Described by many as the most beautiful lake in the world, Lake Atitlán, which is volcanic in origin, is located 1,538m /5,125 ft above sea level, covers an area of 129 sq m/50 sq mi and has a depth of 480m/1,600 ft.The lake was formed in a volcanic crater and three spectacular volcanoes are a backdrop for its clear waters.Lake Atitlán is a center for water sports including fishing, swimming, diving, water skiing and boating. The people living on the shore villages of Lake Atitlán are famous for their crafts.
Atitlán, Tolimán & San Pedro Volcanoes
The three volcanoes which surround Lake Atitlán offer an unlimited view of Lake Atitlán and neighboring volcanoes from their peaks. Atitlán has an altitude of 3480m /11,600 ft, Tolimán 3,085m /10,282ft and San Pedro on the south side of Lake Atitlán, reaches 2,972m/9,908 ft.
Reserva Natural Atitlán
The Reserva Natural Atitlán has 100ha/247ac of forest on the shores of Lake Atitlán. Its purpose is the conservation of the environment in the Lake Atitlán Basin.The reserve has a butterfly garden with 500 species and a laboratory of pupas and chrysalises. An orchid garden, located inside the butterfly garden, presently contains 50 orchid species.The reserve has planted more than 180,000 trees including 600 fruit trees to feed and protect the birds in the bird refuge.Instructive nature trails explain the surroundings. The bird refuge will be equipped with elevated platforms and trails as well as hanging bridges.
Address: Finca San Buenaventura, Guatemala
San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala
San Pedro La Laguna is enclosed by beautiful volcanic scenery and lays at the base of the volcano San Pedro. Winding cobblestone streets make up the central portion of town. Beyond that dirt paths crisscross the mountainside where coffee is grown.The San Pedro Volcano can be climbed with the help of a guide.
Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala
Santiago Atitlán is a Tzutujil Maya speaking community that sits on the southwest shore of Lake Atitlán squeezed between the volcanos of Tolimán and San Pedro. Its market days are Friday and Sunday. Beside Panajachel it's the most visited town ringing Lake Atitlán.
San Andres Semetabaj, Guatemala
The weaving town San Andres Semetabaj is a small Mayan village of approximately 3,000 inhabitants, situated along the shores of Lake Atitlán. Its market day is Tuesday.
Santa Catarina Palopa, Guatemala
Village life can be sampled at Santa Catarina Palopá an interesting village around Lake Atitlán with narrow streets, adobe houses, villagers in their bright traditional costumes and a gleaming white church.
Panajachel is the portal to Lake Atitlán and is nick-named Gringotenango as half of its population is made of expatriates or travelers.
San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala
Set at the foot of Volcano Tolimán, San Lucas Tolimán is a small weaving and coffee-growing-town more commercial than others surrounding Lake Atitlán.