Lake Atitlán (2011)
Lake Atitlán (Lago de Atitlán) is a large endorheic lake (one that does not flow to the sea) in the Guatemalan Highlands. While Atitlan is recognized to be the deepest lake in Central America, its bottom has not been completely sounded. Estimates of its maximum depth range up to 340 meters. The lake is shaped by deep escarpments which surround it and by three volcanos on its southern flank. Lake Atitlan is further characterized by towns and villages of the Maya people. Lake Atitlán is about 50 kilometres (31 mi) west-northwest of Antigua. Lake Atitlán should not be confused with Lake Amatitlán. Lake Amatitlán is located about 65 kilometres (40 mi) southeast of Lake Atitlán and 16 kilometres (10 mi) southeast of Antigua. Lake Atitlán is much larger than Lake Amatitlán.
The lake is volcanic in origin, filling an enormous caldera formed in an eruption 84,000 years ago. It is renowned as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, and Aldous Huxley famously wrote of it: "Lake Como, it seems to me, touches on the limit of permissibly picturesque, but Atitlán is Como with additional embellishments of several immense volcanoes. It really is too much of a good thing."
Atitlán volcano seen in back
The lake basin supports extensive coffee growth and a variety of farm crops, most notably corn. Other significant agricultural products include onions, beans, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, chile verde, strawberries, avocados and pitahaya fruit. The lake itself is rich in animal life which provides a significant food source for the largely indigenous population.
There is no road that circles the lake. Communities are reached by boat or roads from the mountains that may have brief extensions along the shore. Santa Cruz La Laguna and Jaibalito can only be reached by boat. Santa Catarina Palopó and San Antonio Palopó are linked to Panajachel. Main places otherwise are Santa Clara La Laguna and San Pedro La Laguna in the West, Santiago Atitlán in the South, and San Lucas Tolimán in the East.
Text from Wikipedia
Santiago de Atitlán
boat landing in Santiago de Atitlán
People and Places