Although it is recognized as Central America’s deepest lake (estimated at over 340 meters), Atitlán is so deep it has yet to be properly sounded. It is the result of a massive volcanic explosion 84000 years ago, known as the Los Chocoyos eruption.
It is surrounded by three volcanoes, Volcan Atitlán, Volcán San Pedro and Volcán Tolimán. In addition, a forth volcano, Fuego can often be seen smoking on the horizon.
The towns surrounding the lake are home to vibrant Mayan communities as well as a thriving tourist industry centred in Panajachel.
Aldous Huxley famously wrote of it: “Lake Como, it seems to me, touches on the limit of permissibly picturesque, but Atitlán is Como with additional embellishments of several immense volcanoes. It really is too much of a good thing.”
In recent years, cyanobacteria infestation has become an increasing environmental concern with implications for the local ecosystem and economy.
Know Before You Go
About a 3 hour drive from Guatemala City or Antigua.