Thursday, May 7, 2015


“Gorgeous looking view of one of the most beautiful lakes in the world...Thanks Alé!
Photo © M. Cattelan
Lake Atitlán with its surface of 130 sq. km is the third largest freshwater lake in Guatemala. It is situated in the district of Sololá in the western highlands of Guatemala. The lake is approx. 18 km wide and 10 km long and lies at an altitude of 1,562 m. It is surrounded by three volcanoes: Atitlán (3,537 m), Tolimán (3,158 m) and San Pedro (2,995 m), which compose an imposing panorama around the highland lake.

Lake Atitlán lies in a crater, created by a great eruption of a volcano, the Chocoyos Eruption, approx. 85,000 years ago. As there is no outlet, the water level rose over the past years through the inlets of the principal rivers of the basin. The deepest point detected is approximately 340 m.

It has been selected as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The word "atitlan" is a Mayan word that translates as "the place where the rainbow gets its colors." Indigenous communities live around the lake and more than forty archaeological sites have been identified.

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