The beautiful setting of Lake Atitlan was created by a vast volcanic eruption almost 100,000 years ago where the volcanic cone collapsed in on itself, leaving a crater. The lake is surrounded by mountains and three volcanoes, creating a dramatic back drop. Explore the charming indigenous villages and markets dotted along the lake’s shores and soak up the history and culture of the region.
Surrounded by rugged hills, a trio of towering volcanoes, and a handful of small villages, it’s easy to see why Brave New World author Aldous Huxley considered Lake Atitlán, “too much of a good thing,” even going so far as to compare it to Italy’s Lake Como.
Located in the Guatemalan highlands, the lake was formed by a violent volcanic eruption. Tz’utujil and Kaqchiquel Mayas have plied its shores for centuries and continue to do so today, wearing vibrant ropa típica (traditional clothing) and practicing age-old Maya customs, particularly in towns like Santiago Atitlán and Santa Catarina Palopó.
If you’re into outdoor pursuits, the lake certainly doesn’t disappoint. Visitors can explore the area by kayak, bike, or on foot, tour a coffee farm, or zip-line through the trees at the Reserva Natural Atitlán.