Lake Atitlan is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, known for its insanely blue waters and the three majestic volcanoes that surround it. It’s also one of the most fascinating destinations in Guatemala, thanks to the unique towns that surround it.
There are more than a dozen Lake Atitlan towns, each with its own culture, personality, and identity. The towns are still primarily inhabited by several Mayan groups, and each of them offer a rich history and unique cultural diversity.
Visiting Lake Atitlan is a must on any Guatemala itinerary (along with Antigua). I suggest visiting at least a few of the towns around Lake Atitlan to get a sense of what makes the area special. Each of the Lake Atitlan villages has its own distinct vibe, and there’s a town to suit your own travel preferences.
Looking for a peaceful town with stunning lake views? An artsy town adorned with brightly colored murals? A hippie town focused on wellness and getting in touch with your spiritual side? A vibrant backpackers’ hub? You’ll find all this and more in Lake Atitlan.
If you’re wondering which are the best towns in Lake Atitlan, then this guide is for you! Keep on reading to find out all about the best Lake Atitlan villages and the best things to do in them to help you plan the perfect trip.
This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase or booking, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps me keep providing you with helpful content for free. Pictures & Words is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to amazon.com and affiliated sites at no cost to you.
Best Lake Atitlan Towns You Need to Check Out
Panajachel in a nutshell: The thriving tourist town on Lake Atitlan, with ample shopping and dining opportunities.
Panajachel (or “Pana” for short) is the gateway to Lake Atitlan – chances are, your visit to Lake Atitlan will begin here. Most shuttles and buses will drop you off in Panajachel, and from here you will find connections to the rest of the villages.
If you only have time to visit one town in Lake Atitlan, chances are that it is going to be Pana because of this accessibility.
Pana is the thriving tourist hub of Lake Atitlan, and offers the most in terms of amenities, dining options (with a range of international cuisine), and facilities.Because of this, it is also known as a hub for digital nomads and expats.
Of all the Lake Atitlan villages, Pana is the biggest and busiest, so you probably are not going to find the peace and tranquility that you may expect. It is not the most charming of the Lake Atitlan towns by any means, but it offers a mix of services, accommodations, and activities, along with plenty of natural beauty, which makes it worth a visit.
Things to do in Panajachel
- Shop on Calle Santander: Calle Santander is the main drag in the city, lined with plenty of restaurants, shops, street food vendors, and craftspeople. You can shop for anything and everything here, from traditional handicrafts, paintings, woven textiles, electronics, or even toiletries and other supplies you might have forgotten to pack. This is the best place to shop for souvenirs, as you’ll find the best selection and prices!
- Go paragliding: Paragliding over Lake Atitlan will allow you to get a birds eye view of the lake’s vibrant blue waters and majestic volcanoes. There are a few companies around town offering paragliding, but Real World Paragliding comes highly recommended and has an office right on Calle Santander.This was very high on the list of things I wanted to do in Lake Atitlan, unfortunately, the conditions just were not ideal during the days I was there.
- Enjoy the lake views from the boardwalk: Panajachel may be a bustling town, but it does offer some beautiful views of the lake. Stroll the boardwalk, where Calle Santander ends, to find some of the best views. It’s the perfect place to watch the sunset.
- Visit the Museo Lacustre de Atitlan: Learn more about the lake’s geology, history, and Mayan communities. They also have an exhibit here showcasing artifacts discovered from Sambaj, a submerged Mayan archaeological site in the lake.
- Have a coffee at Crossroads Cafe: This isn’t your average cafe – they’ve built a whole community around it, and having coffee here feels like you’re visiting friends. The original owners have moved on, but the new owners carry the same vibe.
- Take a cooking class: Learn more about traditional Mayan flavors and ingredients, which are a bit different than what you associate with Latin American cuisine.
Where to stay in Panajachel:
- Selina Atitlan: Offering both shared dorm-style rooms, along with private rooms, which rival any boutique hotel, but at an affordable price point. They also have awesome common areas, where it’s easy to meet like-minded travelers.
- Portas Hotel del Lago: A beautiful boutique hotel located steps away from the lake. Each room features volcano views from the balcony. There’s also a gorgeous pool area, perfect for relaxing.
- Hotel San Buenaventura de Atitlan: This lush property is a bit secluded and offers a bit of peace and quiet, located about a 5 minute drive from the main part of town. There’s a private beach, a topical garden, and an outdoor pool area.
