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Where to stay in Lake Atitlan – the most charming hotels and homes

Planning to visit the beautiful Lake Atitlan? I have selected the most charming hotels and homes for each of the top destinations to help you decide where to stay in Lake Atitlan for an unforgettable trip to Guatemala. I hope you will find it helpful.


Lake Atitlán is a beautiful water-filled caldera in the mountains of Guatemala. Located at 5,125 feet above sea level, the lake is cold, clear, and deep.

The volcanoes of Atitlán, Toliman, and San Pedro Volcano stand like sentinels on the southern shore. Picturesque Mayan villages ring the lake, each with its personality, culture, and attractions.

Lake Atitlan is one of Guatemala’s top destinations, offering visitors stunning views and plenty of things to do.

Now that you know you want to go there, it’s time to choose your hotel. Since Lake Atitlán is such a popular spot, there are hundreds of hotels to choose from.

I’ve compiled this list of the best places to stay in Lake Atitlan to help you make the best possible decision.

This post includes a nice mix of backpacker hotels, luxury hotels, and highly rated mid-range hotels.

Lake Atitlan Sunset from a hammock

How to get to Lake Atitlan The best areas hotels and vacation rentals

Lake Atitlan is located 112 kilometers from Guatemala City. There are lots of ways to get to Lake Atitlan from Antigua and Guatemala City.

If you want to explore your options, read the above-linked posts, otherwise, you can book your shuttle with a recommended local company.

👉 Book your shuttle from Antigua to Lake Atitlan through GUATEGO

👉 Book your shuttle from Guatemala City to Lake Atitlan through GUATEGO

How to move around Lake Atitlan

Once you’re in Lake Atitlan, there are several ways to move around.

Moving around Lake Atitlan by boat

Small motorized boats, known as “lanchas” travel between all of the Lake Atitlan villages. Panajachel is the main hub, with lanchas leaving from the public beach and the Tzanjuyú docks every twenty minutes or so.

This is the best way to get to the towns on the other side of Lake Atitlan like Santiago, San Pedro la Laguna, San Marcos, and San Juan.

It is also the only easy way to access the towns of Santa Cruz la Laguna, Tzununá, and Jaibalito.

A one-way boat fare across the lake typically costs Q25 to Q30.

Lake Atitlan Boats
Lanchas on Lake Atitlan

Moving around Lake Atitlan by Tuc-Tuc

These small three-wheeled taxis are a great option for traveling around the lake towns of Atitlán.

For a Q5 fee per person, you can get yourself and your luggage anywhere within the village limits.

Tuc-tucs are also an option for traveling between neighboring towns such as Santa Catarina Palopo and Panajachel or San Juan la Laguna and San Pedro la Laguna.

Moving around Lake Atitlan by Micro-bus

Small van-style buses regularly travel the roads between major towns, usually for a fee of Q5 or Q10. This is a great way to get from Panajachel to San Antonio Palopó, for example.

Lake Atitlan Sunrise

Where to stay in Lake Atitlan by destination

Each town around Lake Atitlan has its own special charm and unique vibe. Some are known as hotspots for backpackers and party-seekers, while others are quiet, chill, and not very touristy.

I’ve included a brief introduction to each major Lake Atitlan village so you can decide if it sounds like a good fit for you.

Without further ado, here are the best Lake Atitlan hotels.

Santa Caterina overview - lake atitlan hotels

Best Lake Atitlan Hotels in Panajachel

Panajachel is located on the northern shore of Lake Atitlan.

Almost all travelers to the lake will arrive in Panajachel (or “Pana” as it’s known to locals) first.

It’s a bustling town with a ton of tour companies, restaurants, and hotels.

A long shopping strip on Calle Santander gives visitors the chance to buy handicrafts from all the other lake towns.

Panajachel has a vibrant nightlife, with an assortment of bars, discos, and restaurants offering live music.

Families and adventurous types can enjoy lots of outdoor activities such as hiking, stand-up paddling, ATVing with Simoon Tours, kayaking, or ziplining.

There’s an 860 meter-long zipline at the nature reserve that’s bound to be amazing.

Panajachel Aerial view

You can also hike up to the “Piedra del Sope” for a fabulous birds-eye view of Lake Atitlán.

And of course, no trip to Panajachel would be complete without swimming in the lake or at least heading down to the shore to watch the sunset.

