Which village around Lake Atitlan has the best views?
Lake Atitlan counts many picturesque villages, all with their own character and charm. But which towns, restaurants and accommodations offer the best view? What are must sees if you are short on time? What hidden gems are there to escape the tourist bustle?
In this blog post you’ll find the top 6 best, most beautiful views at Lake Atitlan.
Tip: Lake Atitlan’s views are generally best in the mornings. In the early afternoon the views get hazy and clouds come rolling in.
Table of Contents
#1 Accommodation with the best view near Santiago, Lake Atitlan (Guatemala)
The Doozy Koala Lakehouse is a tranqil, relaxing accommodation on the shores of Lake Atitlan, across from the village Santiago. It’s off the grid and can only be reached by boat. The lakeside property is steep so you’ll be able to see the stunning views of the village Santiago and the volcanoes from anywhere on the property. There are hammocks in the shady gardens, a sun deck and a cosy bar. Dinners are enjoyed together at one long table. You can easily pass the evening with your new made friends over board games and drinks.
Hiking to Chuitinamit ruins is possible for those wanting something active. Entrance is 25Q and the trail starts next to the Lakehouse. Ask the reception at the Doozy Koala for the details.
How do you get to this slice of heaven? Take any boat heading to Santiago and ask the boat captain to drop you off earlier at their private dock Posada Chuitinamit. This place is so relaxing your biggest worries will be what to eat and drink next. And leaving will be difficult…
- Accommodation: 9€/78Q dorm bed, 27€/235Q for private double room
- Food: Breakfast including coffee (25-40Q), lunch (40-60Q) and dinner (65Q) are available.
- Drinks: The bar offers beers (15-20Q) and all cocktails and shots imaginable.
#2 The best views at San Marcos (Lake Atitlan): yoga and coffee
At Eagle’s Nest Atitlan you can spend the night, practice yoga or just grab a bite to eat. Those on a budget can just visit the cafe to enjoy the views while sipping a cup of coffee. Yoga classes are organised every morning at 08:00 AM. Aerial yoga is between 11:00-13:00 on Fridays and Sundays (50Q). Eagle’s Nest also offers multi day yoga retreats and yoga teacher courses. They also organise festivals once in a while, so keep your eye out for this unique experience.
- Accommodation: starting at $60 for a dorm and $84 for a double room. Booking via their website directly is cheaper than via Booking.com
- Food: Breakfast 50-65Q
- Drinks: coffee 12-22Q
- Yoga: 50Q
#3 Volcano views from San Pedro, Lake Atitlan
Mikaso hotel y restaurante offers different terraces right next to the water. Though most eateries are on the west side of San Pedro village, Mikaso is on the east side. This side offers unique views of the neighbouring volcanoes. San Pedro Volcano is looming up right next to this place, with volcano Toliman behind it.
- Accommodation: $21 – $40 for a double room
- Food: budget friendly
- Drinks: 5Q coffee, 12Q Cuba Libre cocktail
#4 Painting workshop in San Pedro: capture the best views
Want a unique way to take in the view? In San Pedro many of the galleries offer painting workshops.
#5 Jaibalito: killer views of Lake Atitlan’s volcanoes
La Casa del Mundo is a remote hotel built on the steep waters edge. This place has 20 private rooms scattered across the steep hill side. The lush garden is full of trees, flowers and hammocks.
Some of the rooms come with a private terrace overlooking the lake. But don’t worry, there are so many terraces with chairs and hammocks that people in budget rooms have enough lovely options to relax in the garden. In the evenings there is a family style dinner. Book about 2 months in advance if you’d like an economic room (small room with shared bathroom).
Budget travellers can pass by and use the facilities for a 25Q donation per person. Otherwise drinking a cup of coffee or having lunch in the terrace is a way to enjoy the view without having to pay for accommodation.
- Accommodation: 50-150€ per room per night
- Food: 130Q for a 3 course family style dinner, breakfast and lunch a la carte starting at 50Q
- Drinks: coffee 18Q, beer 20Q
- Using the facilities: 25Q per person (for non guests, free for guests)
#6 Indian Nose at sunrise
The majestic sunrise hike up Indian Nose is an easy walk up with a very rewarding view. The only catch? You will need to leave around 04:00 to be on time for sunrise.
Price: 80Q per person on a tour (including transportation by shuttle, guide, entrance fee and a cup of coffee). It can be done cheaper if you do it independently.
Further reading: Find out all the details you need know to organise your sunrise trip up Indian Nose.
Which view is the best at Lake Atitlan?
If you’d like to relax, stay at the Doozy Koala Lakehouse to enjoy the lovely gardens and mesmerising views. Budget travelers can enjoy coffee at Eagle’s Nest in San Marcos. If you’d like to enjoy the view while sitting in a hot tub, check out the hot tub options at Lake Atitlan.
Itineraries for the best views at Lake Atitlan
2 day itinerary for the best view’s at Lake Atitlan: efficient and active
- Day 1: Buy your textile souvenirs in Panajachel. Take the boat to San Pedro and spend the night.
- Day 2: Wake up early to hike the Indian Nose for sunrise. Afterwards enjoy cheese and snacks at El Artesano in San Juan before heading back to Panachajel to catch onward transportation.
4 day itinerary for the best views at Lake Atitlan: relax and unwind
- Day 1 & 2: Swing in the hammocks at the Doozy Koala Lakehouse. Enjoy drinks and board games with your newly made travel friends.
- Day 3: Hop off the boat at San Pedro to enjoy the Los Termales hot tubs. More in the mood for culture? Alternatively you can stop at San Juan to see women weaving at one of the women’s collaberativos. Here you can buy authentic Mayan textiles you won’t find anywhere else.
- Day 4: Practice yoga in San Marco to completely unwind before your onward travels.
Practical information Lake Atitlan
Getting to Lake Atitlan (Guatemala)
You will most likely arrive at Lake Atitlan in the village of Panajachel. Taking a mini bus is the most convenient way to get there. Shuttles from Antigua to Pana (2,5h) run 4 times a day. Here are a few options for your shuttle from Antigua to Pana (including prices):
- The tour company Charlie & Wicho’s charges 50Q for hikers who have also booked Acatenango hike with the or 60Q for non hikers (cash only) from Antigua to Pana.
- Tour company Tropicana charges 90Q (cash and card payments).
Getting around Lake Atitlan (Lago de Atitlan)
Generally you can wait on any lacha (dock) around Lake Atitlan and wave at boats to stop for you. Boats all go every 30 minutes or more frequently. There doesn’t seem to be a strict time table.
If you would like to get to the Doozy Koala Lakehouse from Panajachel (Pana for short) you will need to catch a boat headed towards Santiago from the more southern of the two docks. You would expect some sort of ticket booth to buy your ticket, but no. Just walk up to one of the boats to ask if they are going to Santiago. Ask to be dropped off earlier at Posada Chuitinamit. At the waters edge between Calle del Balneario and Calle Ramos, there is a tourist office run by the municipality. They can walk you to your boat. The boat costs 25Q when you buy directly from the boat captain. There are middle men roaming the waterfront who sell boat tickets for 30Q.
Below is an inication of the prices to get in between the different villages along Lake Atitlan:
- Santiago – San Pedro 25Q per person
- San Pedro – San Juan by tuk tuk is 10Q per person
- Jaibalito – San Marcos 20Q per person
- San Marcos – Pana 20Q per person
- Jaibalito – Pana 15Q per person