Visiting Lake Atitlán (or Lago de Atitlán as it is known by the people living in the land surrounding it) is a very worthwhile activity. The lake has been deemed as the deepest lake all over the realm of Central America since the bottom part of the lake has not been explored as of yet, despite diving efforts.
The people’s way of living is influenced by the geography of the place. Planting of coffee and other crops like corn are extensively supported by the lake’s basin. Besides these goods, Lake Atitlán is also notable for its production of the best onions, squash, chile verde, strawberries and many more famous food ingredients. Moreover, the lake serves as the residence of aquatic animals, making the hunting of these this primary source of food for the indigenous people of the area.
Many towns and villages surround the lake. These towns are still untouched when it comes to the culture and traditions that they practice. Although they were also colonized by the Spaniards, the existing tribes remained to be prevalent in terms of their rituals and beliefs.
The most populous village would be Santiago Atitlán. Tourists might be amazed on how much Maximón, the idol that they heavily worship, influenced their daily living. Different cults have taken form, despite unity in tradition.
A town called Panajachel, on the other hand, does not carry the Maya culture and instead became the most advanced town surrounding the lake. This is also the place where the tourists go the most, since it offers services and dwellings for travelers exploring the area. Still, the town itself boasts its rich culture dating back to the 60s when Hippies flourished in the area.
Of course, the beauty of the lake alone should persuade one to go to Lake Atitlán and its surrounding villages.