There’s a small museum in town located inside the Posada de Don Rodrigo.

There are also a bunch of coffee shops, chocolate shops, and delis.

Be sure to check out Dina’s Chocolates on Calle Principal, Crossroads Café on Calle Campanario, and Dulce Gelato and Guajimbo’s Uruguayan Grill on Santander.

Panajachel is also a great jumping-off point to see other towns around the lake.

HOTEL EL SOL $

This clean quiet budget hotel is on the outskirts of Panajachel, heading towards Santa Catarina Palopo. It’s about a 15-minute walk or a very quick tuc-tuc ride from Santander (the tourist center).

The rooms are well-lit with bright bedspreads. The restaurant downstairs serves a mixture of typical food and Japanese food. It’s only a five to ten-minute walk from Panajachel’s best swimming spot, Playa de Jucanyá.

Check rates and availability on Booking.com


SELINA ATITLAN $$

Where to stay in Lake Atitlan - Hotel Selina beach
Photo © Selina

is a great mid-range hostel with a gorgeous swimming pool, lake-side beach bar, party spot, yoga areas, pool table, and comfy lounge areas.

Selina offers a variety of on-location activities, such as dance classes, yoga classes, and bicycle rentals (for touring Panajachel on wheels). This hostel is pet friendly and has on-site parking.

Check rates and availability on Booking.com


HOTEL ATITLAN $$$

Hotel Atitlan view from the pool area
Photo © Hotel Atitlan

If you’re looking for luxury hotels in Lake Atitlan, Hotel Atitlan should top your list. It is located a tuc-tuc ride outside of Panajachel in a beautiful protected bay.

The hotel is a former coffee hacienda. Each room is decorated with handwoven fabrics and has a private balcony. There is a lovely outdoor pool and hot tub nestled among an amazing garden.

Parking and free wifi are included. This hotel has a private dock and helipad.

Check rates and availability on Booking.com


Best Lake Atitlan Hotels in San Pedro La Laguna

San Pedro la Laguna is a large backpacker town located on the southern side of Lake Atitlan. Culturally, it is populated by the Tz’utujil Mayans and a large population of foreigners.

San Pedro is known for its large collection of ethnic restaurants, its murals and artwork, its backpacker hostels, and its parties.

If you’re into adventures, why not hike San Pedro Volcano? This is the shortest volcano on the lake and takes a few hours to hike. I recommend going with a guide.

The best views are usually in the morning, so head up early for an amazing panorama of the entire lake.

Other activities to check out include the horseback riding tour to Playa Dorada and the Tzunun Ya Museum.

This museum explains how Lake Atitlan was formed, which is bound to be super interesting. You’ll also learn about the Tz’utujil Mayan culture of San Pedro.

San Pedro la Laguna is also a great place to take a Spanish class, learn how to cook Guatemalan cuisine, do yoga, get a massage, or go kayaking.

Be sure to check out the Chiles Latina Restaurant for some fabulous international and Guatemalan cuisine, cocktails, and salsa dance classes.

MANDALA HOSTEL $

Mandala hostal
Photo © Mandala Hostal

One of the bonuses of this hostel is its central location in downtown San Pedro La Laguna. It also has an awesome rooftop terrace offering fabulous lake views. Although the rooms are very basic and lack style, they are clean and spacious. I actually stayed here one night during my Lake Atitlan itinerary while I was traveling on a budget.

Check rates and availability on Booking.com


AmiGos $

Amigos room with a view over lake atitlan
Photo © Amigos Hostel

AmiGos is another great affordable hostel, conveniently located in downtown San Pedro. The rooms are bright and cheery, and the restaurant and terrace are really beautiful.

They offer private bathrooms, room service, and spacious rooms. This isn’t the quietest hotel, due to its location, so keep that in mind.

Check rates and availability on Booking.com


ZOOLA $$

ZOOLA HOTEL GUATEMALA LAKE
Photo © Zoola

Zoola is another of San Pedro’s best hotels. It has a big relaxation area if you want to hang out in a comfy lounge chair.

It also has an onsite restaurant and swimming pool with awesome views of the lake. Keep in mind that there is no access to Lake Atitlán among its property features.

Check rates and availability on Booking.com


SABABA RESORT $$

SABABA RESORT
Photo © Sababa Resort

This is a pretty hotel with an infinity pool, on-site restaurant, and great room service. They ONLY accept cash, so be sure to go prepared with clean crisp bills.

