Lake Atitlán

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Lake Atitlán: Our most recommended tours and activities

  • Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan Tour From Antigua

    1. Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan Tour From Antigua

    Your 10-hour excursion begins with a drive into the western highlands of Guatemala. The region is home to quaint and colorful mountain villages, highland lakes, pine forests and the majority of Guatemala’s indigenous peoples. When you arrive at the Chichicastenango market you’ll begin your walking tour. The market is at the center of the town and is the heart of commercial life for maxeños, the natives of Chichicastenango. Every Thursday and Sunday merchants head to the central plaza to sell their products in this impressive indigenous market that has changed very little over the centuries. Explore the pathways of the market and admire the colorful handicrafts and produce offered by the local people of the region. In Chichicastenango, you’ll also visit Santo Tomás Church, built in 1540 over the base of a pre-Hispanic temple. This church is a splendid example of colonial archi...

    Everything about this tour was great, our guide was extremely knowledgeable. The ride was safe. The only thing to be aware of this does include the lake in the extent of eating at a restaurant overlooking the lake. I went for the market so I didn’t mind but if you want a more immersive lake experience this might not be the tour for you.

  • Atitlán: Private Full-Day Lake and Locals Tour

    2. Atitlán: Private Full-Day Lake and Locals Tour

    Take a day trip to one of the most beautiful lakes in Central America, Atitlán Lake. Explore 2 ancient Mayan towns with your private guide and admire the impressive landscapes formed by 3 volcanoes. After pickup at 6:00 AM at your hotel in Antigua Guatemala or Guatemala City, take a 3-hour journey towards Atitlán Lake. Your first stop will be a viewpoint with impressive panoramic views over Sololá Department, the volcanoes, and the lake. From Panajachel, one of the 11 Mayan villages, take a 20-minute boat trip across the lake towards San Juan La Laguna. Once you debark, stroll along the “handicrafts” street, which includes chocolate and medicinal plant stores, textile factories, art galleries, and souvenir shopping.  After San Juan La Laguna, take the private boat towards Santiago Atitlán, where you learn about Mayan ethnic groups and their unique textile patterns and colors, religious ...

  • Lake Atitlan: Mayan Ceremony at the Sacred Caves

    3. Lake Atitlan: Mayan Ceremony at the Sacred Caves

    Experience an important ceremony of the Maya people of Guatemala at the most sacred and holy location on Lake Atitlan. Transfer to the trailhead from Panajachel. Then, walk to the 1st cave (a maximum 20-minute hike). Named “Nimajay,” “San Simon,” “Singing” and “Colorado,” the 4 caves have been used by the Mayans for centuries for their Fire Cleansing and Protection Ceremony. The highland tribes travel for hours to visit the holy caves, and you will feel the energy and power as soon as you approach the cave entrance. Watch the shamans perform the ceremony (not guaranteed, but available on most days), and experience an authentic part of the living Mayan culture of the Guatemala highlands. Your guide will explain why the ceremonies are performed, and teach you about the ritual and unique meanings of the Mayan calendar. Located 1,200 feet above Lake Atitlan, the caves offer panoramic view...

    Great tour! If you are interested in learning more about mayan culture or how cristianity has merged with local religion you should definitely give it a go.

  • Lake Atitlán Boat Tour

    4. Lake Atitlán Boat Tour

    Start the day with a trip from Antigua or Guatemala City to the Maya town of Panajachel. During the drive there will be a brief stop in Katok, a very famous restaurant where you can indulge in a hot drink. Once at Panajachel, it's time for a boat trip to cross Lake Atitlán and visit the Tzutuhil Village of Santiago de Atitlán. In this village you will visit the confraternity of the local saint named Maximon or Ri Laj Mam, visited by people all over the world who come to ask for health and prosperity in their lives. The lake itself owes its grandeur to its enormous size and spectacular volcanic setting. Three large volcanoes, Atitlán Tolimán and San Pedro, rise gracefully from its southern shore, creating breathtaking views around the area. You will experience these views and the traditional practices still carried out by the Maya-Tzutujil and Cakchiquel women who live around the lake. ...

  • Lake Atitlan Tour Full Day From Antigua

    5. Lake Atitlan Tour Full Day From Antigua

    Take road to The Western Highlands region, home to quaint and colorful mountain villages, highland lakes, pine forests, and the majority of Guatemala’s indigenous people. This is the region most travelers familiar with Guatemala think about when daydreaming of a trip to this beautiful country. Upon arrival to Panajachel we will take a public boat to cross Lake Atitlan and visit Santiago Atitlan, where you’ll learn of the local Saint "Maximon". Enjoy the vibrant colors and local flavor of this village. Santiago is the most popular lakeside settlement outside Panajachel, and many atitecos (as its people are known) cling to a traditional Tz’utujil Mayan lifestyle. Women weave and wear huipiles (tunics) embroidered with brilliantly colored birds and flowers, and the cofradías town’s maintain the ceremonies and rituals of tradition, the syncretic traditions and practices of Mayan Catholicis...

    We had an excellent experience. We were picked up on time from our hotel. The guide explained the tour clearly. We visited a couple of indigenous settlements around the lake, attended a demonstration of the weaving process, and had plenty of shopping opportunities. The guide was knowledgeable, courteous, and was able to keep the schedule even though it was a busy market day with a lot of traffic and people on the streets. We returned at the appointed hour.

