In Guatemala, there is Lake Atitlan, this is a natural shelter of peace from which many visitors return in awe. The writer Aldous Huxley called it the most beautiful lake in the world, he fell in love of this place, like many visitors, by the green hills that surround it and the three volcanoes -extinct for thousands of years- Toliman, Atitlan, and San Pedro.

Lake Antilán is one of the most important places in Central America, to which both shamans and backpackers flock to. Actually, the beauty of the lake is almost trivial, the real attraction here are the villages that dot its margins, touring on them is something that impresses the traveler’s experience. A tourist can find an interesting amalgam of party, tradition, and mysticism; in every atitlecan hamlet, it’s possible to enjoy whatever Y’all are looking for.

This wonderful place invites its visitors to stay for a few days (or weeks) to enjoy the relaxation and peace that anyone can find here. On the shores of this huge lake, many communities live in small towns. Keep reading and know the most beautiful villages of Lake Atitlan.

San Pedro La Laguna

This small town is ideal for backpackers, partiers and other young souls. An ideal place for backpackers, that tribe where everyone once belongs or wished not to be. One thing is clear if you don’t count among them, you avoid them.

Depending on which of these positions you choose, you’ll arrive directly at San Pedro, or juggle to not step on it. This is San Pedro, without halves: either you take it, or leave it. If you decide to come, don’t expect a place to reflect on the anthropological implications of modern Mayan culture or even a place to sleep soundly: in San Pedro, the party is queen.

San Marcos La Laguna

The Central American paradise for hippies, healers, and yogis. The mystical strength of Lake Atitlán is undeniable, and few resist its spiritual call based on percussion circles and healing ceremonies. If, however tempting as it sounds, this is not your thing, keep this in mind: San Marcos has privileged views over the lake, that is even better appreciated after an hour and a half of vinyasa.

Santa Cruz

The perfect corner for alternative tourists, divers, and seekers of peace and tranquility. Something important about Santa Cruz is that it isn’t easily accessible: its hills could rival those of San Francisco. Lake Atitlan is surrounded by mountains, and in no other of the settlements, this fact is seen as clearly as in Santa Cruz.

But if your calves can handle it, this is one of the most beloved towns of Atitlán. Once past the port, Santa Cruz introduces the traveler into the Mayan world of yesteryear, which has remained deeply traditional as a time capsule.


A shelter of peace for hermits, loners and those who want to disappear from the world for a while. The enthusiasts of Jaibalito consider it the best-kept secret of Atitlán. The village is accessible only by boat or through the mountain and holds a solitude that is perfect for the traveler who seeks to disconnect from the world and really make a spiritual retreat.

Jaibalito offers little in terms of tourist emotions, no extreme sports, and a practically non-existent nightlife. But if what you are looking for is to disconnect (literally: wi-fi doesn’t exist in those lands), few places in Guatemala make it so easy.


A dream place for hedonists, families, and travelers looking for a short vacation. Panajachel is the most popular town of Atitlán and the first stop for the lucky ones who are going around the lake. Panajachel is a kind of Mediterranean corner but Guatemalan style: a beach trip, but with a lake; tourist restaurants, but attended for and run by native families. “Pana” may not be to everyone’s liking, but being the friendliest point with the tourist, it’s almost an inevitable stop, whether to visit the cashier or buy souvenirs.