Lake Atitlán, Guatemala: 10 Must-Do Activities and Sights

Photo: SimonDannhauer/DepositPhotos

Welcome to one of the planet’s most beautiful and often overlooked places, Lake Atitlán, Guatemala. Located in the highlands of Guatemala, the lake is surrounded by lush mountains, quaint tiny Mayan villages, and three volcanoes. 

Photo: Karen Mork

With 11 Mayan villages sprinkled around the lake, running out of things to do and see is impossible. Lake Atitlán has everything whether you are looking for a more zen vibe or a party town in Central or South America.  

Photo: Robin Camfield

There are numerous attractions and activities to explore. From chilling out on one of the many small beaches to more extreme adventures like paragliding, here are ten things to see and do at Lake Atitlán, Guatemala. 

Photo: Christopher Gonzalez

There are 11 charming Mayan villages around Lake Atitlán, each with distinct character and traditions. Take a boat ride, jump in a tuk-tuk, hop in the back of a pickup truck, or grab a microbus or chicken bus to some of these destinations. 

Explore the Mayan Villages

Photo: Christopher Gonzalez


Embark on a hiking adventure to one of the volcanoes surrounding Lake Atitlán. The most popular options are Volcán San Pedro, Volcán Tolimán, and Volcán Atitlán. Hiking one of these volcanoes offers scenic views of the lake and the surrounding landscape.

Hike the Volcanoes

Photo: Irene De Leon


For a more thrilling experience, rent a kayak or try stand-up paddleboarding on the lake. Paddle along the calm waters, explore hidden coves, and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. It’s a great way to connect with nature and appreciate the tranquillity of Lake Atitlán.

Water Activities Around the Lake

Photo: Robin Canfield


Lake Atitlán and its surrounding areas offer opportunities for ecotourism. Join a guided nature walk, birdwatching excursion, or coffee farm tour to learn about the region’s biodiversity, sustainable agriculture, and conservation efforts.

Enjoy Ecotourism

Photo: Mana5280


Indulge in the flavors of Guatemalan cuisine around Lake Atitlán. Sample traditional dishes such as pepián (a spicy meat stew) and chiles rellenos, or try local specialties like atol. After dark in Panajachel, the streets come alive with food carts and pop-up restaurants.

Experience Local Cuisine

Photo: Stefan Lehner


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Photo: SimonDannhauer/DepositPhotos