San Pedro la Laguna
San Pedro la Laguna in a nutshell: A bustling backpackers’ hub, with plenty of nightlife (but with a traditional side below the surface)
San Pedro offers a mix of affordable prices, good food, nightlife options, and plentiful accommodation options, making it a popular choice for backpackers and digital nomads. Along with Panajachel, it is one of the main towns on the lake.
You’ll to find a range of dining options (including plenty of international cuisine), trendy cafes, and fun bars. San Pedro always has something going on, and the prices are cheap – it’s no wonder people stay for a long time.
However, the further you climb up the hill, away from the busy part of town near the docks, you’ll find a completely different side to the town, with tranquil green spaces, quaint churches, and traditional Mayan culture.
Things to do in San Pedro la Laguna
- Take a Spanish class: You’ll find plenty of Spanish schools in town, and lessons are super affordable! You can find weeklong classes for as low as $40 USD. Doing a homestay immersion program is also an option – one of the girls I hiked Acatenango with did one and raved about it! She only paid $200 USD for a weeklong program, with four hours of Spanish lessons every day, accommodations, and many of her meals included. This is also a fantastic way to support the locals, as the families use the money to send their kids to school.
- Go for a soak at Los Termales: Soak in heated thermal pools overlooking the lake at Los Termales. It’s one of the most relaxing things to do at the lake. It’s especially fun if you have a group of friends – you can even BYOB. If you do the Acatenango hike, this is a perfect way to recover form it!
- Tour a coffee plantation on horseback: Learn more about the production of coffee, one of Guatemala’s main exports, and stop at scenic overlooks on horseback. You can also ask about coffee tours at Cafe Cristalinas in town.
- Parque Puerta Hermosa: This green space in the center of town offers a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle. It’s a fantastic place to people watch and witness a slice of local life. There’s also a charming white church here.
- Climb the San Pedro volcano: Climb to the top of one of the volcanoes towering over the lake. This is the perfect excursion for the adventurous types! It is highly suggested to do the hike with a guide in a group, as there have been reports of robberies on the trail.
Where to stay in San Pedro la Laguna
- Sababa Resort: Find a mix of dorm and private rooms at this boutique property. There’s a terrace, garden, and beautiful pool area with incredible views overlooking the lake.
- Hotel Mikaso: Housed in a colonial building in a quiet part of town, Hotel Mikaso features a gorgeous terrace overlooking the lake, along with a private dock. There are both dorms and private rooms available.
- Zoola: This hip resort has a lively bar, outdoor terrace and pool area, and an on-site restaurant known for fantastic Israeli food. Both shared and private rooms are available.
San Marcos la Laguna
San Marcos la Laguna in a nutshell: The hippie town and wellness hub of Lake Atitlan, with clear lake waters
Along with Pana and San Pedro, San Marcos is one of the most popular and well-known towns in Lake Atitlan, and is best known as being the hippie town. The lake is known for its mystical pull, and nowhere is this more apparent than in San Marcos.
It’s the village of choice for those looking to get in touch with their spiritual sides, and you’ll find plenty of yoga studios and meditation centers lining the streets here. You’ll also see fliers and signs advertising everything from chakra readings, unity circles, and more.
They say that when you’re on the boat, you can pretty much figure out who is going to San Marcos and well, I found that to be mostly true.
I’m going to admit that I didn’t love San Marcos, and the New Age-y vibe was a bit much for me. I tried to go with an open mind, but it just was too over-the-top for me.
Aside from being the hippie village, San Marcos is known for having some of the cleanest waters around the lake. If you’re looking to swim in the lake, this is the place to do it. It also boasts some stunning views of the lake and its volcanoes, and this is one thing that I did really enjoy about San Marcos.
Things to do in San Marcos la Laguna
- Get in touch with your spiritual side: After all, this is what the town is known for so you may as well embrace it. Get a tarot card reading, your chakras balanced, a Reiki massage, join a unity circle, get your birth chart done…you can do all this and more in San Marcos.
- Take a yoga class: You can drop in for a class or two at one of the many studios in town, or there are a few also offering week-long retreats. Some recommended spots include Los Piramides, Yoga Forest, and Eagle’s Nest.
- Cerro Tzankujil Preserve: Admire the views of the lake from the trails here or go for a swim here. If you dare, jump into the lake from the 12 meter high platform.
- Take part in a cacao ceremony: The cacao ceremony is a celebratory ritual that opens up the heart, mind, and spirit, traced back to the Mayans, who believe in the healing properties of cacao. Ask around for Keith, known as the Cacao Shaman, who is apparently a San Marcos legend.
