Things to Do in Lake Atitlan

Things to Do in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala - Lake Atitlan Attractions

Things to Do in Lake Atitlan

Top Attractions in Lake Atitlan

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*Likely to sell out: Based on Viator’s booking data and information from the provider from the past 30 days, it seems likely this experience will sell out through Viator, a Tripadvisor company.

What travelers are saying

  • Nicole C
    Denver, CO11 contributions
    Really beautiful area and well designed! Our favorite party was the butterfly pavilion! The monkeys and Coati were also very cool. I didn’t do the zip line but it looked cool.
    Written May 6, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Sven L
    1 contribution
    A strenuous climb, very steep. But the effort pays off: an incredible view.
    We were at the entrance at 8 a.m. and had good weather when we arrived at the top, but since it gets relatively cold at the top and you also sweat, you should definitely take a jacket or thick jumper with you. We had 2 litres of water per person and biscuits as provisions and it was enough.
    Unfortunately I can't add any pictures because we left our mobile phones and all other valuables, money etc in the hostel. We DIDN‘T meet any bandits at the top, only one other person the whole way.
    If you are reasonably fit, want a little adventure and an unforgettable view of the whole lake, this route is a must for you! Do not bring your valuables as there were many incidents of armed robbery (never injured) until 2 months ago. The view will stay in your memory even without a photo.

    100% recommended 😉
    Written November 26, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Traveller of the world
    1,102 contributions
    I have travelled much of the world and this was a highlight for me. Beautiful beyond words. Don't just do a quick day trip trying to cover as much as possible. I spent a good 4 to 5 days travelling around the villages, taking in the setting and enjoying the views. Really is breathtaking. Try and get a hotel or guest house with a view. The morning setting when the sun comes out and again when the sun sets in the evening is a magical moment you won't forget! The sun glistens on the water. The culture of the villages, the food and the atmosphere is a travel experience that will stay with you forever.
    Written March 29, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Lily S
    5 contributions
    Toured here with my family. The staff was very friendly and made it very exciting for my younger cousin :) Beautiful area and great history!
    Written January 23, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Alicia
    The Hague, The Netherlands47 contributions
    I absolutely loved this little museum! It's really cute and there's a good vibe. You can get a personal tour (in Spanish, but the guide will talk slowly) and they will teach you a little about the life around the lake. I loved it!
    Written July 9, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • SteveBot
    Tucson, AZ252 contributions
    I had an emotional visit to this beautiful park in January when my son’s workers and friends conducted a memorial service in his honor.
    Written April 2, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Spock3
    Guatemala City, Guatemala138 contributions
    The church is lovely. The statue dedicated to the saint outside is such a wonderful piece of art. The bright colors. The giant chicken. The serenity of his face. The park itself gives a nice place to sit, enjoy the garden, and have a moment of peace without disturbing the worship in the church.
    Written July 17, 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Nicole C
    Denver, CO11 contributions
    So beautiful!! I highly recommend staying at this hotel because of the amazing gardens. The flowers are so well taken care of and the birds are amazing!!
    Written May 6, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Laura R
    22 contributions
    My husband and I were most impressed with the Santa Cruz Spanish School. The communications, price, and reception were all great, but above all the teachers were excellent. My teacher, Juana, a remarkable young woman from the local town, used a diverse range of teaching tools and techniques, which kept things fun and interesting. She was so patient with me and my awful pronunciation. In the beginning, I thought I wasn't advanced enough for a language school, but I was amazed how much I had learned by the end of the week. The school is located lakeside, and the beautiful views offered inspiration and respite. Combined with a stay a few minutes up the hill as Casa de Cameron (Panorama), it was the perfect place to do a language school.
    Written October 7, 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • katherine153
    Lancaster, UK266 contributions
    We called at this lovely little village during a boat trip of the lake. The women’s weaving cooperative was very interesting and even more so the pottery factory. We bought a couple of small items but would have loved to buy some of the bigger pieces if we had been able to carry them around with us on our extended trip!
    Written August 2, 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Kelly L
    Toronto, Canada41 contributions
    We did this hike with Henry after reading the multiple great reviews on Trip Advisor. We contacted him the night before via What’s App (+502 5836 7172) and he was able to add us to the group doing the hike the next morning. It cost us $30 USD per person including transportation, headlights, and snacks at the top. For the sunrise, Henry has his group perch at the top of a large rock, which is just a bit lower than the constructed observation deck that other groups arrive at, however has breathtaking panoramic views (better than the view from the observation deck in my opinion). After the sunrise and his talk about Atitlan history, we went to this observation deck for coffee, fresh home baked bread, and bananas. On our way down Henry took photos of us on the large rock - he’s a fantastic photographer and got several different shots/angles!