  • From Guatemala City: Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan

    6. From Guatemala City: Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan

    Explore the Western Highlands, the region of Guatemala that most travelers familiar with Guatemala think about when daydreaming about a trip to this country. The region is home to quaint and colorful mountain villages, highland lakes, pine forests, and the majority of Guatemala’s indigenous peoples. Arrive at Chichicastenango Market and begin your walking tour inside the market. It is the center of the town and heart of commercial life for the maxeños. The merchants go down to the central plaza every Thursday and Sunday to sell their products in this impressive indigenous market that has changed very little throughout the centuries. Explore the pathways of the market and view the colorful handicrafts and produce offered by the local people of the region. In Chichicastenango, we will also visit Santo Tomás Church, built in 1540 over the base of an archaeological pre-Hispanic temple. Thi...

  • From Guatemala City: Lake Atitlan & Santiago Village Tour

    7. From Guatemala City: Lake Atitlan & Santiago Village Tour

    Your tour will begin with pick-up from your hotel in Guatemala City. From there, you will drive to the western highlands region, home to quaint and colorful mountain villages, lakes, pine forests, and the majority of Guatemala's indigenous population. Upon arrival to Panajachel, you will take a public boat to cross Lake Atitlan and to visit Santiago Atitlan. In Santiago, learn about the local saint Maximon. Enjoy the vibrant colors and local flavor of this village. After you have explored the village and experienced the local culture, you will take the boat back to Panajachel. In Panajachel you will have time to eat lunch (at your own expense). Then explore Panajachel, a pre-Columbian town of Kakchiquel origin. The town witnessed the final battle between the Spanish and their Kakchiquel allies against the Tzutujiles, and it was also a settlement point for Franciscan missionaries who fo...

  • Lake Atitlan Full-Day Tour from Guatemala City

    8. Lake Atitlan Full-Day Tour from Guatemala City

    Spend a day on Lake Atitlán, the deepest lake in Central America, on a full-day trip from Guatemala City. Enjoy a cruise along the waters, and visit nearby villages. Departing from Guatemala City in the morning, travel to Panajachel. Then take a public boat across Atitlán and visit Santiago Atitlán, where you will learn about the local saint; Maximon. Enjoy the vibrant colors and local flavor of this village as you experience the traditional Tz’utujil Mayan lifestyle. Santiago is the most popular lakeside settlement outside Panajachel, and many atitecos (as its people are known) cling to a traditional Tz’utujil Mayan lifestyle. Women weave and wear huipiles (tunics) embroidered with brilliantly-colored birds and flowers, and the cofradías towns maintain the ceremonies and rituals of tradition — the syncretic traditions and practices of Mayan Catholicism. There’s also a large arts and c...

  • Lake Atitlan Half-Day Permaculture Organic Farm Tour

    9. Lake Atitlan Half-Day Permaculture Organic Farm Tour

    Spend an amazing morning at the beautiful organic farm and food forest of a self-sustaining agricultural project on the shores of Lake Atitlan that teaches better farming techniques to the local population. You will be picked up from Tzununa public boat dock for the drive to the farm on the back of a pick-up truck. Enjoy a tour of the farm to experience the smells, sights, sounds, and tastes of a fully-functioning, small-scale, permaculture-inspired organic farm. After a coffee or tea (from beans and leaves grown on the farm), walk to the nearby waterfall to hop in and cool off, or just hang out and enjoy the breathtaking views. Return from the falls for a 100% organic from-the-farm lunch. The beautiful surroundings provide a great setting for a variety of educational activities. Children of all ages will enjoy learning where food comes from and what can be done to help protect and im...

  • Los Elementos Adventure Center: Kayak, Swim, and Relax

    10. Los Elementos Adventure Center: Kayak, Swim, and Relax

    The day begins in Panajachel or Santa Cruz La Laguna, where your guide will meet you at your hotel and bring you to the boat docks along Lake Atitlan. From there, take a boat transfer to the Adventure Center in Santa Cruz, where you'll spend the day with a bilingual guide and plenty enjoy activities, all in line with USA safety standards. Kayak for an hour or so, take a swim in the crystal blue waters, or go for a cliff jump if you dare!   For lunch, enjoy a home-cooked meal by the center's very own chef; you're free to pre-order your meal selections based on your own tastes and preferences. After lunch, hike through the hidden Pumpatin Canyon through the lush local forest to a rock wall, where you'll have to chance to enjoy an invigorating and safe rock climb, with secure top-rope systems (harnesses, ropes, etc.). Climb up to 45 feet (14 meters), before rappelling down.   When you're ...

Other Sightseeing Options in Lake Atitlán

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What people are saying about Lake Atitlán

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 56 reviews

We had an excellent experience. We were picked up on time from our hotel. The guide explained the tour clearly. We visited a couple of indigenous settlements around the lake, attended a demonstration of the weaving process, and had plenty of shopping opportunities. The guide was knowledgeable, courteous, and was able to keep the schedule even though it was a busy market day with a lot of traffic and people on the streets. We returned at the appointed hour.

Everything about this tour was great, our guide was extremely knowledgeable. The ride was safe. The only thing to be aware of this does include the lake in the extent of eating at a restaurant overlooking the lake. I went for the market so I didn’t mind but if you want a more immersive lake experience this might not be the tour for you.

It may seem a bit pricey but well worth it. Your guide, Lee, will take you places you would not find on your own. As a Mayan in the know he can explain everything to you. You will not be disappointed

although we came late for the ceremony. the local tour guide was extremely knowledgeable. He showed me some great spots around and its overall history of his people.

Great tour! If you are interested in learning more about mayan culture or how cristianity has merged with local religion you should definitely give it a go.