- Eat at Restaurante Fe: The curry here was one of the best things I ate in Lake Atitlan.
Where to stay in San Marcos la Laguna
- Lush Atitlan: An eco-boutique hotel with an emphasis on nature and sustainability. The rooms are inspired by the surrounding nature with gorgeous views of the lake and gardens. Retreats are offered as well.
- Eagle’s Nest: If you’re looking for a luxury yoga resort, then you can’t do much better than Eagle’s Nest. Nestled in the hills above Atitlan, the property offers a beautiful yoga deck, retreats, classes, and insane views.
- Hotel Berena: An ideal choice if you’re looking to stay in San Marcos on a budget. Hotel Berena is a relatively new property with a terrace overlooking the lake, hammocks, and balcony rooms.
San Juan la Laguna
San Juan la Laguna in a nutshell: The artsy Mayan town of Lake Atitlan, known for its traditional crafts
The artsy village of San Juan la Laguna is full of color and vibrant Mayan culture. Everywhere you look, you’ll see color and art – from an Instagram-worthy umbrella street, vibrant murals, and countless galleries.
San Juan has a bit more of a local vibe, and has a distinctly Mayan vibe – this is because only Mayans are allowed to own property here, which prevents it from being Gringo-fied. It’s also a bit of a smaller village with a much more chill vibe than some of the bigger towns.
It’s all about traditional crafts and traditions in San Juan – you can learn about everything from traditional weaving and fabric dyeing techniques, chocolate making, and even medicinal plants.
This was my personal favorite of the villages around Lake Atitlan. Obviously, I loved all the color and photo ops around town, but beyond that I loved all the culture and the fact that people were so open and enthusiastic about sharing their traditions here. I felt like I got more of an authentic experience here than in some of the other towns.
Things to do in San Juan la Laguna
- Visit a weaving collective: These collectives support the indigenous women in the community, who tend to be disproportionately poor. Each of the towns has its own textile specialty, and in San Juan, it is all about naturally dyed threads. I saw went to Casa Flor Ixaco, and they are happy to give you a demonstration here – both of the weaving, and dyeing processes. You can even take classes (although this requires a bit of a time commitment, which I didn’t have). Be sure to pick up something in their boutique – I got myself a wrap/coverup. Each item comes with a tag with the name and photo of the woman who made it.
- Do the Indian Nose hike at sunrise: Probably the most famous hike in Lake Atitlan, which gives you unparalleled views of the lake and volcanoes. It is highly suggested to do the hike with a guide (I suggest this tour, which also includes kayaking). The tours usually start in San Pedro or San Marcos, but the actual trail is in San Juan. I didn’t get to do it because I was still super sore from hiking Acatenango, but a girl I met did it and said it was amazing!
- Snap some Instagram photos: From the colorful umbrella streets to the vibrant murals along 5ta Avenida, you’ll find no shortage of photo ops in San Juan.
- Grab a drink at Caffe La Cabana: They’re known for the Instagrammable butterfly wing swing, but it’s an awesome spot to sit and chill for a while with a cold beverage and a snack.
- Visit the Liccor Marron Chocolate Factory: Get a demonstration and learn more about cacao and how it is turned into a bar of chocolate. Shop for some chocolate bars (they make perfect souvenirs!), and order a hot (or iced) chocolate beverage.
- Stroll through the boutiques and galleries around town. You’ll find plenty of textiles, handicrafts, wood paintings, and more.
Where to stay in San Juan la Laguna
- Eco Hotel Uxlabil Atitlan: Perfect for a quiet getaway in Lake Atitlan. With gorgeous lake views, a pool area, a garden, a temescal (Guatemalan sauna), and free kayak rentals.
- Eco Hotel Mayachik: Located in a quiet spot just off the main part of town, this property features rustic bungalows right in nature with incredible views of the lake. There’s also a terrace, garden, temescal, and more.
Santa Catarina Palopo
Santa Catarina Palopo in a nutshell: The charming blue village
Santa Catarina Palopo is one of the smaller Lake Atitlan towns, but it is one of the most charming and beautiful.
The town is known as the “blue village” as all of the buildings in town are painted in varying shades of blue, adorned with traditional Mayan motifs picked out by each individual family. This was done thanks to an initiative that helped promote tourism in the town, which in turn helped stimulate its economy and bring many families out of poverty.
The result is a vibrant, colorful village full of Kaqchikel Mayan culture and natural beauty. You can see the shades of blue all along the hillside and it makes such an amazing sight, especially with the lake as a backdrop.
