Lake Atitlán is born from a massive eruption some 84,000 years ago. The quantity of magma expelled from the Earth's depth caused the surface terrain to collapse, forming a hollow quickly filled with water. Lake Atitlán was born.
Smaller volcanoes appeared some thousands years later: Volcán San Pedro at 3020 metres was born 60,000 years ago, then Volcán Atitlán (3537 metres), and Volcán Tolimán (3158 metres). Nowadays, the lake as an average depth of 220 metres and the water level has been on the rise for the last 10 years or so.
The lake is a superb place for landscapes, idyllic villages, markets, and a pleasant climate since it lies at an altitude of 1562 metres. It is considered as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, and it's the most visited place in Guatemala.
Panajachel is the biggest town around the lake. It's a very touristy place, overrun by souvenir stalls.
The town is not especially nice, but all along the lakeside, the scenery is fantastic.
The town of Sololá is located at nearly 500 metres above Lake Atitlán. Its principal attraction is the twice-weekly market.
Traders come from neighbouring villages, and it's possible to see women and even men dressed in very coloured traditional outfits. However, the market is now under a modern concrete building. It somewhat kills the picturesque side of the event.
Village where craftmanship is the main attraction.
Small peaceful and sleepy hillside village.
The region around San Lucas Tolimán is mainly dedicated to growing coffee.