Lake Atitlán, often referred to as the “Jewel of the Highlands,” captivates travelers with its postcard-perfect scenery. Surrounded by towering volcanoes and lush hillsides, the lake’s azure waters reflect a stunning panorama, creating an idyllic setting that seems almost too perfect to be real. Its picturesque villages and vibrant Mayan culture are reason enough to visit, but staying at one of the best boutique hotels in Lake Atitlán further elevates the experience for an unforgettable getaway.
These gorgeous hotels offer a distinct blend of elegance, personalized service, and unparalleled comfort, making them the perfect choice for couples, families, and even solo travelers. As someone who has stayed in every town around “The Lake” (as we call it), these are my top recommendations for the best places to stay in Lake Atitlan!
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Getting to Lake Atitlan from Guatemala City & Antigua
You’ll usually fly into La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City to get to Guatemala. From there, Lake Atitlan three hours away. However, if you fly into Guatemala City at night, we do not recommend driving as it can be dangerous. Instead, spend the night at one of these hotels in Guatemala City. And that way, you can also check out some cool things to do in Guatemala City. Or, you can head to and stay in Antigua first (one hour driving from Guatemala and well worth the visit) and then head to Lake Atitlan.
You have several transportation options available to get to Lake Atitlan. But because of the distance, I recommend booking a taxi either on your own or from your hotel. You can also book a shuttle if you’re on a budget.
Best Towns to Stay in Lake Atitlan
Lago Atitlan has 14 distinct towns, each radiating with its unique flair and appeal. Some towns hum with vibrancy, providing many opportunities for shopping and dining, while others are serene and tranquil, emphasizing wellness and relaxation. I have stayed in every single one of them, so here is a list of the towns you cannot miss.
- Panajachel: Panajachel is a lively and dynamic town, usually the first stop on any lake tour. It has a myriad of shops, restaurants, lively streets, and colorful markets to enjoy. It is also one of the easiest day trips from Antigua.
- San Pedro la Laguna: San Pedro is a thriving town that caters to backpackers and budget travelers. The lively streets are adorned with charming shops, cafes, and especially bars making it an ideal destination for people looking for exciting nightlife.
- Santa Cruz la Laguna: For those in search of a luxurious and serene hideaway. Santa Cruz offers a picturesque setting. The area’s breathtaking vistas of the lake, and nearby volcanoes make it a perfect spot to decompress and enjoy the more laid-back ambiance.
- San Marcos la Laguna: San Marcos, is a haven for those seeking wellness and spirituality. With an array of holistic activities, such as yoga and meditation, it’s an ideal location to reestablish a connection with oneself and rejuvenate the spirit!
- San Juan la Laguna: San Juan is an enchanting and genuine town celebrated for its vibrant art scene and traditional Mayan culture. The town’s alleys are adorned with vibrant murals and art galleries that exhibit the unmatched creativity of the local craftsmen.
Getting Around the Lake
Getting around the area is easy thanks to various transportation options catering to diverse preferences. Typically, the only way to move from town to town is through a boat taxi! There is a port in every town that has lanchas stopping about every 20 minutes. If you know your hotel has a port, you can ask the driver if they can drop you off at that dock to make your life a little easier!
Best Boutique Hotels in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Lake Atitlan boasts an array of boutique hotels that are as delightful as they are distinctive. With my carefully curated selection, you can choose from a range of indulgences, whether you prefer grand accommodations with awe-inspiring views or more intimate, cozy escapes nestled amid lush greenery.
1. La Casa del Mundo ★
La Casa del Mundo offers an unforgettable experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression. With a fantastic restaurant serving healthy meals, a sunset bar for delicious cocktails, and a yoga platform to help you unwind. To top it off, the hotel also provides massage services and complimentary kayaks and paddleboards for guests to explore the lake and surrounding areas.
- Location: Jaibalito, Lake Atitlan
- Cost: Starting at $67/night
- Ratings: Booking.com: 9.2/10 | Expedia: 9.2/10
2. Villas B’alam Ya ★
Villas B’alam Ya offers a plethora of amenities that guarantee an unforgettable stay. They have inspiring lake views, scrumptious meals at the restaurant on-site, and pampering spa massages. The private villas themselves are spacious and luxurious, equipped with private balconies, fully furnished kitchens, and cozy living spaces that create a homely ambiance. I think it is one of the best hotels in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala and definitely worth checking out!
3. Atitlan Sunset Lodge ★
The Atitlan Sunset Lodge offers a variety of amenities to ensure your comfort and satisfaction. You can choose to unwind in the hot tub or relax with a book in the garden lounge. The hotel also provides complimentary shuttle services to neighboring towns, and the staff is happy to assist in planning tours and activities, allowing you to explore the stunning natural beauty and cultural richness of Lake Atitlan with ease!
