Lake Atitlan - Guatemala - a stunning sight
29 October 2017 | Volcanic crater
WEATHER : cold and windy on our Lake Boat Trip
IMAGE – collage of Lake Atitlan
During our stay in Antiqua, we made a day trip to Lago de Atitlan (Lake Atitlan).
Lake Atitlan is in the Guatemalan Highlands of the Sierra Madre mountain range. It is in a massive volcanic crater and is known for its Mayan villages and surrounding volcanoes.
The lake sits at a height of 1,562 metres and covers approximately 130 square kilometres, with depths of up to 340 metres.
Atitlan, described by some as the most picturesque lake in the world, has attracted many prominent figures over the years, including Che Guevara and the author Antoine de Saint-Exupery, who is said to have written part of 'The Little Prince' during his stay. As we are up in the mountains, the weather was much cooler here.
After an early morning start from Antiqua, our drive up through the mountains was slow, but stunning. We arrived a little later than scheduled at the main resort of Panajachel and boarded a rather slow ferry to visit some of the smaller Mayan villages around the lake.
Our first stop was the village of Santiago.
The tour group ‘lunch stop thing’ was very frustrating – instead we spent our time exploring the village on our own and people watching - whilst others sat down to a 3 course set menu lunch – why would you do that on a 1 day busy tourist day!
Santiago was a pretty village, full of interesting characters,(more in the next blog) and the usual tourist shops. As time was a premium, and with other villages to visit we raced around on various hair raising journeys standing up in the back of small minivans.
Back on the ferry for the short trip to San Juan La Laguna. This is one of the smaller villages around the lake, and is famed for the co-operatives that sell traditional textiles and paintings.
Just before it got dark, we were once again on the ferry, this time back to our coach which was waiting for us in Panajachel. It was cold enough to wrap up warm, almost the first time we have felt cold since coming to the Caribbean.
Lake Atitlan is so vast, we could easily spend a few more days exploring the surrounding villages, but sadly we ran out of time. We would love to visit again one day.