Lake Atitlan – Guatemala
German Explorer Alexander von Humbolt is generally quoted as calling Lake Atitlan ‘the most beautiful lake in the world’, while Lonely Planet have described it as being ‘the closest thing to Eden on earth’. It is easy to see why. High up in the picturesque Guatemalan highlands, the volcanic lake is simply a delightful sight. The mirror like water surface reflects the three immense volcanoes tower on the water’s edge, which can be explored on expert guided tours. These offer stunning panoramic views of the surrounding tropical rainforest, which also allows brilliant trekking options. Kayak adventures and boat tours are also available to see the lake up close, or there are picturesque towns and villages with local markets if authentic shopping is more to your taste. Its undoubtable beautiful place has unsurprisingly brought tourism to the area, and as a result there are many quality restaurants which serve some of the best and most traditional Guatemalan food dishes available.
Where is it?
Lake Atitlan is situated in the south-east corner of Guatemala close to the Pacific Ocean and around 3 hours travel from Guatemala City, the country’s capital. Guatemala itself lies in Central America.
What is it?
Lake Atitlan is recognised as the deepest lake in Central America, and is a rare endorheic lake in that it doesn’t technically flow to the sea. The result of extreme volcanic activity, the lake has many volcanic features, including three volcanoes and a collapsed volcanic cone.
Best time to visit?
The driest time to travel is from November to April, which avoids the wet season that runs from May to October. However, during this time it usually only rains for a few hours a day, so trips remain possible.
A sunrise at the Indian’s nose, the peak of the Cerro Cristalino Mountain, is arguably one of the greatest sights one can hope to see on earth. A steep hike rewards you with a stunning view to rival any other, as the sun majestically rises and blissfully reveals the lake, the towns surrounding it and the striking volcanoes. Truly one of the must see sights of Guatemala.