- Location: Sta. Cruz La Laguna
- Cost: Starting at $59/night
- Rating: Booking: 9.4/10
4. Hotel Atitlan
Hotel Atitlan is a luxurious retreat that offers guests a wide range of exceptional amenities. You can take a leisurely stroll through the lush gardens, a refreshing swim in the outdoor pool or Jacuzzi, or indulge in a rejuvenating spa treatment at the in-house wellness center! The hotel has three restaurants that offer an impressive selection of regional delicacies and global cuisine. Please note, this hotel is not on the water of Lake Atitlan but in the mountains overlooking it! This means traveling to the other towns will be a bit more difficult as you need to descend to the water first.
5. Hotel Casa Palopo ★
Hotel Casa Palopo offers a quiet boutique experience, complete with a range of amenities. You can indulge in massages and spa treatments to unwind, while kayaks and paddleboards are at your disposal for a thrilling exploration of the lake. The hotel’s acclaimed restaurant is renowned for its gourmet Guatemalan cuisine, which can be enjoyed on the rooftop terrace! This spot truly has a stunning view you will love waking up to each day.
- Location: San Antonio Palopo
- Cost: Starting at $218/night
- Ratings: Booking: 8.3/10 | Expedia: 9.0/10
6. Villa Santa Catarina
Villa Santa Catarina, an elegant boutique hotel, is situated in a serene town on the eastern side of the Lake . With its modern and spacious rooms, it offers guests an exclusive and tranquil retreat. The hotel’s private shoreline access and breathtaking views make it a luxurious getaway spot for indulging in Guatemala’s ancient volcano lake. This is a less popular tourist town, so it is great for cheaper prices and a more peaceful experience!
- Location: Santa Catarina Palopo
- Cost: Starting at $75/night
- Ratings: Booking: 8.8/10 | Expedia: 8.6/10
7. Casa Prana Hotel
Casa Prana Hotel provides the perfect hideaway for those looking to disconnect and rejuvenate. The hotel has various amenities, such as a private beach, yoga studio, and locally-sourced organic meals, alongside spa treatments. All of this takes place amidst the stunning natural beauty of Lake Atitlan, offering a chance to unwind and bask in the tranquility of the surroundings.
8. Reserva Natural Atitlan
The Reserva Natural Atitlan serves as an exceptional eco-resort. With its rustic atmosphere, breathtaking panoramas, and environmentally-friendly amenities such as composting toilets and solar-powered hot water, this haven offers a serene reprieve from the tumultuousness of
modern life. For those seeking adventure, the resort offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, kayaking, and birdwatching, all accessible within the resort’s borders!
9. Eco-Hotel Mayachik
The hotel is proud to provide a range of exceptional amenities, including organic vegetarian cuisine sourced from local farmers, rejuvenating yoga classes, and a peaceful garden sanctuary for guests to relax in. As a promoter of sustainability and community, Eco-Hotel Mayachik is the perfect choice for eco-conscious travelers looking for an enriching experience in Lake Atitlan. It is also located in an artistic town, so there are plenty of galleries, bee farms, and the Indian Nose hike to enjoy here!
- Location: San Juan La Laguna
- Cost: Starting at $10/night, but also offers volunteer opportunities for free housing!
- Ratings: Booking: 8.7/10 | Expedia: 10/10
10. Hotel San Buenaventura de Atitlan
The Hotel San Buenaventura de Atitlan offers a variety of amenities to ensure a memorable stay, including peaceful gardens, an enticing swimming pool, and a lakefront restaurant serving delectable cuisine. This hotel is the perfect getaway for guests seeking tranquility and the opportunity to revel in the stunning natural scenery.
11. Tzampoc Resort
Tzampoc Resort Atitlan is an exceptional eco-lodge, promising an unforgettable stay amid breathtaking natural beauty. The name comes from the native Mayan language of Tz’utujil, which you will hear being spoken a lot in this area. You can revel in a host of amenities, from a private beach and kayaks for exploring the lake to a hot tub, and a restaurant serving delectable cuisine crafted from locally sourced ingredients. The resort’s unwavering dedication to preserving the environment and promoting sustainability ensures a responsible, one-of-a-kind experience of Lake Atitlan’s splendor.
- Location: Santa Catarina Palopo
- Cost: Starting at $201/night
- Ratings: Booking: 8.9/10 | Expedia: 8.2/10
12. Jenna’s River Bed & Breakfast
Nestled in a picturesque garden with a flowing river, Jenna’s River Bed & Breakfast Atitlan is a delightful haven that beckons you seeking to escape the stresses of modern life. Guests can look forward to cozy accommodations, a traditional breakfast each morning, and an inviting ambiance that promotes relaxation and tranquility. The B&B’s serene setting and friendly hospitality make it an idyllic retreat for those seeking to reconnect with nature and unwind from the daily grind.
- Location: Panajach
- Cost: Starting at $97/night
- Ratings: Booking: 8.2/10 | Expedia: 9/10
- Check availability here: Booking and Expedia
13. Lush Atitlan
Lush Atitlan is a boutique hotel that offers an exclusive stay with its alluring lodgings and exotic botanical gardens. Its guests can luxuriate in a range of facilities, such as a saltwater infinity pool, a spa, a restaurant that follows a farm-to-table approach, and an outdoor yoga deck that provides an awe-inspiring vista of the lake. This hotel is located in the ‘hippie’ town, so there are hundreds of spiritual retreats, concerts, and events all year round. Plus, you must stop at the Konojel Restaurant for some amazing pupusas!
