Lake Atitlan covers a huge area and there are many regions around the lake that have hostels that you can stay in, including San Pedro La Laguna, San Marco La Laguna, Panajachel, Solola and Santa Cruz La Laguna.
Panajachel is the largest of the towns on the lake. It is not overly aesthetically pleasing, however you will find many of the transport hubs here and you can take either buses to other destinations or boats across the lake to the other towns on the waterfront.
San Pedro La Laguna is the second most popular town here and you will find hostels scattered throughout the town. It is known as a party town but also has a large number of Spanish schools where you can settle in and learn to speak some of the language.
San Marco La Laguna has a reputation of being more zen and chilled out and if you are interested in taking a yoga or meditation retreat, then here is the place to do it. The hostels here are also very relaxed and chilled out. Some nights of the week you will find that they have big parties over here and you can take boats to get here from any other regions around the lake.
Santa Cruz La Laguna has limited hostel options, but it's again known for being super chilled but has a massive BBQ and party night on Saturday night that travelers seem to flock to.
All of these places you can get in and around using boats for transport. It is not recommended to try walking between the towns around the lake as there have been many assaults and robberies that have occurred on the roads. The towns themselves however, are more safe.
There are many things that you can do including hiking, markets, school, relaxing on the water, kayaking, horseback riding and so much more, it just depends on the town that you are in and what you like doing. Take a week, hop around the different towns and get among it. There is plenty to do here and it is set to a backdrop of some of the most amazing scenery of volcanoes and water.
Hi, I'm Globetrotter,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Lake Atitlán hostels. Welcome.