Lake Atitlan fills the volcanic valleys of Guatemala’s Western Highlands. It’s famous for spectacular natural scenery and the traditional Mayan Indian villages scattered among the valleys. The colour of the lake constantly shifts with the light, moving from tropical blues to greens and soft grey.
Its sublime mountainside location makes a luxury tour of Lake Atitlan well suited to adventurous types, looking to hike and explore the rugged terrain. Kayaking and boat trips can take you to the quietest corners of the lake and you can go fresh water diving to witness the dramatic volcanic formations that unfold in its depths.
Hiking or mountain biking up San Pedro volcano is not for the faint hearted, but the pay-off is huge when you stop for lunch at the summit. The shimmering lake and rocky footfalls are spine-tingling from cloud level, around 3,000 metres above the sea.
Next up to explore is the Atitlan Nature Reserve, a vast expanse of thickly-forested mountain landscape spread on Lake Atitlan’s shore. Set on an old Guatemalan coffee estate, the lush green reserve now houses a luxury eco hotel and butterfly sanctuary among its fascinating wildlife. Visitors can ride zip lines between the mountains, walk rickety rope bridges over frothing waterfalls and take guided bird watching tours.
The villages that fringe Lake Atitlan have the strongest Mayan cultural presence in the country. You’re meet locals dressed in colourful, traditional garb such as beautifully woven huipiles. Many villages have colourful local markets selling local crafts, authentic textiles, clothing or paintings.
See Lake Atitlan’s incredible natural beauty in person with a luxury holiday from Lightfoot, tailor-made for you by our experienced globetrotters using a concierge-style service.