You may hear some noise from town as the town center is within walking distance.

Check rates and availability on Booking.com


Best Lake Atitlan Hotels in San Marcos La Laguna

San Marcos la Laguna is a small town on the western shore of Lake Atitlan. It’s best known for its spirituality, New Age, and hippie vibe. It’s the go-to place on the lake for yoga, mystical retreats, massage, and more.

San Marcos is a lot of fun to explore. Its streets are small and feel like narrow tunnels leading to surprising places. Wander around visiting different shops and restaurants and shopping for vibrant-colored handicrafts.

Alternatively, head to the Yoga Forest or Eagle’s Nest for stunning lake views and yoga classes. Visit the Cerro Tzankujil Nature Reserve for a fun day swimming and leaping off a ten-meter high platform into the lake.

As far as food goes, I recommend going to El Artesano Wine and Cheese at La Casa Zapote. They offer platters of fruits, nuts, cheeses, and accompanying glasses of wine. Casa Konojel is another delicious option.

If you’re interested in spirituality, be sure to check out Los Piramides (lucid dreaming and astral traveling), Eagle’s Nest (ecstatic dancing, alchemy breathwork), San Marcos Holistic Cottage (massage and energy harmonics), or a cacao workshop from Lava Love Cacao or Keith the Cacao Shaman.

CASA AHAU $

Casa Ahau is another of the best Lake Atitlán hotels for backpackers. It’s relaxed with hammocks and lounge areas. They have double rooms with garden views. As an added perk, they include breakfast in the price.

Check rates and availability on Booking.com


EL DRAGON HOTEL $$

El Dragon hotel
Photo © El Dragon Hotel

El Dragon is a beautiful lake-front hotel in San Marcos la Laguna. They have fabulous hot showers. They have a private beach area and fast free wifi. There is an on-site restaurant there as well with decent reviews. This is a safe, clean, and affordable accommodation option with incredible views over the lake.

Check rates and availability on Booking.com


LUSH ATITLAN $$

Lush Atitlan is another beautiful mid-range hotel. It is located on the hill of San Marcos la Laguna. The rooms are simple and clean with private bathrooms and lovely wooden accents. They have nice gardens and a great breakfast menu.

Check rates and availability on Booking.com


ANZAN ATITLAN $$$

Anzan Atitlan is one of the best and most exclusive luxury hotels available in San Marcos. It’s a calm peaceful place right on the shore of Lake Atitlán. It’s a short walk from the town. They also offer yoga and massage and have gorgeous and spacious private rooms.

Check rates and availability on Booking.com


Best Lake Atitlan Hotels in San Juan La Laguna

San Juan la Laguna is a quiet location with a primarily Tz’utujil Mayan population. This is one town you won’t want to miss! It is probably the cleanest town on Lake Atitlan. It is known for its natural textiles.

Be sure to take a free tour of at least one of the many textile cooperatives. While you’re there, you’ll learn about their thread-making process.

They also use natural dyes made from indigo, avocado seeds, annatto seeds, and other plants. Pretty cool! There’s also a free honey tour where you can learn about Guatemala’s unique sting-less honey bees.

One activity you won’t want to miss is climbing up to the Mirador Kaqasiiwaan. This overlook has amazing lake views. You’ll get to see San Pedro, Toliman, and Atitlan volcanoes from a completely different angle.

It only costs about Q10 to access the trail. Some of the steps have been painted with beautiful murals as well.

Another very popular activity in San Juan la Laguna is to hike up to the Indian Nose (La Nariz del Indio).

This high promontory has some of the most amazing vistas of Lake Atitlan around.

The hike is steep and challenging, so take lots of water. You’ll have to pay an additional fee once you reach the top because it’s on private property.

POSADA MANA $

Posada Mana is a family-style hostel with basic rooms, hammocks to chill in, and a fully equipped kitchen. It’s a great place to feel at home. It’s run by a local family who is very welcoming. It’s centrally located and has free wifi.

Check rates and availability on Booking.com


ECO HOTEL MAYACHIK $$

Eco Hotel Mayachik is a peaceful and cute eco-hotel. It’s a fabulous place to stay in Lake Atitlan.

