Guatemala may have travel restrictions in place, including self-quarantine, due to COVID-19.

Find out moreOpens in new tab or window

Santiago AtitlanGuatemala

Climb up volcanoes and learn about indigenous art and culture at this picturesque Mayan town on the shores of Lake Atitlán.

Santiago Atitlán lies in a bay at the foot of two volcanoes, surrounded by forest-covered mountains. This is the largest community on the banks of Lake Atitlán and is where many locals wear historical costume. Visit for the natural beauty and traditional architecture and discover more about the indigenous way of life.

At almost every turn Santiago Atitlán, you will see a volcano. Directly above the town are the volcanoes Volcán San Pedro and Volcán Toliman. Embark on strenuous hikes to the craters for the best views of the area.

Learn about the region’s past at the 16th-century Parish Church of St. James the Apostle. Look at the marble plaques that detail the history of the town. Study the carvings on the pulpit that mix Mayan and Catholic figures and symbols. If you are in luck, you might see one of the town’s religious icons, a small statue of St. Maximón. The effigy of this Mayan folk saint is passed between residents, moving to a different house each year following the Easter celebrations. Ask around and you might discover where he is being kept.

As you walk through the streets, note the similarity of the clothes that many of the locals are wearing. Men usually sport white shorts with purple stripes, while the women are dressed in purple skirts and blouses embroidered with colorful images of native birds and flowers. Get insight into the significance of these outfits at the Cojola Association of Maya Women Weavers. Visit this small museum to hear about the origin and development of the costumes. Watch one of the daily demonstrations of backstrap loom weaving, an ancient art that has been practiced for centuries.

Dine in a traditional restaurant and try some of the local specialties such as a type of stew called pulique and patín, a dish made with small fish from the lake. There are also several restaurants serving international food.

Access to Santiago Atitlán is relatively straightforward, unlike some of the smaller lakeside communities. A regular bus service runs daily from Guatemala City, about 77 miles (124 kilometers) away. Alternatively, rent a car to reach the picturesque town and its cultural delights.

Top Hotels in Santiago Atitlan

Hotel Vista Dorada Hacia Dios
Hotel Vista Dorada Hacia Dios
2.5 out of 5
Cantón Tzamchicham, Santiago Atitlan, Solola
The price is NT$1,378 per night from Jan 19 to Jan 20

Situated in Santiago Atitlan, this hotel is 0.9 mi (1.4 km) from St. James the Apostle Church.

4/5Very Good! (3 reviews)
A rare jewel

"The hotel is pri.arily a Christian retreat facility so it is not Americanish, it is very plain in the rooms. But the grounds are extraordinarily creative and beautiful. And the staff were very kind and helpful. The sign is small. It is behind a long white steel security fence. You will be very ..."…"

Reviewed on 2019/4/11

Hotel Vista Dorada Hacia Dios
Hotel y Restaurante Bambu
Hotel y Restaurante Bambu
3 out of 5
Carretera San Lucas Toliman, Km. 16, Santiago Atitlan, Solola
Get Rates

This family-friendly Santiago Atitlan lodge is located on the waterfront, within a 15-minute walk of Multiple Use Area Lake Atitlan Basin, Central Park, and ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (45 reviews)

"The whole property is very lovely, really nice pool and suana."…"

Reviewed on 2020/1/19

Hotel y Restaurante Bambu
Pescador Hotel PH
Pescador Hotel PH
2.5 out of 5
Pachavac, Santiago Atitlan, Solola
The price is NT$1,282 per night from Jan 19 to Jan 20

Situated in the historical district, this historic hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of St. James the Apostle Church, Cojolya Museum, and Central Park. Toliman Volcano ...

4.3/5Excellent! (8 reviews)

"The Pescador Hotel was under construction during our stay, and due to extremely thin walls this was very disruptive as it often started early in the morning. There was only 1 staff member present for the duration of our stay. It was clear he worked incredibly hard to make our stay pleasant, and at ..."…"

Reviewed on 2019/6/27

Pescador Hotel PH
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Vacation Rentals in Santiago Atitlan

El Remanso de Tecpan
El Remanso de Tecpan
3 out of 5
Km 93.5 Carretera Interamericana, Interior Finca Chichavac, Tecpan Guatemala, Chimaltenango

Situated in Tecpan Guatemala, this cabin is 6.8 mi (11 km) from Iximche Mayan Ruins and within 32 mi (52 km) of Multiple Use Area Lake Atitlan Basin and Panajachel ...

4.3/5Excellent! (4 reviews)
Dream vacation in Tecpan

"This hotel is perfect for resting, staff is really kind, the food is good quality and price....the facilities are brand new and everything works perfect"…"

Reviewed on 2017/12/28

El Remanso de Tecpan
Villas Jucanya
Villas Jucanya
3.5 out of 5
Barrio Jucanya, Calle del Lago, Frente al Lago (juegos infantiles), Panajachel, Solola
The price is NT$4,414 per night from Jan 18 to Jan 19

Situated in Panajachel, this beach vacation home is within a 15-minute walk of Multiple Use Area Lake Atitlan Basin and La Galeria. Casa Cakchiquel Arts Center ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (19 reviews)

"It’s a beautiful setting that feels natural and safe."…"

Reviewed on 2020/10/21

Villas Jucanya
Luxury Villas Atitlan
Luxury Villas Atitlan
3 out of 5
Bahia de San Buena Aventura, Panajachel, Solola

Situated in Panajachel, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Multiple Use Area Lake Atitlan Basin and Casa Cakchiquel Arts Center. Azul Maya Archaeological ...

3.3/5 (16 reviews)

"What a view! Beautiful space. Nice swimming pool."…"

Reviewed on 2020/1/27

Luxury Villas Atitlan
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Santiago Atitlan

0

Reviews of Santiago Atitlan

5

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
2
5 - Excellent 100%
4 - Good
0
4 - Good 0%
3 - Okay
0
3 - Okay 0%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jun 27, 2019

Santiago Atitlan has much to offer, from pleasant scenery, outdoor activities like hiking, biking, boating, etc, shopping, and wonderful dining experiences. There are many shops with beautiful souvenirs and handwoven articles along the primera calle.