There are several viewpoints in the villages where you can see exactly why Lake Atitlan draws so many comparisons to Lake Como.
LIke with San Juan, I not only loved all the color in Santa Catarina, but also that it had more of a local, traditional feel. I also loved seeing all the Mayan culture around Santa Catarina – it truly made it such a fascinating village to visit and made it one of the best towns in Lake Atitlan!
Things to do in Santa Catarina Palopo
- Admire all the blue buildings: This is what the town is known for, after all, and truly cool to see! I could not stop snapping photos of them!
- Visit the Pintado el Cambio: This is where you can learn more about the different colors, shapes, and symbols that you find represented on the buildings all around town.
- Visit the Central Culturo: We learned so much about Mayan culture and the Kaqchikel people that inhabit the town, and even got a traditional fortune telling. There’s a free tour, but donations are greatly appreciated. You can also pick up some handicrafts (I got a beautiful pair of hand-woven earrings for 50Q), and grab a snack or drink at the cafe on the fourth floor, which gives you a view of the entire town.
- Mirador Santa Catarina: A 15 minute uphill walk or a short tuk-tuk ride will bring you to the town’s main viewpoint, from where you can enjoy incredible views of the lake and volcanoes.
Where to stay in Santa Catarina Palopo
- Villa Santa Catarina: We actually ended up having lunch here and thought it was such a beautiful property! The pretty yellow hotel is located right next to the town’s main dock, with beautiful lake views, a pool, and a lovely garden area.
- Hotel Casa Palopo: One of the most luxurious hotels around Lake Atitlan, Hotel Casa Palopo is a lakeside retreat with balcony rooms, immaculate grounds, and unparalleled lake views.
Santa Cruz la Laguna
Santa Cruz la Laguna: Peaceful vibes and breathtaking lake views
There isn’t a whole lot to do in Santa Cruz, but in my opinion, it’s got the best views of the lake!
Santa Cruz is pretty small and quiet. Most of the tourist-centric businesses line the lakeshore, with much of the local life taking place in the main part of town located up in the hills. You’ll see a completely different side to the village as you get up into this part of town.
We stayed in Santa Cruz, and loved it so much! It really allowed us to embrace the slow life that Lake Atitlan is known for. My favorite memories of Atitlan are of savoring my morning coffee, enjoying the sunset over a glass of wine, and hanging out in the hot tub. Not to mention – waking up every morning to the most insane views right outside the window.
Things to do in Santa Cruz la Laguna
- Take in views from the lakeshore: Even after spending four days in Santa Cruz, I could not help but stop and take in the views every time – and it never failed to take my breath away. On a clear day, you can even see Fuego sending out puffs of smoke in the distance!
- Go kayaking or SUPing: Some accommodations rent out kayaks and SUPs, or you can rent from Los Elementos Adventure Center right on the lakeshore.
- Have a meal at Café Sabor Cruceño: The food here is made by students that are part of Amigos de Santa Cruz, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of the indigenous population by giving them skills and on-the-job training. The food here is absolutely delicious, and the views from the terrace are incredible.
Where to stay in Santa Cruz la Laguna
- Sacred Tree Atitlan: We stayed at this Airbnb and I loved it SO much! You can’t go wrong with the location right on the lake and especially the views – it was such a surreal experience waking up to the most insane views of the lake right outside our window. The entire property is stunning, and perfect for relaxing and taking in those views. Miguel, the host, was super awesome as well!
- Casa Prana: Our friends stayed here and we were jealous. The property is super lush and incredibly gorgeous, with gardens, a furnished terrace, and a stunning pool area with lake views. It’s expensive (even by US standards), but it’s totally luxurious.
- Casa del Mundo: Technically it’s located in Jaibalito, but Casa del Mundo is one of the most secluded and beautiful properties in all of Lake Atitlan. Located on top of a cliff overlooking the lake, you will be amazed by the views here. A girl I met on the Acatenango hike stayed here and wouldn’t stop raving about it!
A few more Lake Atitlan villages
I didn’t get to visit these villages, but I’ve heard that they’re also worth a visit:
- Jaibalito: It’s TINY, but like Santa Cruz, I’ve heard that some of the best views of the lake are here. Jaibalito is known as the best kept secret in Lake Atitlan. There’s a day club (Club Ven Aca) here, along with a German restaurant, and one of the best hotels in the area in Casa del Mundo.
