Atitlan Crater Lake
Lake Atitlan fills the remains of an enormous crater formed by four separate cycles of volcanic growth and collapse.
With sloping sides and a maximum depth of more than 1,000 feet deep, this crater lake measures eleven miles east to west and five north to south.
Three volcanoes loom to its south: Atitlan, Toliman, and San Pedro.
Atitlan, reaching 11,598 feet above sea level, is an active stratovolcano cloaked in cloud forest.
Maya villages & Local Markets
Beyond its clear blue depths and stunning volcanic vistas, Atitlan’s greatest appeal is cultural.
More than a dozen Maya villages line the lakeshore.
Those on the northern rim are largely Kaqchiquel, while the southern towns are predominantly Tz’utujil.
Each town exhibits its own colorful form of traje indigina (traditional clothing).
Weekly markets—offering flowers, vegetables, and hand-woven textiles—are held on different days in each village.
One of the more notable examples is held on Tuesdays and Fridays in Solola, a few miles north of the lake.
At Santiago Atitlan, visitors can enter the candlelit shrine of the Maya deity known by many names—Maximon, San Simon, and Rilaj Maam.
Each year, a different brotherhood or cofradia has the privilege of caring for Maximon’s effigy, accepting offerings of alcohol and tobacco as tribute.
Santiago is also known for the Tz’utujil style of folk art that developed here.
Atitlan is located about 65 miles northwest of Antigua—a drive of approximately 2.5 hours.
LANDED can arrange private guides and vehicles, along with inside access visits to the Atitlan communities.
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“Lake Como, it seems to me, touches on the limit of permissibly picturesque, but Atitlan is Como with additional embellishments of several immense volcanoes. It really is too much of a good thing.”
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The whole rhythm of the trip was perfect, and leaving one place for the next worked perfectly. This trip definitely made me want to experience other great spots in South America.
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The locations were amazing. Your on-the-ground team was fantastic–knowledgeable and accommodating. Beautifully organized.
The best guide I’ve ever had anywhere in the world. Top notch talent.
You were a great help in planning–ensuring that I was staying at the right places and enjoying the type of activities we love–and the follow up was incredible.
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Exactly the bonding and sharing experience we’d hoped for. The rhythm, variety, and tone was spot on. With effective listening skills, you built a good picture of what we wanted–more complicated than “just” luxury. The result was a great trip, one made just for us.
Excellent attention to detail. You listened carefully, asked the right questions, and customized with just the right balance. Superb guides. We felt relaxed and pampered all the way. You’ll plan our next trip.
Not a single thing on the itinerary that we would change. The guides were knowledgeable, friendly, and prompt. The hotels were beautiful, the food delicious and the pace of the activities was perfect for us.
In short, our trip was amazing. Thanks so much for your constant assistance and thorough planning.
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LANDED was helpful and knowledgeable, making our trip a memorable one. I will use your services in the future as I continue to explore Central & South America.
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We zip-lined, rafted, sailed, and surfed. The contacts were professional and courteous. We don’t want to be back at work. Thank you for all of the work you did to set up this trip.