Lake Atitlán Travel Guide
Lake Atitlan © Judith Duk
This shimmering volcanic lake surrounded by forested slopes and three distinctive volcanoes has been hailed by some as the most beautiful lake in the world. Not only is Lake Atitlán scenically spectacular, the lake and hillside settlements are also rich in Mayan culture.
Deeply cultural, some of these villages are the only ones in the country where traditional costume is still worn, each village sporting its own distinctive style and colour of densely embroidered dress. The people are also famous for their artisan crafts, and textiles are admired for their design and colour, distinguishing one village from the other. The colours are all blended in a flurry on market days when villagers from around the lake gather to sell their products. The Friday market at Sololá is one of the best in the highlands.
Around the lake are the main tourism centres of Panajachel and San Pedro La Laguna with lots of accommodation, small restaurants and craft shops. Santiago Atitlán is the biggest and most important cultural village along the shore with an interesting local deity. There are good hikes around the lake as well as various water sports and excellent swimming.
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