They have free parking, free wifi, a spa, and a bar. Ask at the tour desk about their horseback rides, hikes, and more. This hotel offers family rooms with private bathrooms and beautiful gardens.

Check rates and availability on Booking.com


ECO HOTEL UXLABIL $$

This is another great hotel near the town of San Juan on Lake Atitlan. It specializes in bird-watching. It includes free wifi, free breakfast, and beautiful views from every room. Includes a private bathroom.

Check rates and availability on Booking.com


Best Lake Atitlan Hotels in Santiago Atitlan

Santiago Atitlan is a large commercial hub located east of San Lucas Toliman. It is less touristy than a lot of the other towns previously mentioned.

It is most famous for being the home of Maximón, a Mayan God and a syncretic Catholic saint. Visitors to Santiago can visit Maximón for a small fee.

He is made of wood, dressed in bright clothing, and usually has a cigar in his mouth. Worshippers of this eccentric deity offer him cigars, cigarettes, liquor, and money.

Santiago is the only town on Lake Atitlan known for woodworking. Many skilled artisans make amazing and intricate wooden puzzle boxes. They are a unique and beautiful gift. Be sure to visit some shops for a look!

Another fabulous activity you can do in Santiago Atitlan is to take a quetzal bird-watching tour. This tour is run by Audubon-trained guides.

They’ll take you into the Rey Tepepul nature reserve above Santiago to search for Guatemala’s elusive national bird. Quetzal birds are very rare and beautiful, with flashy green tails and bright redbreasts.

There are many cafés and restaurants to choose from, as well as art galleries to peruse.

HOTEL AND RESTAURANT BAMBU $$

This is a great place to stay in Lake Atitlán. It has bright rooms, lovely bungalows, an outdoor pool, and free kayaks.

Other travelers have noted the excellent customer service and food at this hotel. It also has a private dock for those who enjoy swimming in the lake.

Check rates and availability on Hotels.com


HOTEL TIOSH ABAJ $$

This hotel is a ten-minute walk from Santiago’s center. It includes a swimming pool, sauna, games room, and 4th-floor rooms with lake views.

Check rates and availability on Booking.com


CASA JOSEFA HOTEL $$

This is a well-rated mid-range hotel with lovely gardens and simple minimalist rooms. It has free wifi and friendly staff.

Check rates and availability on Booking.com


Best Lake Atitlan Hotels in Santa Cruz La Laguna

Santa Cruz la Laguna has great views of the volcanoes and a lovely beach-front path. Most tourists stick to the lake-side region with its cafés, restaurants, and hotels.

The town of Santa Cruz itself is a quiet non-touristy town that’s worth exploring for a more authentic experience.

This is a great place to enjoy stand-up paddleboarding and other water sports like swimming or renting a kayak. Since Santa Cruz is inside a protected bay, it is a calm place to enjoy Lake Atitlan (especially in the morning).

Another fun outdoor activity is to visit the Los Elementos Adventure Camp. They offer family packages which include archery, rock climbing, cliff jumping, and kayaking.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can get your high-altitude scuba diving certificate.

Scuba diving tours are also available.

Other activities to check out include getting a massage or taking a Spanish class. Amigos de Santa Cruz offers several classes to benefit the community.

For example, you can learn how to make Guatemalan traditional dishes such as Pepián, Jocon, or Subanik. Yum. Their other classes are on making bead bracelets Guatemalan-style, and weaving a scarf on a back-strap loom.

FREE CERVEZA HOSTEL $

Free Cerveza Hostel
Photo © Free Cerveza

Free Cerveza is a fun party hostel located in Santa Cruz la Laguna. They have glamping-style tents (private and shared) as well as a treehouse. They have two private docks, a sauna, and kayaks, and offer family-style dinners with free beer, games, and evening entertainment.

Read more on TripAdvisor


LA IGUANA PERDIDA $$

La Iguana Perdida terrace
Photo © La Iguana Perdida

This is a colorful hostel right by the main docks in Santa Cruz la Laguna. It has great views of San Pedro and Atitlan volcanoes. You can choose between dormitories or more luxurious private rooms, making this one of the best hotels available.

I went there just for breakfast before when I was traveling from Panajachel to San Juan de La Laguna and I enjoyed the laid back atmosphere and spectacular views from the terrace.

