcanoes.
The town is a well-known place for its nightlife around the lake. You can find some amazing bars located near the main dock. In the recent several-years San Pedro la Laguna has become a hotspot for backpackers looking to meet people on a night out. Also, you can find some cheap hostels and hotels, and many restaurants.
San Marcos la Laguna
A hippie-like village located on the western shore of Lake Atitlan, you can easily get there by taking a 45-min boat ride from Panajachel dock. San Marcos la Laguna is popular among tourists and backpackers that want to relax and have some kind of “retreat”, since the town is filled with holistic healing centers, new age workshops, and yoga retreats.
Also, the town is famous for its artists and murals. those are all over the town, making walking an incredible activity. Near the town, you can find three volcanos, Volcan Toliman, Volcan Atitlan and Volcan San Pedro. San Marco Laguna also has an outdoor amphitheater and some hostels.
Situated on the bay of Lake Atitlan, it’s the largest town on the lake, also it is in the middle of two volcanoes, San Pedro Volcano and Volcan Toliman to the southeast. Crossing the lake to the southwest, you can find Panajachel, making it very accessible.
Santiago Atitlan is home to the Cojolya Weaving Center and Museum, where you can learn about the history, the process and tradition of backstrap-loom weaving, and the evolution and making of traditional costumes of the Tzutujil people. You can find some local bars, restaurants, and markets to buy handmade artisan pieces.
Iximche is an archaeological site that was declared a Guatemalan National Monument. It was once the capital of the Kaqchikel Maya kingdom. You will find four large and two small places with many palaces, pyramids-templates and two ballcourts.
In Iximche you can find a small museum that displays many Mayan pieces that were found by excavators right there, also, you’ll be able to see the remains of painted murals, evidence of human sacrifice, ceramics, and sculptures.
One of the most popular and visited tourist attractions in Guatemala, Lake Atitlan is part of the Sierra Madre mountain range, and it’s one of the deepest lakes in Central America. The lake is one of the seven wonders of the world, and many people say it’s the most beautiful lake in the world.
There are a bunch of things to do in Lake Atitlan, like swimming, kayaking, hiking or just relaxing on the shore. A great spot to do birding and wildlife watching. Also, the lake is surrounded by many towns and villages that you should totally visit.
How To Get To Solola
There are many ways to get to the Solola Department. If you are visiting Guatemala, you will probably be staying in Guatemala City, from where you can take a chicken bus (local buses), a taxi, rent a car or by private transportation. Since the distance from the capital is approximately 74km you should be there in 3-4 hours.
How Many Days to Stay in Solola
That totally depends on you, and how many places you want to visit in the Solola department, but I highly recommend you stay at least 3-4 days in Solala, that’s more than enough to visit the places around the Atitlan Lake in a calm pace. Spend a day on the lake and the rest visiting the town around it, you can easily visit all of them by boat.
When to Visit Solola
Guatemala has pleasant temperatures all year round, from 169F in January to 172F in March. Since the rainy season start in June and ends in September. I recommend you to go anywhere from December to March (January and February included), you sure will have an amazing time.
This is one of the most visited departments in the country. It is for a good reason, here, you will find what is considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, Atitlan Lake in Guatemala, surrounded by volcanoes and small towns where the modern Maya live.
Solola Guatemala – Places You can Visit in It