- San Antonio Palopo: Located about 30 minutes away from Santa Catarina, San Antonio Palopo is said to be uber colorful and charming, and is best known for its traditional pottery.
- Santiago Atitlan: The largest and most traditional of the towns around Lake Atitlan, visiting Santiago Atitlan gives you a unique local experience. You’ll get to experience a unique slice of traditional Mayan culture here, and see both women AND men wearing their traditional outfits. This is a town that is much more frequently visited by national tourists rather than international ones.
- Tzununa: This village is best known for being the place to go to learn about permaculture, organic farming, herbal medicine, and growing mushrooms. There are yoga retreats here as well.
Things to Know About Visiting the Lake Atitlan Villages
Traveling to Lake Atitlan
Most visitors arrive in Lake Atitlan by way of Guatemala City (4 hours) or Antigua (2 hours).
You have a few options for getting to Lake Atitlan:
- Tourist shuttle: A relatively easy and affordable way to get to Lake Atitlan and what I used. I’d completed the Acatenango trek immediately before heading to Lake Atitlan, so I used the shuttle service provided by my tour company, but used Atitrans on the way back. Do note that if you’re traveling to and from Guatemala City, the shared shuttles all make a stop in Antigua, which adds an extra hour or so of travel time.
- Private shuttle: Hiring a driver or shuttle is the most efficient way to travel between Antigua/Guatemala City and Lake Atitlan. You will avoid the stop in Antigua when traveling to and from Guatemala City. While private shuttles run ~$150 USD, this might be a cost effective option if traveling in a group.
- Uber: While you can take an Uber from both Guatemala City and Antigua, there aren’t usually cars available once in Lake Atitlan, so you must find a different mode of transportation on the way back.
- Chicken bus: These buses are generally not recommended for long distance travel, as they aren’t very comfortable and not always safe. However, if you are *really* on a budget, then they are an option.
Whichever of the above options you choose to get to Lake Atitlan, you will likely get dropped off in Panajachel (or San Pedro la Laguna). If you are staying in one of the other Lake Atitlan villages, you will have to take a water taxi to get to your accommodations – see below for more details on that.
Getting around to the towns around Lake Atitlan
There is no road that connects all the towns around Lake Atitlan. While there are roads in between some of the villages, it is generally recommended to avoid driving on them as they are not considered safe.
Therefore, you must rely on a different method of transportation in order to get between the Lake Atitlan towns, which I will outline below.
Water Taxis (Lanchas)
This is the main method of traveling around the lake, for both tourists and locals. You can reach almost every one of the villages around Lake Atitlan via boat. It is also relatively easy to get around, and is cheap.
The boats don’t really have a set schedule, but they generally run between 8am and 6pm. Each of the towns has a main dock, where the boats make regular stops. You can also try to catch a boat from the dock in front of your accommodations – simply wave one down when you see one – but this has mixed success.
There is a different pricing structure for locals, expats, and tourists. As a tourist, you should expect to pay a bit more, although it is still cheap. This is roughly the pricing structure for the lanchas between the various Lake Atitlan towns, although this may vary (I got charged more a few times):
- Panajachel to Santa Cruz: 15Q
- Panajachel to San Marcos/San Juan: 25Q
- Panajachel to San Pedro: 30Q
The boats aren’t exactly fast but they are relatively efficient. Be sure to account for travel time when traveling in between villages. It takes about 45 minutes to get from one end of the lake to the other (Panajachel to San Pedro).
Also keep in mind that the boats will wait to fill up before departing. Most of the time, this won’t take more than 10 minutes or so, but there was one time that we waited almost an hour before departing (and then the driver went at full speed to make up for it lol).
There are also private boats available for hire. You can easily find one at the main docks in town, or have your accommodations call for one. This is a helpful option if your accommodations are far from the main dock, or if you have luggage. It is also your only option after the public boats stop running for the night.
Mornings are the best time to travel via boat as the waters tend to be the calmest. The water gets choppier as the day goes on – traveling around the lake in the late afternoon is BUMPY! Keep this in mind if you get motion sickness, or have some meds on hand.
Tuk-tuks are mostly used for getting around once you arrive in a town (for example, getting to the hilly parts of Santa Cruz or San Juan), or getting to neighboring towns (i.e. Panajachel to Santa Catarina).
You can usually find tuk-tuks waiting around the main docks in town. Be sure to negotiate a price before you get in to prevent any unpleasant surprises.