    Of note, we were staying in San Marcos, so Henry had to arrange a tuktuk for us to meet the rest of the group in San Pablo. (I believe most of the hikers come from San Pedro). Taking a tuktuk at 4am through the dark and deserted streets of these small towns felt a bit scary but rest assured we arrived safely!
    Written May 13, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Brian R
    9 contributions
    One of the best things about staying at Hostel Fe is Sarah and her lakefront yoga lesson. The view is magical, and Sarah is a great instructor. I am not great at yoga so I was relieved her class is fine for non experts
    Written June 24, 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • maritimeexplorer
    Nova Scotia, Canada3,730 contributions
    As most people know, Santiago is the Spanish equivalent of St. James and this rather unprepossessing looking church is, in English, Saint James the Apostle Church. It dates all the way back to the 1540's and lies in the shadow of the mighty Atitlan volcano which rises to 11,598 feet (3,535 metres) which in the Rockies would be a good sized mountain. The steps you see are actually over a thousand years old and once led to a Mayan temple which the Christians of course destroyed to build the church atop in an act of religious oneupmanship. But it didn't actually work as I entered what is one of the most fascinating churches I've ever visited anywhere.

    Tony our guide took us on a tour of the interior which has more than a few things of passing interest starting with the various saints decorated by groups that are unique to Guatemala, the cofradias. These are religious brotherhoods that date back to the Spanish conquest and were originally intended to help spread Catholicism and stamp out native beliefs. Instead they have morphed into something similar to the krewes of Louisiana who each have their own distinct colours and symbols. The entire church is lined with these brightly coloured figures.

    Sometimes things are not as they first seem to appear. I've included a photo of the pink cofradia. But take a closer look at the Virgin Mary. She's got two babies, not just the usual one. Here's where things get tricky and try as I might, I can find no one coherent explanation for the two babies. Here is Tony's version. The second baby is actually Judas. Yes, you read that right. For Mayans, the death of their religion at the hands of the Spanish priests was not cause for celebration or a great awakening, but rather an execration. The one figure from Christianity that many of them could embrace was Judas who was responsible for getting Christ killed and thus in their eyes, more powerful than Jesus. There are umpteen versions of the story and they are all bizarre.

    The altar of the church is fairly standard, but what's behind it is not. The apse has some beautiful woods carvings and a very nice trinity which at first glance looks like an old guy on a motorized scooter.

    One a more serious note, there is an important monument near the church entrance that is worth examining and learning the story of Father Stanley Rother. He was an American priest who came to Santiago Atitlan and during the civil war, defied the authorities and stood up for the Mayan people that were frequently the target of massacres during this time. For that, he paid with his life and has been recognized as a genuine martyr in every sense of the that word.

    Although his body is buried in his native state of Oklahoma, Stanley Rother's heart is buried here and that seems appropriate because he gave his heart and his life to the Tz'ujutil people. While I might not agree with religious proselytizing, no one can dispute the goodness of this man's intentions to help the poor and downtrodden. In this world where Catholic priests are just as often seen as predators rather than protectors, it is comforting to know that that some truly follow the true teachings and example of Jesus, even if it costs them their lives.
    Beside the church is the rectory and Tony points out the very spot where Rother was murdered by a government backed death squad in 1981. Sadly that was not the end of the violence. In 1990, eleven more people were killed in Santiago Atitlan by the army which had a base nearby. That event caused such an international uproar that the base was closed and since then life in this small place has returned to a semblance of normalcy.
    Written May 10, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Jadeli P
    1 contribution
    Since you go into this magical space, you start feeling the good energy of community and support.
    I went not only because the beautiful view, with the volcanoes around the Lake, I also enjoy the ceremonies, workshops & yoga classes. Not to mention about Ecstatic Dance events they use to do. Cacao Dance & Aguila Festival were the best events for me.
    Simplemente puedes ser tu misma, siendo parte de la buena vibra que se respira en el lugar entre arte y danza.
    No solo es quedarse en un hermoso "hotel" si no de la comunidad en la que te rodeas. ;)
    Written September 14, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Lynda M
    San Francisco, CA2 contributions
    I have purchased many items over the last twenty years that are well designed by Maya women who create I buy I beautiful pieces, mostly purses and bags. My favorite are the large shopping bags. I own at least three of them and they are perfect for taking to the market. I get compliments on mine all the time. I also like the lap top cases along with the glasses cases. . The colors and patterns are contemporary but made on back-strap looms in the tradional weaving patterns with fashionable colors. Three item would make great gifts/
    Written December 12, 2018
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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