Village Hopping Around Lake Atitlan,Guatemala


After a 3-hour bumpy drive up hills and along narrow winding roads from Antigua, then a 30-minute boat ride from Panajachel across choppy wavy waters, I found myself surrounded by stunning volcanic lake views and gorgeous green mountains. Ahh breath in, breath out…this adventurous trek was all worth it.
Kandia Johnson

There are many villages around Lake Atitlan, but the true beauty of this lake lies in the three volcanoes that surround it;San Pedro, Atitlan, and Toliman. The unique history of the villages, makes it even more appealing. Most of the Mayan people living in the villages, still dress in traditional multi-colored hand-woven fabrics like their ancestors, speak ancient Mayan dialect and sell handmade arts and crafts.

Each village has its own unique style. Here are some of the deets, I learned along the way:

  • Shop the colorful vibrant markets in Panajachel for souvenirs. There are also several tour companies available that run 4-5 hour village excursions. I only spent a short time here, I found it too touristy and enjoyed the other villages much better.
  • Learn Spanish in the village of San Pedro la Laguna (my favorite)  then relax in volcano-fed pools. Take a 4-hour hike up Volcán San Pedro. San Pedro  also attracts expats and the back packer crowd. As soon as you approach the waterfront, restaurants, bars and shops awaits you. San Pedro is also home to coffee growing.
  • Rent a kayak to explore Lake Atitlan.
  • Swim in the thermal waters in Santa Catarina Palopó.
  • Indulge in holistic healing; yoga and meditation at San Marcos.
  • Eat at many of the local restaurants around the villages. I enjoyed a fried fish platter at El Pescador, in the Santiago Atitlan village.
  • Stay at La Case Del Mundo. This place is a little out-of-the-way but its stunning views promises a tranquil romantic getaway.

Kandia Johnson Lake Atitlan



I had the best coffee at this cute little cappuccino & espresso shop in San Pedro. I purchased Guatemalan coffee and chocolate covered coffee bean as souvenirs. The cafe also features free wi-fi and hillside views. A lot of backpackers and expats hang out here as well. 08-IMG_2875

Unfortunately, a large percentage of the Mayan population live in poverty.


Fisherman at work.



There is a steep price to pay for sightseeing in San Juan.


Thank you Jesus-we rode around in tuk tuk’s style during our last village tour. My mind was willing to explore but my legs were over it!



You can thank me later.  But if you’ve ever think about visiting Central America, make sure you make a pit stop around the villages that surround Lake Atitlan, one of the most beautiful lakes in the world!  Boats frequently travel from village to village and there are plenty of hotels and hostels available.

2 Responses to Village Hopping Around Lake Atitlan,Guatemala

  1. Tanya Harry says:

    The pictures are beautiful. This trip must have been a wonderful experience!

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