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Visit volcano-ringed Lake Atitlan in Guatemala

[ 0 ] March 30, 2011 | Alison Adey

If you thought Lanquin was pretty, gear yourself up for Lake Atitlan – another one of Guatemala’s hidden gems. Surrounded by volcanoes and shrouded in mystery, this dramatic region is as breathtaking as it is unique.

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala - What to do in Lake Atitlan - Fabulous Travel Guide

Where to stay

Lots of backpackers choose to stay in San Pedro (pictured below) where there’s cheap accommodation, great Spanish schools and a lively bar scene. Those looking for a more tranquil vibe should head to San Marcos where impromptu yoga classes spring up on the cliff tops. Love to shop? Panachel is packed full of souvenir stores and boutiques.

San Pedro, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
San Pedro, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala – Fabulous Travel Guide

What to do

* Brush up on your Spanish skills

If your Spanish is a bit rusty, why not take a class? Lake Atitlan has some of the cheapest schools in Central America. San Pedro Spanish School is one of our favourites with sunny classrooms and professional teachers. Five days is just $70 – and you get 4 hours per day, one-on-one tuition.

* Go cliff jumping in San Marcos

Throw yourself off a 10m-high platform (pictured below) into Lake Atitlan. The stunning backdrop of volcanoes makes for a fantastic photo.

* Hike San Pedro Volcano

Love treking? Climb the beautiful San Pedro Volcano and experience some of the best views in Central America. Make sure you take a guide – robberies have been reported on some of the trails.

* Relax in thermal springs

Enjoy fantastic views of the lake as you laze around in thermal pools in San Pedro.

Looking for more places to visit in Guatemala? Don’t leave without swimming in the crystalline pools of Semuc Champey, one of our favourite places in Central America.

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Category: Guatemala, Lake Atitlan

About Alison Adey: I was previously Channel Editor for IPC's Homes network (;; and but I bid them a fond farewell in December 2010 to embark on this trip. I also worked for as a features writer for two years. View author profile.

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