Check rates and availability on Booking.com


LAGUNA ECO RESORT $$$

La Laguna Eco Resort Room

This luxurious hotel is right on the waterfront. It includes a hot river rock spa pool, an award-winning vegetarian restaurant, and kayaks. The resort is on a nature reserve with trails.

Check rates and availability on Booking.com


Best Lake Atitlan Hotels Santa Catarina Palopo

Santa Catarina Palopo is a beautiful town on the northwestern shore of Lake Atitlán. It is located a few minutes’ drive from Panajachel.

Santa Catarina has been painted in blues, turquoises, and traditional patterns, making it one of the most picturesque villages on Lake Atitlan.

One of the best things to do in Santa Catarina visits the Cultural Center. After a brief history of some of their traditions, you’ll get the chance to try on their traditional clothing. It’s a lot of fun and is a great photo opportunity.

Another interesting spot is the Casa de los Abuelos, a small museum. You can learn the origin of the name of the town, its color scheme, and play a traditional game.

If swimming is your thing, head towards the right side of the bay and take a dip in the hot springs.

Santa Catarina has some cafés and restaurants and a few shops selling pottery and other local handicrafts. Wander around taking pictures and enjoying the scenery. The park by the lake is a nice spot for a picnic lunch, or to relax with a book.

JENNA’S RIVER BED AND BREAKFAST $$

Jeanna River Bed and breakfast
Photo © Jeanna River Bed and Breakfast

This hotel is on the road to Santa Catarina Palopo but is still worth a mention. It’s beautiful! The rooms are solid-walled yurts dotted around a pretty garden. Breakfast is included.

Check rates and availability on Booking.com


CASA PALOPÒ $$$

CASA Palopo
Photo © Casa Palopò

This is one of the more luxurious of Lake Atitlan’s hotels. It’s a great romantic getaway. You can choose the “charming and colorful” rooms in the main building or the private villa. The villa has a hot tub, private pool, kitchen, and living room.

Check rates and availability on Booking.com


TZAMPOC RESORT $$$

Tzampoc Resort
Photo © Tzampoc Resort

Stay in Lake Atitlan’s fabulous Tzampoc Resort, located on the road between Santa Catarina and San Antonio Palopo. It has an infinity pool, hot tub, and the option of hiring a private chef.

Check rates and availability on Booking.com


Where to stay in Lake Atitlan FAQ

I thought I would answer some common questions about staying in Late Atitlan which will help to plan your trip even better.

How many days do you need in Lake Atitlan?

It really depends on what you like to do and how many days you have. When I visited lake Atitlan I only had a week and I decided I wanted to get the feel of all the main towns around lake Atitlan so I just spent one or two days in each town.

I loved it and I managed to do all I wanted to but if I had more time of course I would have done more hiking and birdwatching or I would have relaxed in one of the spectacular Lake Atitlan hotels.

So it really depends on the kind of travels you are up to.

Lake Atitlan overview

Can you walk around lake Atitlan?

There may be trails for sure but it’s not advisable to do it on your own. I would join an organized tour that does trekking. There is one beautiful trekking trip that goes all the way from Antigua to Lake Atitlan walking through local villages and sleeping in homestays.

Is Guatemala safe for solo female travelers?

The short answer is yes Guatemala is safe for solo female travelers, however it always boils down to being smart and avoid putting yourself in dangerous situations.

Guatemala is third world country, with lots of poverty and therefore more subject to assaluts and petty thefts.

However if you stick to touristy areas and avoid walking on your own in the dark at night, getting drunk or hiking on your own, or any other fulish behaviour you can keep yourself safe.

Santa Catarina Palopo Lake atitlan

What are the entry requirements for Guatemala

In Guatemala they have just removed the Vaccine requirements for entry. So you will only need PCR test and you are good to go. Passport wise it depends when you are coming from.

Unless you are coming from the US, Canada or Europe, I suggest you should check on iVisa site to see if with your passport you are required to apply for any visa.

Is there Uber in Guatemala?

Yes, in Guatemala you can find UBER in the major cities such as Antigua and Guatemala city.

Santa Catarina Palopo

Where to stay in Lake Atitlan: final thoughts

I hope this list of the best Atitlan hotels together with a brief description of all the main tourist destination around the Lake Atitlan, will help you find the perfect accommodation for your stay, but most of all I wish you an amazing time in Guatemala.

If you wish to learn more about traveling to Guatemala here below are some of the most interesting posts I published. I Hope it helps .


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