Lake Atitlan is where I had been dreaming of. A lake surrounded by volcanoes looked a little bit like I imagine heaven. Backpacking can be a tiring adventure, lacking most luxuries, so when I found a bargain deal for a night at a five-star hotel on Lake Atitlan, I couldn’t say no!
We checked into Hotel Atitlan for our first night on the lake. The hotel is down the road from the main town, Panajachel. The rooms are huge (two double beds!) and luxurious, while the views are absolutely stunning. We immediately dumped our bags and ran to the pool!
The restaurant was also surprisingly reasonably priced, and we enjoyed sipping cocktails with this view from the bar. One night at the hotel, in July, cost us £59 between us, plus the money we spent on food and drinks and it was 100% worth it. It was by far the most glamorous and fabulous place I have ever stayed!
The next day, after wishing our time to check out would never come, we hopped on a tuk-tuk back to Panajachel and took a lancha (small boat) across the lake to the village of San Pedro la Laguna. We stayed at Zoola’s Hostel – a chilled out, laid back, hippie-heaven run by Israeli’s and serving up some of the best falafel wraps I’ve ever had!
The hostel has a beautiful and well-maintained pool and bar, and beautiful views.
San Pedro is a small town, which appeared to be full of Israeli influence – think falafels and tzatsiki everywhere! There are some great restaurants and even a couple of bars.
You can take yoga classes, rent a kayak, or hike the San Pedro volcano or Indian Nose. We opted for the 3am Indian Nose sunrise hike, and it was well worth the early wake up!
We hiked to the top (about a 45 minute walk) and waited for the clouds to clear. The view was breathtaking.
We could see volcanoes all the way around the lake, and the small towns dotted in between. It was incredible.
Our favourite discovery in San Pedro was a little cafe called La Terraza, just further down the road than Hostel Fe, where you could enjoy a delicious and incredibly cheap fresh fruit smoothie with a view!
Lake Atitlan was definitely one of my favourite places from the whole trip this summer and you MUST include it on your itinerary for Central America, just simply for how beautiful it is!