Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlán is located in the volcanic highlands of Guatemala, Central America. Lake Atitlán is a caldera lake in western Guatemala which has three post-caldera stratovolcanoes known as San Pedro (3020 m.), Tolimán (3158 m.), and Atitlan (3535 m.). The basin is mountainous, with altitude varying from 1562 meters to 3340 meters. The climate is variable; the average temperature is 18.6°C. The surface of the basin of Lake Atitlán is 625 km2, of which the lake covers 130 km2. The maximum depth of the lake is 324 m. The basin covers about 50% of the Sololá department and encompasses 17 municipalities. The population in the basin is 180,000 inhabitants; 91% are of indigenous Mayan origin; 60% of the people live less than 3 kilometers of the lake. Cores contain evidence of Mayan disturbance of the environment around the lake and, to a lesser degree, of the lake itself;

The lake basin has as touristic value; already some 50% of the tourists to Guatemala visit Lake Atitlán. Commerce and services (20%) and industry (10%) offer other employment in the basin. It is the second most important tourist destination for foreign visitors due to its rich Mayan culture and traditions, making it one of the main cultural attractions of the country. Nevertheless, its landscapes make the place also suitable for adventure and extreme sports.