The word Atitlán means between the waters in Nahuatl, an ancient Mayan language. Known as one of the world’s most beautiful volcanic lakes; it is located in the Guatemalan western highlands and surrounded by mountains and volcanoes. Lake Atitlán is believed to be the second largest lake Mesoamerica and the most important one in Guatemala.
This lake is an ideal destination for every kind of tourist because there are 11 towns, each with its own charm. The most popular one is Panajachel. It’s filled with shops, restaurants, night life and hotels. It has a large market known for their beautiful local crafts and textiles.
West from touristy Panajachel is San Marcos La Laguna. This is a quiet town on the lake that is known for all things spiritual. It’s a hotspot for meditation and yoga. Beautiful and tranquil, it’s a great place to rest and relax a few days.
Across from Panajachel is San Pedro La Laguna. It’s popular among backpackers because of its many pubs, restaurants and hotels. This is the ideal place for the young and vibrant traveler looking for a great place to have a couple of drinks.
East of San Pedro La Laguna, there is San Antonio Palopó. This is a very small town, famous for their work in ceramic. It has next to nothing else to do but shop the crafts. The workshops are open for the public to see the locals painting and making the handicrafts.
Finally, in between Panajachel and San Antonio Palopó is a town called Santa Catarina Palopó. This town has recently been revamped. All the houses and shops have been colorfully painted and it looks stunning. For the luxury traveler, this town has a world renowned boutique hotel called Casa Palopó that will surely take anyone’s breath away.
Written by Maria Jose Caniz
Regional Manager, LARM Centro Caribe