Traveling to Lake Atitlan, is Lake Atitlan calling your name? I understand why because it was calling my name. Lake Atitlan is a dream vacation, an area of the world that is both geographically and culturally extraordinary.
And while all of Guatemala is beautiful, there is just something incredible about the Lake that took my breath away and left me in awe.
Traveling to Lake Atitlan – Lake Atitlan Weather
Lake Atitlan is known as the “The Land of Eternal Spring” because of the great weather year-round. Daytime temperatures average 70-80 degrees F (21-27 C) and nighttime temperatures of 55-65 degrees F (13-18 C). While in many countries around the world the temperature determines the season, this is not the case in Guatemala where the precipitation defines the season.
When Traveling to Lake Atitlan you will learn that there are two seasons to be aware of, dry season and rainy season. The rainy season begins in May and typically lasts until late October, with a few weeks in July that are dry. The rain is usually in the afternoon or at night.
What can we say about the Lake that hasn’t already been said? To put it bluntly, it lives up to everything you have read and then some. Don’t make the mistake that some people do and not leave yourself enough time to explore this magical place, you’ll regret it if you rush through it. The villages of Santiago, San Pedro La Laguna, San Juan La Laguna, Santa Catarina Palopó, and San Antonio Palopó are all definite highlights each with their own uniqueness.
How to Get to Lake Atitlan from Guatemala City and Antigua
Traveling to Lake Atitlan is an easy three-hour scenic ride by car or shuttle from Guatemala City and is a two and a half-hour ride from the Spanish colonial town of Antigua. Shuttles run regularly between these locations. You can expect to pay USD $22 per person one way from Guatemala City to Pana and $12 per person one way from Antigua to Panajachel.
Getting Around the Lake
Visiting the different villages around the lake is easy using the lanches. The public launches or water taxis travel around the lake and arrive and depart from most public piers every 20 minutes. There are two piers in Pana in which the launches depart.
The first pier is located one block from Calle Santander just ask for the San Pedro, San Marcos, Santa Cruz boats and they will give you directions and let you know which boat to get on. You can also take express boats between these villages. The second pier is at the playa at the end of Rancho Grande. This pier is for those wishing to travel to Santiago only.
Where to Stay
Public spaces include cozy alcoves, gardens, and a warm ambiance that extends to the staff. At night you can look across the lake and see the lights of the other villages scattered around the shoreline and throughout the mountains. The owner, Jennifer, provides a 5-star full breakfast that gets your day jump-started for all the wonderful activities that Lake Atitlan provides.
Lake Atitlan Activities
There is so much to do and see when Traveling to Lake Atitlan. From climbing volcanoes and hiking mountain trails to exploring indigenous Mayan villages and markets to discovering coffee fincas and natural healing methods to partaking in the local food scene and learning about the local culture.
And while there are many different tour groups that you can choose from, we recommend a group by the name of Grow Your Own Cure that offer unique and interesting memorable experiences, truly memorable experiences.
James, our guide with Grow Your Own Cure asked me a seemingly easy question, “When was the last time that you did something for the first time”?
While the question was seemingly simplistic, it made me stop and really have to think. Yes, it had been that long and when she heard my answer, which was a very long time ago, I saw that look in her eyes that said well today is going to be that day. And it was!
I realize that Guatemala may not currently be on your bucket list, if it’s not, it’s time to put it on it. Traveling to Lake Atitlan not only provided me with incredible memories, but it also provided me with friendships that I absolutely cherish.