What is special about Lake Atitlan?
The question isn’t what is special about Lake Atitlan; the question is, why hasn’t everyone been there and seen for themselves?
The Lago de Atitlan is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful places in Guatemala, if not the world. Forget Lake Como in Italy; this place is just as special.
The lake is actually a collapsed volcano crater that has naturally filled with water over time. The lake is incredibly scenic, has rolling hills, and is surrounded by traditional Mayan villages.
Let’s dive into the lovely Lake Atitlan and discover a little more about this magical place.
There are plenty of lovely cafes, restaurants and foods to try when visiting this area in Guatemala.
What is special about Lake Atitlan?
The lake waters are clear and surrounded by incredible scenery, including three volcanos.
The author of Brave New World, Aldous Huxley, called Atitlan Lake “the most beautiful lake in the world.
There is so much to do at the lake. You can watch the Sunrise from Indian’s Nose, you would have to set off in the very early hours of the morning, but the hike is worth it.
If you are used to hiking and have a good level of fitness, you can also hike through the Mayan highlands, which will bring you to a welcome finish at the Fuentes Georginas Hot Springs in Quetzaltenango (Xela to the locals), where you can soak your aching legs and feet.
Note: This kind of trip is sometimes best done with a guide!
Once there, you could spend some time in Xela visiting the second-largest city in Guatemala. This city is less touristy; therefore, you gain a more realistic view of what it’s like to live and work in this special country.
There’s an incredible market which is an experience for the senses and not to be missed if visiting this city.
It’s a lake, so go for a swim
If you’re going to swim in Lake Atitlan, which is freshwater, choose a fairly secluded spot away from the villages, boats, and other inlets.
It is safe to swim in being a freshwater lake, but make sure you don’t
swallow any of the water and avoid areas with any algae; if there’s a lot, do not swim. If you go rock jumping, be aware of what’s below and always give boats a very wide berth!
The lake is the deepest in Central America and is believed to be around 340 m deep. If swimming, beware that the lake gets deep very quickly, even around the edges, so be aware.
Watersport and adventure paradise
You can’t visit Lake Atitlan without trying some watersports such as Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Kayaking, Scuba Diving, Snorkelling, Jet Skiing and more. You can also do paragliding, horse riding, zip-lining, biking and more.
It’s an activity adventure paradise that can be enjoyed with very little money or lots of cash to make a real splash.
A submerged Mayan city was discovered in the mid-nineties and is known as the sunken city of Samabaj.
When to visit Lake Atitlan?
Any time is good to visit this special place because it is known to be a remarkably comfortable temperature all year round. There’s a constant spring-like feel, which makes it such a wonderful place to spend time. It’s often around 25C during the day and around 15C in the evenings.
The Lake Atitlan area does have a dry and wet season. So, it’s worth noting if you want to avoid any rain to visit the lake from the middle of November to the end of April. Although the rest of the time, it does rain pretty much every day, it’s still an incredible place to be when it’s raining, and it doesn’t tend to do so until the afternoon.
So, it’s not hard to see why Lake Atitlan in Guatemala is a favourite spot and why it’s so popular with people who live and visit this incredible place.