Lake Atitlan is surrounded by a dozen or so small villages, each with its own distinctive feel. Although most remain fairly quiet, tourism is becoming more of a significant presence in almost all of them.

Kate B is here to help give you the inside track.

Key Stats

Flight from London London

10:45 hrs

Time Difference

GMT -6 hrs

Four of the most authentic and laid back villages, which attract fewer visitors than the larger villages of San Pedro and Panajachel, are Santiago, San Juan la Laguna, St. Catarina Palopa and San Antonio Palopa.

Fishing, farming and canoe building are the primary livelihoods in many of these villages, and they are well worth see the some of the last bastions of traditional Mayan life, where few speak Spanish yet.

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Original Highlight

Image of Will Boocock

At the villages off the beaten track, you can see villagers still participating in rituals and sacred traditions and artisans who specialise in painting, woodwork and weaving textiles.

Will, Original Traveller

Where to stay

Casa Palopó

Casa Palopó

90 miles from Guatemala City, Casa Palopó is a beautiful villa built on the hills surrounding Santa Catarina Palopó village, on the shores of Lake Atitlan.

Hotel Atitlan

Hotel Atitlan

The welcoming rooms in this converted family coffee farm are individually decorated with traditional Guatemalan textiles and furniture.

Start creating your tailored trip today

Kate B is our Lake Atitlan expert and as a seasoned traveller has the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

Call us on +44 (0) 20 7978 7333

Or enquire online