Top Five Lake Atitlan Guatemala Villages

Top Five Lake Atitlan Villages, everyone loves the top 5 lists and we are no different.  And as difficult as it is to choose our Top Five Lake Atitlan Villages we have put together a list based on our experience of living at the Lake and the interesting and unique characteristics that each of these villages have to offer.

Top Five Lake Atitlan Villages

San Pedro La Laguna

Lake Atitlan Villages

Church of St. Peter is located in San Pedro La Laguna

One of our favorite villages on the lake is the traditional fishing village of San Pedro La Laguna.  Its popularity in our view is based on the combination of activities it has to offer such as climbing San Pedro volcano, horseback riding, kayaking, swimming, and canoeing.

San Pedro also has medicinal herbal gardens and healers that offer you a wonderful opportunity to deepen your connection to herbal medicine in a rich sensory experience in one of the most beautiful places on earth.  San Pedro also has an active nightlife and a plethora of restaurants that cater to all palates.

San Juan La Laguna

Guatemala Villages

Top Five Lake Atitlan Guatemala Villages

Located next to the village of San Pedro is the quiet and clean village of San Juan La LagunaSan Juan’s population is primary Tz’utujil Maya and because tourism isn’t developed as much here as in other villages around the lake it provides for a more authentic Mayan culture experience.

San Juan is known for its art, coffee and medicinal plant gardens, and their weavers who use natural dyes to make textiles.  The art here is very unique and unlike what you find in other villages around the lake.  You also see many murals painted on the side of buildings throughout San Juan that are an expression of their culture.

San Antonio Palopó

Top Five Lake Atitlan Guatemala Villages

Top Five Lake Atitlan Guatemala Villages


San Antonio Palopó is a picturesque village that has retained its indigenous charm.  One of the most easily recognizable characteristic of San Antonio Palopó is the blue huipil that is prominently worn by the women of the community.

This village is also renowned for its unique handcrafted and painted ceramics and pottery that has evolved since ancient Mayan times.  The church and church plaza overlook one of the most incredible views of Volcano Toliman, Volcano Atitlan, and Volcano San Pedro.

As if that isn’t enough beauty and uniqueness during the week of Semana Santa, Holy Week, the village of San Antonio hosts one of the most incredible religious celebrations, a sensory experience that blends Spanish Catholic traditions with Mayan traditions that go back to ancient times.

Santa Catarina Palopó

Top Five Lake Atitlan Guatemala Villages

Top Five Lake Atitlan Guatemala Villages


Santa Catarina Palopó is a small relatively untouched village that is known for its weaving.  Weaving is an integral part of a Maya woman’s daily life in Santa Catarina, a responsibility that has been passed down through the generations for centuries.

To this day the women of Santa Catarina continue the tradition of weaving intricate and beautiful designs that depict their culture, traditions, and values.  Just a short walk from the main street as well as from the Church is the playa where you can walk along the beach to the hot springs.

One of our favorite hikes starts at the summit above Santa Catarina and provides, in our not so humble opinion, one of the most awe-inspiring views that Lake Atitlan has to offer.


Lake Atitlan

Guatemala Children at Play.

Panajachel is the most developed village on the lake and sits on the northeast shore.  It is considered the gateway to Lake Atitlan and the transport hub for the whole area, you can literally travel anywhere from Pana.   It has dining options and accommodations for every budget and is well worth spending a day or two of explorings.

It also boasts a lively and colorful indoor/outdoor market, a Catholic Church that was built in the 1500’s Casa Cakchiquel the first hotel on the lake and it features a museum and gallery, Mayan folklore and charm, and rich traditions.  There is a bustling nightlife and the street food vendors that come out at night provide an absolute feast for your taste buds.

Top Five Lake Atitlan Villages’ recommendations are based on our years of experience exploring the various village of Lake Atitlan. Look for our Top Five Lake Atitlan Guatemala Villages Luxury Vacation Rentals coming soon.