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The two hour drive heading west from Antigua leads through the central highlands, dotted with colorful traditional villages to the stunning Lake Atitlán.

The dramatic winding road leading down to the lake rewards you with incredible views of the lake and its spectacular backdrop of three cone-shaped volcanoes: San Pedro, Toliman and Atitlán.

Local Villages

Comalapa Market, GuatemalaThe Mayan Indians throughout this area are undoubtedly the most colorfully dressed in Guatemala, if not the whole of Central America, with intricately woven shirts, huipiles and skirts of the brightest reds, greens, yellows, pinks and blues. Each village around the lake maintains its own traditional dress.

The lake itself is mesmerizing and spending time relaxing here absorbing the views, watching the effect of changing light and wind on the water is special enough, but the best way to enjoy the stunning scenery is to travel by ‘lancha’ (boat) visiting the Indian villages of Santiago Atitlán, Santa Catarina Palopo and San Antonio Palopo.


The highland area is also home to countless markets giving an intricate and enthralling insight into Guatemalan life. Chichicastenango is one of the largest and most famous, situated about an hour north of Lake Atitlán. Hundreds of locals and visitors flock for a bargain buy and there is everything here from souvenirs and clothes to food and household goods.

It is fascinating, but for a more authentic experience, we recommend a visit to more typical markets such as those held in the villages of Comalapa or Tecpan.

Speak to someone
who's been there

Michael, an Audley Travel specialist

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Lake Atitlan by contacting one of our Guatemala specialists

Suggested itineraries featuring Lake Atitlan

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Lake Atitlan, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Lake Atitlan

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Lake Atitlan

    Accommodation choices for Lake Atitlan

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Lake Atitlan. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    • Hotel Atitlan, Lake Atitlan

      Hotel Atitlán


      The Hotel Atitlan has a privileged location on the shores of Lake Atitlan and within walking distance of the Indian village of Panajachel.

    • Infinity pool, Casa Palopó

      Casa Palopo

      First Class

      The Casa Palopo is a small hotel with friendly staff and stunning views of Lake Atitlan.

    • Swimming pool, Posada de Don Rodrigo, Lake Atitlan

      Posada de Don Rodrigo


      A 41 bedroom hotel located at the end of the main street in Panajachel with wonderful lakefront views.

    Ideas for experiencing Lake Atitlan

    Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Lake Atitlan, and which use the best local guides.

    • Boat tour of the lake and Santiago de Atitlan
      Santiago de Atitlan, Lake Atitlan

      Boat tour of the lake and Santiago de Atitlan

      Boat tour of the lake and Santiago de Atitlan

      Travel across the calm waters of Lake Atitlan by boat to the lively village of Santiago de Atitlan. Here you can explore the fascinating Catholic church and haggle for a bargain at the bustling market.

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    • San Pedro Volcano Hike
      Volcan Toliman and Atitlan, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

      San Pedro Volcano Hike

      San Pedro Volcano Hike

      Embark on a challenging hike through patchwork fields and beautiful cloudforest to the top of San Pedro volcano. Enjoy a delicious lunch near the summit whilst gazing out across Lake Atitlan and the towering peaks of the surrounding mountains.

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    • Santiago Bay Kayak & Hike
      Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

      Santiago Bay Kayak & Hike

      Santiago Bay Kayak & Hike

      Begin your exploration of Lake Atitlan by taking the kayaks to paddle through Santiago Bay where you pass by the local Tzutujil Maya people working in the fields, washing clothes and fishing from their unique wooden boats.

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    • Excursion to San Juan Comalapa
      The church of San Juan Comalapa

      Excursion to San Juan Comalapa

      Excursion to San Juan Comalapa

      Explore the historic town of San Juan Comalapa and its bustling market, where local traders sell everything from fruit and flowers to beautiful tapestries and paintings. Your guide will take you to see the other highlights throughout the town including museums, local art galleries and excellent bakeries to sample the much-loved roscas.

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    • Chichicastenango Market
      Chichicastenango, Guatemala

      Chichicastenango Market

      Chichicastenango Market

      Explore the colorful fruit, vegetable, craft and textile stalls at this famous market. This excursion allows you to explore Chichicastenango Market at your own pace with the advantage of your own driver to take you there and back to your hotel at the end of the day.

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