For anyone coming to Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, you might be struck by how many things you have to see.
In this quick guide, I’ll break down some truly excellent ways to spend your day or days here.
Quick Answer – Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
- What is there to do here? – Lake Atitlan Itinerary
- Popular Activity in Lake Atitlan – Explore San Marcos
- Days Trips from Lake Atitlan – Visit Chichi Market
- Learning Spanish – Brush up on your Spanish
- Travel Insurance for Guatemala – Get your Quote Below
Lake Atitlan is one place in Guatemala that will make you fall in love with backpacking. I arrived here after spending two weeks in Antigua.
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala: Things to do
It’s home to the deepest lake in Central America and surrounded by beautiful villages and renowned as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world; situated at an altitude of 1,560 meters.
It is said that Lake Atitlan is Guatemala’s most important national and international tourist attraction.
Its surrounding villages boast an interesting combination of scenic beauty, a chilled atmosphere, and easy access to Mayan culture.
Three Mayan Villages Tour
A big part of Guatemalan history stems from their incredible Mayan cultural ancestry.
You can take the three Mayan Villages tour and learn so much about the local area.
This is definitely a good tour to take on if you are looking to learn more and really integrate yourself into the local area in general with the help of a local guide.
Also, a good way to help you get some amazing photos. You’ll easily find some of the best photos to take in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala here.
If you really want to get away from the hustle and bustle, then visiting San Marcos is a must.
A trip to San Marcos La Laguna is a good idea, but I recommend that you do so with a tour guide.
This can make it a bit easier for you to take in all of the sights that you might have otherwise missed.
The friendly and endearing nature of Lake Atitlan means that a trip around San Marcos is sure to leave you with many good photo opportunities. What, will you look to snap first in San Marcos?
A trip through the Chichi Market and Lake Atitlan at once will give you some truly amazing education and insight into the local area.
You can take a private tour that allows you to explore things at your own pace and comfort.
Definitely a good choice for anyone short on time here and looking to find an easy means of enjoying the local area and its’ various sights.
After visiting for the second time, I realized going without a tour often means making sure you miss some hidden gems.
The truly beautiful town of Panajachel is a fine choice of place to come and visit for anyone visiting in the Lake Atitlan, Guatemala region.
Just like Antigua if you visit, here you’ll get the chance to meet some very interesting people here, as it’s a major part of the local regions.
You’ll get some truly epic shots of the Guatemalan highlands from here, too. This is great for making sure you can enjoy the trip whilst get some special shots of the local lifestyle.
With a trip to the San Pedro Spanish School, you can become quite comfortable speaking Spanish in a short space of time.
If you choose to come here, you should get an education that should have a lasting impact.
The Spanish that you will learn here will stand you in good stead for the rest of your journey, so keep that in mind.
Especially if you’re heading down to Nicaragua or even further afield!
Definitely one of the best things to do in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala if you want more than a tourist trap. Meaning, this will also give you another insight into the lifestyle here and an opportunity to interact with locals.
- Best Hostels in Antigua
- Backpacking Guatemala Guide
- Best Things to do in Guatemala
- Central America Guide
Where to Stay in Lake Atitlan
There is an abundance of great hostels in Lago Atitlán. When staying in Latin America, I like to live with families, and the best way to achieve this is through a Spanish school or Airbnb.
I use it to find the best accommodation I can for my budget. It’s a smart way to travel if you want an authentic living experience.
3 reasons why I use AirBnb in Guatemala.
- To get to know local people
- To gain an authentic experience of living
- To have private space to think/work
This is one of the more interesting places to visit in Guatemala. If you use hostels, here are three reasons to use hostels in Lake Atitlán.
Hostels can be a good choice in any place if you want to connect with other travelers.
- Connect with other travellers
- Look for local activities that are unique to tourists
- To practice living on a budget
If you are doing solo travel in Guatemala, I highly recommend using all three methods for the most rewarding + authentic experience while traveling in Guatemala and the rest of Latin America.
Backpacking Guatemala – Are you covered?
Having adequate travel insurance is crucial whilst backpacking in Guatemala. Especially if you’re moving around a lot.
I always recommend backpackers and travelers (no matter who you are) use World Nomads Insurance for fully comprehensive cover.
If you are due to travel soon, you can get a Get A Free Quote by clicking the link or the image above and filling out your details – that way you’ll get instant cover from the exact date that you choose.
On many occasions World Nomads has provided me with reliable insurance cover for travel in Latin America and the rest of the world.
Where to Eat in Lake Atitlán
No matter who you are or where you’re from, you’ll find a taste to suit your liking around Lake Atitlán.
Here are three places I’ve eaten and plan to eat at again once I get there.
- Cafe Sabor Cruceno: Calle Principal Santa Cruz La Laguna
- Street Food: Found on/off most streets
- Las Lagartijas: 14, Santiago Atitlán
Food can be very cheap and delicious around the lake. The trick is to find the few places that offer excellent food at local prices. I will add more places to this guide as I try them.
💡 Smart Travel Tip
If you eat a plant-based diet and think that it’s impossible to maintain that while in Guatemala, think again. Restaurants like Las Lagartijas will go out of their way to accommodate you.
There are many food options at Lake Atitlan, and you’ll find an abundance of restaurants to choose from, no matter what your budget is.
Many restaurants are located in unique spots that allow you to see a view of the lake while you’re dining.
Lake Atitlan: Guatemala
Visiting the villages around Lake Atitlan is one of the best things to do in Guatemala. You’ll fall in love with the landscapes.
With so much to do and so little time to think about it, you should try and fit in all of the above things to do in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.
It will give you a much greater chance of enjoying spending time around this amazing location!
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