Lake Atitlan Bucketlist Guide

Lake Atitlan Bucketlist Guide

Lake Atitlan in Guatemala is a must-visit destination that should be on everyone’s bucket list. As someone who has visited many times since childhood, on family trips and with my partner, I can attest to the incredible experiences this place offers. I have always been captivated by the tranquillity of the lake and the unique charm of each Mayan village that surrounds it. Whether you’re a local or a foreigner, a visit to Lake Atitlan serves as a great escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The beauty of the lake, coupled with the warm hospitality of the locals, creates an unforgettable experience. In this Lake Atitlan Bucketlist guide, you will find everything you need to plan your visit, including travel tips, the best towns to explore, must-see attractions, nearby places to visit, accommodation options, and more.

Discover what you will find in this Lake Atitlan Bucketlist Guide article below:

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Plan Your Visit





Lake Atitlan Bucketlist Guide Tips

Guatemala culture
Money Accepted: Cash is king in Guatemala but since Lake Atitlan is a popular destination for tourists, places are able to accept card.
Safety In Lago Atitlan Guatemala: Tourism is a big driver to the Mayan towns of Lake Atitlan so safety is taken very seriously. The Mayan customs also help as these follow respecting all.
Friendly To Tourists: They love tourist. See for youself!
How Far Is Lake Atitlan To Guatemala City: Panajachel – 3 hour drive from Guatemala City.
San Marcos La Laguna – 3.2 hour drive from Guatemala City.
San Pedro La Laguna – 3.5 hour drive from Guatemala City
Ways To Get To Lake Atitlan:Shuttle –  Shuttle service to/from the airport and Antigua is available. This shuttle HERE is from the airport in Guatemala city and this shuttle HERE is from Antigua.

Car Rental – I recommend renting a car especially is traveling with a group or around Guatemala. Book your rental HERE
Length Of Stay: To explore Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, I would recommend 3-5 days based on how slow or how many of the towns you want to visit. I would also recommend as a base for those solo travelers who want to stay in Guatemala for longer.

Best Towns In Lake Atitlan

  • Panajachel – The larger village along Lake Atitlan and usually where my family calls base when we come and visit.
  • San Pedro La Laguna – The more tourist village around Lake Atitlan known for its nightlife.
  • San Marcos La Laguna – Known for their yoga and spiritual retreats.

FYI: Boat travel is the easiest way to visits San Marcos and San Pedro La Laguna. Public boats will cost under $10 USD round trip and private boats may also be hired for the day.

What Not To Miss In Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan Bucketlist Guide
Kayaking in San Pedro La Laguna. Book this reliable adventure HERE.
Getting massages for the hard working chauffeur and facials for Ms. Daisy at EXHALE: BODY AND MIND SPA.
Drinking shots of Guatemalan schnapps, “Cusha” at PANA ROCK.
Souvenir shopping in “Calle Satander”. It’s filled with booths and stores to the perfect traditional gift for anyone on your list. Just be sure to barter.

To learn my haggling tips, check out this post HERE.
Eating at the many restaurants along the popular street, “Calle Santander”.

My favorite being “Almendros Supermarket & Cafe”. They had my favorite meat filled ethnic dish, the Guatemalan tamal in a vegetarian option.
Enjoying a day trip visiting 3 towns on a private boat. Or do a short 30 min trip in the lake to see some other sights.
Grab brunch or coffee at Sababa Restaruant in San Pedro La Laguna. You won’t be disappointed.
Visit India Nose Peak during and catch the sunrise.

This is great tour option from San Pedro La Laguna HERE.
Namaste with an unwinding yoga class in San Marcos.
Dance the night away at Bar Sublime in San Pedro La Laguna.
See more things worth checking out while in Lago De Atitlan HERE.

Other Places Near Lake Atitlan

Panajachel (or anywhere surrounding Lake Atitlan) is a good place to base yourself. Consider doing a day trip to:

  • Chichi  – Don’t miss visiting the Sunday market in Chichicastenango.
  • Xela  Fuentes Georgina, the natural hot springs on top of a mountain can be found here. You will need a good car and patience getting here as it’s not an easy drive. (But totally worth it) Not driving? They offer a half day tour HERE.

Where To Stay In Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan Places To Stay

Mario’s Room (Panajachel) – A quiet but lovely bedroom or dorm style rooms with private bathrooms in each room. Breakfast is included and it’s on the popular “Calle Santander”, where you can suffice all your shopping and hunger needs.

Hotel Amigos (San Pedro La Laguna) – A good hotel option when visiting San Pedro La Laguna. This is located in the heart of the action. Expect many restaurants, cafes, shops etc. While I didn’t get to enjoy breakfast at the hotel, it sounds like there was two options available. (Guatemalan Breakfast and a Simple Breakfast) So probably best to check out the surrounding cafes and . The common areas are nice and a good potential to socialize and meet others staying in the hotel. Visiting on a Saturday, not planning to party? Be warned, you will hear the music blaring from the club across the street.

More Guatemala Travel Content

Check out additional articles related to Guatemala to help you make the most of your time in the country of eternal springtime. Discover where else you can visit in Guatemala below including a Lake Atitlan Guatemala map.

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