Pickup Truck (Carros)
This is another way to get in between some of the villages, i.e. Panajachel to Santa Catarina. You basically go to the designated pickup spot in town and ride on the back of a pickup truck. It’s certainly a unique form of transportation, but one that the locals use.
Safety in the towns of Lake Atitlan
When traveling to Guatemala, you’ll probably hear a lot about how “dangerous” it is, so you may have some concerns about how safe Lake Atitlan is. The country has had a turbulent history, and while things have improved immensely over the years, there are still parts of the country that are still not safe for tourists to visit and crime can still be an issue.
That said, I spent almost 2 weeks in Guatemala, with a week in Lake Atitlan. Four of those days were spent as a solo traveler. Never once did I feel unsafe in Lake Atitlan, or in Guatemala in general.
Lake Atitlan is considered to be one of the safest places in Latin America, thanks in part to the fact that the towns are regulated by the Mayan codes of conduct, which tend to make examples out of people who commit any wrongdoing. Violent crimes are extremely rare in the region.
Unfortunately, robberies are still common, especially in the roads and trails that connect the villages. If you plan to hike in between the villages, be extra vigilant and carry nothing of value with you. If you are unsure of the situation, ask the locals. You may also want to consider hiring a guide when hiking in Lake Atitlan.
In any case, you should take basic safety precautions when traveling in Lake Atitlan, including:
- Always let someone at home know where you’ll be at all times and give them a copy of your itinerary
- Keep a close watch on your belongings and don’t flash any valuables (jewelry, expensive electronics, etc)
- Avoid walking around at night
- Don’t consume too much alcohol
- Don’t go off with strangers
- ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings!
A Few More Lake Atitlan tips
Money in Lake Atitlan
Cash is king in Lake Atitlan. There are a few establishments that accept credit cards, but for the most part, I mostly had to use cash.
Plan ahead if/when you need to withdraw more money. Panajachel and San Pedro have several ATMs around town. Some of the other villages have a single ATM, and others have none. Sometimes the ATMs run out of money, so don’t wait until you are desperately low on cash!
Most of the ATMs you’ll see are the yellow 5B machines, which will usually accept foreign debit cards. However, do note that the fees are high – something like 60Q, so try to limit usage to save money. Do note that there is a maximum withdrawal limit of 2000Q.
Language in Lake Atitlan
You will mainly speak Spanish in Lake Atitlan. I found that English is not commonly spoken in the towns around Lake Atitlan, so it will be VERY helpful to practice your Spanish on Duolingo prior to your trip to Guatemala.
Do note that Spanish is actually a second language for the locals. Many of them speak in one of three Mayan languages – Kaqchikuel, Tzutujil, or Kiche.
Because of this, Lake Atitlan is a good place to practice your Spanish language skills, as people tend to speak more slowly and simply than in other regions.
The People in Lake Atitlan
On that note – Lake Atitlan is inhabited by a primarily indigenous community. You’ll see women dressed in their traditional outfits, with intricately woven tops and bottoms. The men tend to mostly wear Western clothing, although you’ll still see some wearing traditional clothing in some of the villages.
The Mayan people are inherently kind and friendly (without being overbearing), and ultimately make Lake Atitlan a welcoming place to visit.
Do remember to respect the Mayan people – you are a visitor to their community, after all. Follow their rules. Do not photograph them without asking. And do not flirt with them – it is forbidden for Mayans to engage in romance with non-Mayans.
On critters and bugs
Keep in mind that Lake Atitlan is a relatively rural area. Therefore, bugs and critters are quite common.
You’ll likely encounter spiders at some point during your stay in Lake Atitlan. You’re in nature. This is to be expected.
Scorpions are also common in the area, although they are non-poisonous and no more dangerous than bees (but harmful if you’re allergic). Do not leave shoes out at night, as they tend to crawl into them.
Have you ever been to Lake Atitlan? Which were your favorite Lake Atitlan towns?
More Guatemala content you may enjoy:
The Complete 7 Day Guatemala Itinerary
Everything You Need to Know About the Acatenango Volcano Hike
Amazing Things to Do in Antigua, Guatemala
Liked this post? Save this guide to the best towns in Lake Atitlan on Pinterest for later!
Caroline is a Southern California based traveler, writer, and photographer. She travels all around California, the US, and the world in search of the most colorful places, the most delicious food, and bucket-list adventures. Her aim is to inspire other travelers discover how to add more adventure and joy to their lives. On Pictures & Words, you’ll find detailed guides + itineraries, along with vibrant photos to help you plan the the most epic trips. When she’s not traveling, Caroline also runs half marathons.