The Lake Atitlan Region

Lake Atitlán is a very large body of water of volcanic origin situated in a mountainous region of Guatemala. It is said to be the deepest lake in Central America, estimated at 340 meters (about 1,000 feet). It is surrounded by steep mountains and three volcanoes. It is reputed to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Aldous Huxley said: "Lake Como, it seems to me, has reached the limits of picturesque. Atitlán is Lake Como with, in addition, the imposing beauty of three majestic volcanoes. It is almost too much." Coffee plantations and vegetable farms, primarily used to cultivate corn, occupy the large majority of the high, surrounding plains. Numerous Maya villages are scattered around the lake. The Tz'utujil and Kaqchikel speaking inhabitants usually wear their traditional clothes.

Communication around the lake is limited. Villages are accessible only by boat or by roads over the mountains.

The town of Panajachel is situated on the north side of the lake. It is a very important tourist center and the departure point for all visitors traveling to the villages on the other side of the lake.



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