a jetty against the deep blue colour of Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan may not be the biggest in Guatemala, it is without doubt the prettiest. Not only the colour, multiple hues of blue, grey and green depending on the time of the day and position of the sun, but the setting, too, makes it a very beautiful place, with three 3000 m-plus volcanoes on the far side of Panajachel, the most developed of the villages around the lake.

The lake area is also one of the most traditional Maya centres. In Panajachel men still wear their traditional cloths, and at the weekly Friday market of Solalá, the administrative centre located a little higher above the lake, people from many surrounding villages come to sell their wares, also traditionally dressed in huipiles.

Lake Atitlan, surrounded by volcanoes

In my younger years I was often too much in a hurry, which is why we didn’t sufficiently explored the smaller villages around the lake, surviving on fishing and subsistence farming. Which I now regret, because I am sure tourism will have caught on these days, and not much of the lake shore will have retained its unspoilt character.

(we were here in 2002)

Volcan Toliman (front) and Volcan Atitlan (back)

a village along the lake

jetties stretching into the lake

a few fishing boats

man in traditional dress, looking into the world

two more men, also traditionally dressed, with backpack

a fruit and vegetable stall in the Sololá market

market women selling their ware

another woman with her goods, spring onions, packed away

three women selling fruit

one of the volcanos at sunset

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