Today you will enjoy a stunning mountain hike in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. While standing on the dock of San Juan La Laguna on Lake Atitlan, you can look up to see a mountain top shaped like the tip of a nose and the profile of a man’s face looking at the sky.
It is a wonderful thing to see, but do not stop there. Climb to the top of this mountain to view the area from there also. The Mayan face mountain provides a magnificent view of the surrounding areas.
The famous novelist Aldous Huxley considered Lake Atitlán to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Three volcanoes form a majestic backdrop to the lake. There are many indigenous villages surrounding the lake. These are great places to see the beauty and variety of the Mayan culture. Every town has a distinct Mayan dress with patterns and colors that represent the traditions and heritage of that village.
Lake Atitlan is located at 5,000 feet above the sea level. It is the second largest lake in Guatemala, with a surface area of more than 125 square kilometers. At a maximum depth of 324 meters, it is also the deepest lake in Central America.
As you hike up in the dark you feel the vastness of Lake Atitlan. From the summit you are able to see a detonation of colors as the sun comes up above the breathtaking mountains.
We start off in the town of San Juan. The hike starts at lake-water altitude which is around 5,000 feet (1,500 meters above sea level). The pathway goes up on a single track between corn and coffee farmlands. It goes up on a steep hill with a good deal of stairs. After 15 – 20 minutes you will find yourself at the top of a mountain with a cross that overlooks San Juan. This view is only half as good as the view from the very top. It takes about two hours to reach the top so the hike should start around 4:30 at the trailhead, which means your guide will pick you up at around 4:00am depending on in which town you will be staying at the lake.
You will be picked up from your hotel Lake Atitlan area to start this day tour. This lake is surrounded by Mayan towns, some of them are only accessible by boat. Enjoy a boat ride across the lake to the town of San Juan La Laguna, where you can look up to the magnificent view of the place you will soon be standing.
Enjoy the hike to the top of the mountain the ‘Mayan face’, while being surrounded by nature. On the way to the summit, you will have various viewpoints where you will be able to see the volcanoes, the lake and surrounding mountains.
Once you reach this viewpoint, you will gaze in awe at the magnificent lake that many call home, as well as three volcanoes that are located here.
When coming down the mountain to end your hike, you will be impressed by the nearing water views again. After that, you will have the chance to go back to your hotel or extend your tour. An exceptional option is to swim in a place called ‘the crystal waters’. It is a section of the lake with blue clear water where you can take a swim after the hike.
In addition to that, you may explore the town of San Juan at the end of the hike. The town has a lot of cooperatives which offer the work of local painters. Moreover, visit an organic coffee farm and taste the best coffee of the world.
Traveler pickup from hotel in Lake Atitlan area