90 Exciting things to do at Lake Atitlán, Guatemala

Looking for things to do at Lake Atitlán, Guatemala? Then you should read this Lake Atitlán bucket list! Lake Atitlán (Lago de Atitlán) is one of the most visited destinations in Guatemala by national and international tourists. The lake is simply stunning. On the shores of lake Atitlán you will find fairly unspoiled hillside villages and villages that openly welcome visitors to learn about their traditions, culture, and history. Unlike Antigua or Panajachel, you will not find many tourists here and have the chance to explore the real Guatemala! Every village has its own unique character and distinctive style of clothing.

This Lake Atitlán bucket list allows you to indulge all your senses at one of the largest lakes in Latin America. I marked the things that I have done. Make sure to save this list for your trip to Lake Atitlán, Guatemala!

Bucket list San Antonio Palopó, Guatemala

San Antonio Palopó is a remote hillside village on the shores of lake Atitlán in Guatemala that has remained fairly unspoiled. There are few hotels or restaurants and the town’s life centers around its distinctive blue and green ceramics and beautiful textiles, with it’s small and beautiful church acting as the focal point.

✓ Learn to Make Pottery, for example at Ceramica Palopo Multicolor
– Shop some traditional clothes, for example at Tienda De Trajes Tipicas
– Visit a weaving cooperative, for example at Tienda Candelaria
✓ Visit the church
✓ Overnight at Tzampoc Resort or Hotel Casa Palopo 

Bucket list San Lucas Tolimán, Guatemala

San Lucas Tolimán is a small lakeside town around lake Atitlán, Guatemala. It is one of the less-visited towns around the lake, with a 90-95% Highland Maya population. The town offers a real authentic, Guatemala experience, as the town is not much developed yet.

✓ Visit the 16th-century Parroquia de San Lucas
– Hike to the top of Volcan Tolimán
✓ Visit the little Parque Central
– Hike to the Hill of Gold; Cerro de Oro
– Do some voluntary work at Friends of San Lucas
✓ Overnight at Hotel Toliman

Bucket list Panajachel, Guatemala

Panajachel is in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. Panajachel (also called Pana or Gringotenango) is a small town on the North shore of Lake Atitlán and is one of the major tourism areas in Guatemala. The sunsets from Panajachel are without question the best on the lake and the local market offers some of the freshest and cheapest produce around.

✓ Take a weaving class at Maya Traditions Foundation
✓ Watch the sunset in Sunset Café in Panajachel
✓ Check out the sunset down by the cemetery of Panajachel
✓ Make a panoramic photo of Panajachel and lake Atitlán
✓ See one of the many waterfalls of Panajachel
– Visit the Reserva Natural Atitlán
✓ Go shopping at Calle Santander
✓ Visit the church of St. Francis
✓ Take yoga or a workshop at La Casa Cakchiquel
– Go paragliding from Panajachel
✓ Learn about art and films at La Galeria
✓ Visit the cementerio in Panajachel
✓ Learn about chocolate at the ChocoMuseo
✓ Enjoy the nice views on the lake from Mirador del logo Atitlán
✓ Celebrate Independence Day in Panajachel on September 14
✓ Go massive drinking and enjoying the firework at the Festival of San Francisco de Asis
✓ Have a cinnamon roll at Cafeteria Cardamomo
✓ Eat an ice cream at Dolce Gelato
✓ Drink a coffee at café Loco
✓ Have a pizza at Circus Bar
✓ Eat tacos at Taquero Mucho
✓ Eat pupusas at Cheros Bar Pupusería
✓ Hangout at Hostel La Iguana Perdida (Santa Cruz La Laguna)
✓ Overnight at Hotel San Buenaventura de Atitlán
✓ Overnight at Doña Virginia’s homestay

Bucket list San Juan La Laguna, Guatemala

San Juan La Laguna is one of the smaller villages around Lake Atitlán, Guatemala and is a great day-trip destination from Panajachel or San Pedro. It is one of the less-visited towns around the lake, offering a more authentic, Guatemalan experience.

✓ Wander around and see the various murals
– Go for a quick hike to El Cerro del La Cruz (the cross hill / the Cruz lookout)
Hike to Indian Nose from San Juan La Laguna and see a surreal sunrise
✓ Visit an organic coffee farm
✓ Go on a birdwatching tour, for example with the knowledgeable guide Juan of Hotel Uxlabil
– Participate in a painting workshop
✓ Visit the local art galleries
✓ Visit the catholic church of San Juan La Laguna
✓ Go wander one textile shop after another
✓ Watch a weaving- or natural dye demonstration
✓ Learn about chocolate at the Lake Atitlán Chocolate Factory: Licor Marron
– Learn about the nursery of medical plants
– Go on a cultural tour
✓ Try the best cheese and meat platters you will ever taste in Central America!
✓ Visit El Comedor Elenita and eat some traditional food
✓ Overnight in Eco hotel Uxlabil Atitlán
✓ Overnight at family hotel Posada Mana

Bucket list San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala

San Pedro La Laguna is located on the southwest shore of Lake Atitlán. The village has become a tourist destination for its Spanish language schools, nightlife, and proximity to the lake and volcanoes.

✓ Wander around and see the various murals
– Climb the San Pedro Vulcano
✓ Explore the local market on the top of the hill
✓ Have a drink at Bar Sublime

Bucket list Santa Catarina Palopó, Guatemala

The town of Santa Catarina Palopó on the shores of lake Atitlan in Guatemala is known for its geometric patterns on houses and buildings throughout town.

✓ Relax in the natural hot springs
✓ Photograph the colored typical houses
✓ Visit one of the many painting galleries
✓ Explore the local church
– Go shopping
✓ Rent a kayak to see lake Atitlán from a different perspective
✓ Have a coffee at Cafe Tuk at Plaza Central of Santa
✓ Overnight at Tzampoc Resort or Villa Santa Caterina

Bucket list San Marcos, Guatemala

San Marcos in Guatemala is is filled with yoga retreats, holistic healing centres and new age workshops. It’s a hippie village that boasts a lot of fantastic restaurants, good value hotels and beautiful lakefront areas.

– Try a yoga class
– Sign up for a longer-term meditation retreat
– Balance your chakras
– Overnight at Lush Atitlán or Del Lago Hotel

Bucket list Santa Cruz, Guatemala

Santa Cruz has a really pleasant lakeshore with a nice path that can be walked the entire way. The village has probably the best angle to see both Volcan San Pedro and Volcan Atitlan.

– Party at Free Cervezas Hostel
– Eat at the culinary school of Cafe Sabor Cruceno
– Hike to Jaibalito and spend a day at Club Ven Aca
– Overnight at Atitlan Sunset Lodge or at Lake Front Cabin

Santiago Atitlan, Santa Clara, or San Jose

Bucket list with general things to do around lake Atitlán, Guatemala

✓ Kayak at lake Atitlán
✓ Join a fisherman on lake Atitlán
✓ Take a photo at the docks (best in San Antonio Palopó or San Lucas Tolimán)
✓ Chill at the docks
✓ Visit the local market
✓ Try a choco banano (chocolate-covered frozen banana)
✓ Relax at a traditional Mayan sauna: a temazcal, for example at at eco-hotel Mayachik , hotel Uxlabil or Hotel San Buenaventura de Atitlán
✓ Learn Spanish
✓ Learn about the local food at a cook workshop
✓ Try tacos and sweet corn from a street vendor

Have you already visited lake Atitlán? Did you like it? Do you know any other amazing things that should be added to this list? Please let me know in the comment section below.

Author: Daphne

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