The shimmering surface of Lake Atitlán and its backdrop of rugged volcanoes captivate travellers, while strong indigenous traditions provide insight into the unique blend of Mayan cultures here. Nearby, vast and vibrant Chichicastenango market is the place for people watching and picking up a souvenir or two, with brightly coloured textiles, hand-made accessories and exotic fruits on offer.
The shores of Lake Atitlán are dotted with profoundly traditional villages, the main ones being San Antonio Palopó, Santiago Atitlán and Sololá, where Mayan languages are still spoken, and the typical clothes still worn by both men and women. While they all receive tourists, they still remain true to themselves and this unique mix of old and new makes for a fascinating and charming combination.
As well as the lake and its laidback atmosphere, a huge draw of the region is the village of Chichicastenango, which hosts a hugely impressive market. The best days to visit are Thursdays and Sundays, when locals flock here to display their wares, from tropical fruits, exotic herbs and medicinal plants to brightly embroidered cloths, hand made bags and beautiful flowers. For those who prefer outdoor pursuits, Lake Atitlán certainly doesn’t disappoint; Explore the area by kayak, bike, or on foot, tour a coffee farm, or even zip-line through the trees at the Reserva Natural Atitlán. A visit here is a truly special addition to a Guatemala itinerary.
Santa Catarina Palopo, Guatemala
Previously a private estate but now an exclusive beautifully decorated hotel overlooking the startlingly blue Lake Atitlan and surrounded by breathtaking volcanoes and indigenous villages - one of Central America's most spectacular sights.
Near Panajachel, Guatemala
Hotel Atitlan has a superb location on the fringes of Guatemala's Lake Atitlan, with most rooms benefiting from the most spectacular views of the lake and volcanoes beyond. The hotel has 60 unique rooms and plenty of facilities to complement your stay.
La Casa del Mundo
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
La Casa del Mundo intertwines with the surrounding lush rainforest overlooking the beautiful Lake Atitlan. Marvel at the untouched beauty from the lakeside with panoramic views of all three volcanoes over the horizon.
Imagine Guatemala and Belize
Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Lake Peten, Cayo District & Placencia
This awe-inspiring trip is perfect for adventurous travellers looking to experience the highlights of Guatemala and Belize without sacrificing luxury and comfort. Explore colonial cities and traditional settlements, visit vibrant markets, observe wildlife and uncover ancient ruins deep in the jungle and relax on white sandy beaches.
GBP £4,500 pp
Guatemala and Belize Uncovered
Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Tikal, Mountain Pine Ridge, Orange Walk District
Uncover the fascinating history and rich biodiversity of these two very different awe-inspiring countries. Explore colonial cities, visit bustling local markets, glide across lakes flanked by smoking volcanoes, discover ancient ruins and observe wildlife hidden in the jungle.
GBP £4,300 pp
Ultimate Guatemala & Belize
Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Tikal, Mountain Pine Ridge & Cayo Espanto
Indulge on an adventurous honeymoon through Guatemala and Belize, taking in vibrant cultures, fascinating history and wild jungle, before escaping to the beautiful Cayo Espanto, a paradisiacal private island hotel surrounded by shallow Caribbean waters and untouched coral reefs. Stay at luxurious properties throughout for the perfect mix of...
GBP £16,400 pp