Life on Lake Atitlán

I suspect that once you’ve visited Lake Atitlán, it will remain in your heart forever, and you will long to one day return to its shores. There is something magical about this place, starting with its name. Atitlán means “the place where the rainbow gets its colours” and if you look at any picture of Lake Atitlán anywhere, you can see why it earned its name.

Spray from my boat dancing before a glassy lake and hulking volcano. Heavenly.

It is held to be one of three energy vortexes on the earth’s surface – the other two being the Great Pyramids and Macchu Picchu. It holds many secrets. Not too long ago, archaeologists discovered remains of two entire towns hidden on the bed of this lake, whose depths have never been fully plumbed. Who knows what else lurks below. There is also the Xocomil, that strange wind (some attribute it to the energy vortex) that churns the lake into a frenzy at about 4pm every day.

This lake is the lifeblood of the little Mayan villages surrounding it. It is a major mode of transport; all kinds of boats glide back and forth across the silken surface, many of them tourist boats, but the images that captivated me were of people young and old living their everyday lives on and around this enchanting lake.

I love the smile on his face. Lake Atitlán makes me smile like that too.

Women were doing laundry everywhere around the edges of the lake when I was there.

guatemala, lago de atitlan, lake atitlan, laundry, travel, travelogue, photography, ailsa prideaux-mooney

guatemala, lago de atitlan, lake atitlan, laundry, travel, travelogue, photography, ailsa prideaux-mooney

But perhaps the most important function the lake plays in the lives of the surrounding Mayan villages is this:

Local children splashing around in Lago de Atitlán near Santiago

I hope it won’t take me too long to return to the shores of this magical lake.

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About ailsapm

Hi there! I’m Ailsa Prideaux-Mooney. I’ve lived in many places, and travelled to many more. I had a lot of fun getting there and being there, wherever there happened to be at the time. I climbed a castle wall in Czesky Krumlov, abseiled down cliffs to go caving in the west of Ireland, slept on the beach in Paros, got chased by a swarm of bees in Vourvourou (ok that wasn’t fun, but it was exciting), learned flower arranging in Tokyo, found myself in the middle of a riot in Seoul, learned to snowboard in Salzburg, got lost in a labyrinth in Budapest and had my ice cream stolen by a gull in Cornwall. And I’m just getting started. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far, I’d love you to follow my travelogue - wheresmybackpack.com - and remember, anyone who tries to tell you it’s a small world hasn’t tried to see it all.
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5 Responses to Life on Lake Atitlán

  1. Stefan says:

    excellent shots – it’s a world so different than mine – very interesting!

  2. thirdeyemom says:

    Now I even want to go more! It is so gorgeous! I hope to make it back someday!!!

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