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.
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)