- Location: San Marcos La Laguna
- Cost: Starting at $65/night
- Ratings: Booking: 8.4/10
14. El Picnic Atitlan
The El Picnic Atitlan hotel is a delightful and vivid establishment that presents awe-inspiring vistas of the lake and adjacent mountains. This boutique hotel is a cozy abode that offers comfortable lodgings, a restaurant serving scrumptious local cuisine, and a serene garden area that is ideal for unwinding.
15. Laguna Lodge Eco Resort
Located along the banks of Lake Atitlan, the Laguna Lodge Eco Resort Atitlan is an idyllic eco-friendly sanctuary that boasts of magnificent vistas and splendid lodgings. Guests are invited to indulge in a range of amenities, which include an organic restaurant, a rejuvenating spa, and a private dock for kayaking and swimming. The resort’s dedication to conservation and the natural environment makes it an ideal destination for travelers who seek both relaxation and adventure.
- Location: Santa Cruz
- Cost: Starting at $238/night
- Rating: Google Reviews: 4.3/5
16. La Fortuna Atitlan ★
Nestled amidst verdant gardens edging the tranquil Lake Atitlan, the La Fortuna Atitlan hotel exudes a serene charm. It offers snug lodgings, a restaurant dishing out scrumptious Guatemalan and global fare, and facilities such as a swimming pool and hot tub to make your stay comfortable. It is on my bucket list to stay at this spot, as it is private and tucked away from everything. Making it a perfect spot for a romantic getaway and one of the best luxury hotels in Lake Atitlan Guatemala!
- Location: Santa Cruz
- Cost: Starting at $180/night
- Rating: Google Reviews: 4.5/5
Set in a serene corner of Lake Atitlan, Anzan Atitlan is a hidden oasis perfect for travelers seeking a peaceful getaway. This eco-friendly resort offers breathtaking views of the lake, expansive gardens, a yoga studio, and a farm-to-table restaurant that serves delicious and nourishing cuisine. Their rooms are neat and modern, and the house has a stunning private beach to enjoy the lake in!
- Location: San Marcos
- Cost: Starting at $243/night
- Rating: Booking: 8.6/10 | Expedia: 10/10
18. Bambu Hotel
For travelers seeking an idyllic respite with picturesque views of Lake Atitlan, Bambu Hotel Santiago Atitlan is an excellent choice. The owners are friendly and committed to service, providing an array of amenities such as an outdoor pool, restaurant, bar, and complimentary Wi-Fi, promising a perfect balance of comfort and convenience. They have some excellent views of Volcan de San Pedro, a quiet bamboo garden, and traditional Guatemalan hot chocolate which is perfect with breakfast!
- Location: Santiago La Laguna
- Cost: Starting at $85/night
- Ratings: Expedia: 9.2/10
Bonus: Uniquely Cool Hostels in Lake Atitlan
One of the best parts of Lake Atitlan is there is quite literally something for everyone, even when it comes to hotels! There are dirt cheap hostels if you are a real budget traveler, and nicer ones if you still want some comfort. Here are two I recommend if you want a blend of budget-friendly and accommodating hostels!
19. Free Cerveza Hostel
At the Free Cerveza Hostel Atitlan, located in a delightful lakeside town, guests can enjoy a vibrant and lively atmosphere. Upon arrival, travelers are greeted with free beer (hence the name!) and the opportunity to mingle with fellow adventurers. The hostel offers various amenities such as a communal kitchen, comfortable lounge areas, and complimentary Wi-Fi. They host family dinners each night, where you can sign up for the meal that is on the menu for that night and enjoy it with everyone sitting down together! This is a great way to meet people and enjoy the traveling community!
20. Selina Panajachel
Selina, situated in the center of Panajachel, provides chic and cozy lodging with a variety of perks. They have a great co-working area, restaurant, bar, swimming pool, and even a movie room. Selina’s dynamic vibes and amiable staff make it a preferred destination for visitors seeking a chance to mingle and engage with fellow guests while taking in the captivating vistas of Lake Atitlan
General Lake Atitlan Travel Tips
As someone who has spent a lot of time at the lake, here are my tips and tricks for traveling at Lake Atitlan! It took me a while to learn these so they should be very helpful if it is your first time!
- Always keep some cash on hand for traveling costs as boat taxis tend to be about 20 Quetzales (Q) per ride, but this is subject to change due to the ‘gringo tax’. Taking a boat trip on the Lake is iconic and one of the Best Things to Do in Guatemala!
- Try the local food and the national dish Pepian! I will say too much street food can upset foreign stomachs, but restaurants are usually safe and the flavors of the Mayan cuisine are incredible.
- Another tip about boat taxis, try to get out on the lake early in the morning! The winds come in around the mid afternoon and can make the waters very choppy, which makes for uncomfortable boat rides.
- Try to see the Best Lake Atitlan Towns to Visit. Each town on Lake Atitlan has a unique vibe, so it can be great to get out and see everything the Lake has to offer. There is so much to see here, you will not want to miss it!