Things to do in
Santiago Atitlán

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Our most recommended things to do in Santiago Atitlán

From Antigua: 3 Mayan Villages on Lake Atitlan Day Tour

1. From Antigua: 3 Mayan Villages on Lake Atitlan Day Tour

This is a real immersion in the Mayan culture and you will see the lifestyle of the Mayan people. See how ancient technology is used for textile manufacture as you visit three Mayan villages around Lake Atitlan. The departure is from Antigua, with a 2.5-hour drive to Panajachel (Lake Atitlán). Then, visit San Juan la Laguna, San Pedro, and Santiago Atitlan, returning at the end to Panajachel. This is a round trip around Lake Atitlan, and there will be a one-hour stop in every town. Admire the colorful town of San Juan. Visit its attractions down the main streets such as galleries and women's coops, and witness a chocolate and coffee production demo. Then, explore San Pedro. A small town populated by Mayan Tzutujil. Discover its interesting sights and learn about the local culture there. Lastly, make a stop in Santiago Atitlán, where you can make a visit to a deity revered by the locals and visitors. Its market day is very colorful, and you can visit Santiago Apóstol Parish Church, built in the colonial times in the Renaissance style.

Lake Atitlan: Boat Trip and Full-Day Tour with Lunch

2. Lake Atitlan: Boat Trip and Full-Day Tour with Lunch

After pick-up by your local guide from Panajachel, make your way to volcanic Lake Atitlan and set off on a boat trip across the peaceful water. Listen as your bilingual guide shares facts about life in the Guatemalan Highlands, and visit the villages of Santiago Atitlan and San Juan La Laguna. Learn about the local Maya culture in these traditional communities, as well as the benefits the textile and coffee farming industries brings to this peaceful region of Guatemala. While in San Juan La Laguna, enjoy a typical lunch at a local restaurant. Then admire the view of the 3 majestic volcanoes nearby; Atitlan, Toliman, and San Pedro.

From Antigua: 2-Day Chichicastenango & Lake Atitlan Tour

3. From Antigua: 2-Day Chichicastenango & Lake Atitlan Tour

In Chichicastenango, explore the indigenous market and be witness to the incessant exchange of fruits, vegetables and handicrafts between the locals and foreigners. Lake Atitlán was formed when a volcanic caldera depleted its magma. Three stately volcanoes - Atitlan, Tolimán and San Pedro - rise gracefully from its southern shore, their perfect cones reflected in the azure mirror of the lake. Discover weaving made and worn by the Maya-Tzutujil and Cakchiquel women who live around the lake and many of the men also wear traditional, hand-woven clothing. Day 1 – Chichicastenango: - 07:00: Transfer from your hotel in Guatemala City or Antigua to Chichicastenango - 10:00: Arrival to Chichicastenango’s market.  In the center of town you will find the local market where you can buy wood products, ceramics and even gifts that the Mayan priests offer on their prehispanic altars. You can also admire the Church of Santo Tomas which was built by Dominicans and Kichen in 1540 on a Maya altar, which is used even today on the front steps of the church. On the other side, you will find Calvary Church and in the square, you will see a high stick where each year the Palo Volador is presented - 12:30: Transfer from Chichicastenango to Panajachel - 13:30: Have lunch at one of the most exquisite restaurants in Panajachel (own expense) - 14:30:  Free time to relax. Overnight accommodations in Panajachel Accommodations: Posada de Don Rodrigo or similar Day 2 – Lake Atitlan - 08:30: Take a private boat to cross Lake Atitlan and visit Tzutuhil village of Santiago de Atitlán. In this village, you will visit the confraternity of the local saint named Maximon or Ri Laj Mam, visited by different people of different ethnicities who come to ask for health and prosperity in their lives. Transfer back to Panajachel by boat - 13:30: Have lunch in one of the most exquisite restaurants of Panajachel (not included) - 14:30: Visit Santander Street of Panajachel and the handicraft market of this town - 15:30: Transfer back to Guatemala City or Antigua Guatemala

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What people are saying about Santiago Atitlán

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 8 reviews

An amazing tour! Totally recomended, we learned a lot about the mayan culture, history and deities. Salvador, our guide, is from Lake Atitlan, he is amazing, truly recomended. At the start, due to a confusion with the name of the hotel, the driver didn't pass for us. But Salvador made the arrangement with the company to give us a private shuttle few minutes after. So, it was great! Again, totally recomended. You have to walk a lot in the tour to enjoy it in fullness, so is not recomended for childs or old people.

The tour itself is great. The views of the lake, volcanoes and Mayan villages are spectacular. Upon arriving in Panajachel, it seems that in the office they are somewhat uncoordinated with all the tours, but they assign you a guide soon. Benjamin is a fantastic and local guide, with whom you will feel very safe and will give you a lot of useful information.