Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Located in the Western Highlands of Guatemala and about a 2 hour bus ride from Antigua, Lake Atitlan is a beautiful volcanic lake ringed by dozen of small towns. Panajachel is popular with travelers and a good entry point, while San Pedro La Laguna (has a reputation as a major backpacker hub) or the "less party, more meditation" village of San Marcos are off-the-beaten track. Lake Atitlan is a combination of scenic beauty, a relaxed atmosphere, easily accessible Mayan culture, and a good tourist infrastructure.

Women digital nomads should dress conservatively and avoid wandering around alone after dark. You will most likely experience cat-calls while walking down the street, just look straight and don't acknowledge. There are towns that are safer than others - for example, Panajachel and San Marcos might be safer. Take a tuk-tuk or walk with a male friend after dark. During the day, it is generally safe to wander around as a woman alone, just don't go wandering down sketchy alleys. If you are traveling between towns (i.e between Panajachel to San Marcos), it is safest to go via boat, or lancha. Even the locals avoid driving on the roads connecting the towns due to armed robberies (especially the road between San Pedro and San Marcos) and landslides during the rainy season.

Lake Atitlan is a popular destination for digital nomads, some who plan on staying for a couple of days but end up staying for months. Wifi are very likely to be slow or at best decent (most hotels, restaurants and house rentals offer 2MB to 5MB download speeds), and connections may not be reliable. Note that power cuts can be a problem during the rainy season. Skype calls are generally poor, and cell phone speeds varies greatly depending on your location - Tigo has the best cell coverage across the lake.

The dry and peak season is from November to April, and mornings and nights are cooler - you'll need a sweater and long trousers. The wet season is from May to October, when it rains mostly in the afternoons and evenings.

Cafes with wifi

Don't want to work at a coworking space? Check out these cafes with wifi instead.

Tours & Activities in Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan: Mayan Ceremony at the Sacred Caves


Take a journey through the traditions of Mayan spirituality as you experience a 2-hour traditional fire-cleansing ceremony with a guide in the Sacred Caves of Lake Atitlan. Step inside these mystical caves, used by local Mayans for many centuries, to observe the performance of this holy and powerful ritual by a local shaman. Listen as your guide explains the history and traditions behind the ritual and provides insight into the Mayan calendar system. Check reviews, dates and prices, etc.

Lake Atitlan Lower Mayan Trail Hiking Tour from Panajachel


Tread where few tourists ever set foot on this 4-hour hiking tour amidst the stunning scenery and idyllic Mayan villages of the Lower Mayan Trail. Trace the same paths followed by the ancient Kaqchikel Mayans for centuries, passing by coffee and corn fields and the rugged, volcano-laden shoreline of Lake Atitlan. As you go, you’ll also immerse yourself in Mayan village life during stops in the hamlets of Tzununa, Jaibalito and Santa Cruz. This hiking trip also includes round-trip hotel transport from Panjachel. Check reviews, dates and prices, etc.

Santa Catarina Lake Atitlan Upper Rim Hike


Discover the explorer in you as you hit the trail and hike the diverse landscapes, learn about the Mayan culture, and visit the colorful village of Santa Catarina Palopó located in the highlands of Guatemala. Check reviews, dates and prices, etc.

Places to exercise

Hiking

Hiking

There are many places you can hike around the lake, such as ascending one of the many volcanoes or walking from village to village through the foothills of the lake.

Swimming

Swimming

You can swim in the lake — the water is clean, clear, and cold, and is calmest in the mornings.

Yoga

Yoga Forest

The Yoga Forest offers classes for all levels, from beginners to advanced students, in different styles of yoga.