lago de atitlan

when i bought my ticket to guatemala, i rashly decided to tag three days on the end of the trip after the service expedition. i had no idea what i would do with that time until the last day in the polochic. i found a few friends who were staying and who were up for my mildly crazy itinerary and we headed off to lake atitlan and then to the ancient ruins of tikal. it was really quite an epic adventure, including a lot of driving and two overnight bus rides. i was so glad we made it happen. it solidified my love for guatemala.

so after a glorious shower and night’s rest following the expedition, we headed south to atitlan.

after a long bumpy taxi ride we made it to this lookout point for our first glimpse of the lake. 3 volcanoes and dense alive jungle surround the banks of atitlan. from first sight, it was astoundingly beautiful. IMG_3621
we had to take a boat ride to our hotel – that is the only way to get there…neat. it was so stormy when we got there and i loved sitting in the bow of the boat watching the tumult and taking it all in.
all over these verdant and teeming mountains were little villages situated in the lush.
we took a little stroll around the village our hotel was in as night came in.

every night, the casa del mundo hotel has a candlelit family-style dinner for all guests. it was magic.
here was our view in the morning. i love getting to a place when it’s dark or nearly dark and then waking up the next day to discover where you are in the light of the sun.
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our hotel had all kinds of terraces and hammocks and balconies to overlook that gorgeous water.Summer 2011 280
we rented kayaks for an hour and it was fantastic. this is peter, and we’ve known each other since high school. somehow got on the same trip to guatemala! 
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we jumped off balconies and dove in – the water felt amazing.
we took a few boats around to see other villages along the banks of lago de atitlan.
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this is in the largest of atitlan’s towns – santiago. our cute little impromptu-tuk-tuk-tour-guide took us to this lookout point. there is a significant building in the center of this picture. when he told us it was a mormon church we all started cheering quite raucously.
and then he let me drive his tuk-tuk! let me just say – it’s not as easy as it looks.

i say lago de atitlan is a spot of heaven. our time was quick but very well spent.
this post feels so travelogue-y. my point is: the world is full of jewels of beauty. i’m super glad i got to see this one.


  1. This looks like way too much fun. You have such a sense of adventure. I love you dear Charity!

  2. Wow char! This looks Incredible. Will you come watch our kids in march so we can go???

  3. Ahhh!! I served my mission in Guatemala, right by the lake and loved it. These pics are great and make me want to go back. So glad you enjoyed it!