Guatemala Travel Information
Lake Atitlan with its surrounding volcanoes and villages is one of the top destinations in Guatemala. Not only is it one of the best places to be introduced to indigenous culture, it is also a great area for adventure sports. Visitors can take cruises on the lake, visit Mayan villages and practice adventure sports such as volcano hikes, horseback riding, mountain biking and kayaking. Lake Atitlan is about 160 kilometers from Guatemala City and can be reached in approx. 3 hours. The lake is not only popular with international tourists, but also with local Guatemalans.
Mayan Villages and Culture
Panajachel is the gateway to Lake Atitlan and most of the hotels, restaurants and shops andare located there. The town also includes a large choice of Mayan handicrafts, including textiles, leather goods, jewelry and wood carvings. However you might find better prices in the smaller, more remote villages. Santiago de Atitlan is located at the mouth of a long narrow bay. The village is the home of Maximon, an idol worshiped by local Mayans. San Pedro La Laguna is southwest of Panajachel and can be reached by boats. It is home to several language schools. There are many more villages and in most you will find a variety of handicrafts – especially weaving and fabrics from the Highlands in rainbow colors.
Volcanic activity in Guatemala began about 11-12 million years ago. The three present-day stratovolcanoes Atitlan, Toliman and San Pedro represent the most recent of four periods of volcano growth which began about 1.8 million years ago. Volcano Atitlan is a large, conical, active volcano adjacent to the caldera of Lake Atitlan. Volcano Toliman has a shallow crater and its flanks are covered with the thick remains of ancient lava flows that emerged from vents in the volcano’s flanks. Volcano San Pedro has its base is the village of San Pedro La Laguna and is the one which can be hiked up to.
Adventure Sports and Activities
Travelers will find several tour operators focusing on Adventure Sports and Activities around Lake Atitlan. If you are looking for the ultimate outdoors adventure experience then try one of the multi-day adventure tours including hiking, biking, paddling, horseback riding, kayaking, trekking, zip lining and much more. You will get to experience the best scenery Guatemala and all it has to offer. For more info about our tours, follow this link!