Lake Atitlán in Guatemala- The land of eternal spring

Lake Atitlán in Guatemala: The land of eternal spring

One of Guatemala’s most frequently visited sites is Lake Atitlán.

To the naked eye, it is stunning. Its teal-colored freshwater sits just over 5,000 feet above the ocean in the highlands of Guatemala. It is surrounded by culturally rich Maya towns and three volcanos – San Pedro, Tolimán and Atitlán. Below the water, things get even more interesting. There are volcanic formations, hot springs and even a flooded Maya city.

About 84,000 years ago, this lake used to be the super volcano Los Chocoyos. After it erupted for the final time, the volcano’s chamber collapsed inward and formed a caldera. It was then filled with water from nearby rivers.

Today, these attractions bring in a large amount of ecotourism for the region–about 80%.

The 12 towns surrounding the lake each have something to offer. In Santiago Atitlán, you can visit the Maya deity Maximón. You can hike a volcano in San Pedro La Laguna. Consider visiting a hot spring in Santa Catarina Palopó. Or go scuba diving near Santa Cruz la Laguna. And in San Juan la Laguna, you can visit a honey or Maya textile co-op.

David Alinán, a tour guide with Contemporáneo Tours & Travel, says that a high dependency on tourism comes with positives and negatives. On one hand, it provides more economic growth and better access to technology and education. However, the rise in tourism has had some substantial impacts on Guatemalan culture.

“The negative part is a loss of identity,” Alinán told Morning Edition. “Perhaps we identify with Maya roots, but many of us born in the 90s lost our native language. Many of us only speak Spanish and perhaps an international language.”

Alinán says this loss is not immediate, rather gradual. He believes this loss of identity may come from adopting new cultural traditions that visitors bring. For example, in San Pedro an influx of Jewish tourists has led to the establishment of kosher restaurants, and you’re likely to hear Hebrew spoken in this town.

For locals like Glenda Rosales, ecotourism supports her family. She’s been a shop owner in Panajachel for over 15 years.

“We all rely on tourism here,” said Rosales. “If there is no tourism here, then our sales are low. It’s our job. So, we benefit from tourism coming to Guatemala, especially to Panajachel.”

If you needed a final reason to add Lake Atitlán on your list of places to visit, Guatemala is known as the “land of eternal spring” due to its advantageous rainy and dry seasons, with average high temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.

It’s no wonder with such good weather and attractions that this lake is a top destination in Guatemala.

Guatemala participates for the first time in the Arabian Travel Market tourism fair

Guatemala participates for the first time in the Arabian Travel Market tourism fair

In order to position Guatemala in a new market of travelers and promote the country as a tourist destination in the United Arab Emirates, a small delegation participates in the Arabian Travel Market from May 1 to 4, which also places itself in front of potential buyers. the tourist offer and services.

The Guatemalan delegation is made up of two businessmen: Mayan Gateway and San Pedro Spanisch School, in addition to INGUAT and the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the Guatemalan embassy in the Middle Eastern country.

The Guatemala stand provides the opportunity for international business partners to learn more about the cultural and natural wealth of our country as a tourist destination. In addition, activities will be carried out that include: coffee tasting by Guatemalan Coffees with the presence of barista and world champion Raúl Rodas. Presence of folkloric ballet from INGUAT and intervention by artists Emilie Dubois and Guillermo Cantón.

Arabian Travel Market is the market-leading international travel and tourism event unlocking business potential within the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. With the participation of 52 countries, 300 exhibitors and more than 7 thousand professional visitors.