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The Western Highlands is home to the volcanic Lake Atitlán

From the border with Mexico to the outskirts of Antigua, the Western Highlands are a lush and scenic mountain region in Guatemala, home to mist-shrouded peaks, volcanic landscapes, and indigenous traditions that make this region a must-visit on your holiday to Guatemala.

In the heart of the Western Highlands lies Lake Atitlán, a beautiful volcanic lake formed 84,000 years ago by a volcanic eruption. The lake sits approximately 4,900 ft above sea level, 11 miles in length and up to 1,100 ft in depth, making it the deepest lake in Central America. Surrounded by three volcanoes and traditional Maya villages, the lake has been designated a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

One of the most recent and fascinating finds at Lake Atitlán is the submerged Maya city of Samabaj, the "Maya Atlantis", which was lost when the lake waters rose for reasons still unknown to archaeologists.

Holidays to Guatemala start from £3,999pp. Get in touch to find out prices for your perfect trip.

The Area

Visitors to the Western Highlands can engage in a variety of activities like browsing the colourful textiles of Chichicastenango Market, exploring the cloud forests of Quetzaltenango, or taking a rejuvenating dip in the Fuentes Georginas hot springs. Around Lake Atitlán, the towns of Panajachel, San Pedro La Laguna, and Santiago Atitlán offer unique experiences such as traditional weaving workshops, coffee tours, and artisanal markets. Water sports, including kayaking and paddleboarding, are popular on the lake itself.

The Western Highlands is home to rich wildlife, providing a sanctuary for many species. Lake Atitlán alone is home to 116 species of reptiles and amphibians and 236 species of birds, such as the resplendent quetzal, blue-throated toucanet and horned guan. There are also 141 types of mammals including the Guatemalan deer mouse, the black-handed spider monkey, and the Northern tamandua.

Best Time To Go

The best time to visit the Western Highlands on your holiday to Guatemala is during the dry season, which lasts from November to April. The weather is clear and pleasant, making it excellent for outdoor activities and experiencing the area's natural splendour. However, the region's moderate temperature makes it a year-round destination, with each season bringing its own set of attractions and activities.

Ready to begin creating your perfect Holiday to Guatemala, Simply complete the enquiry form to get in touch, or call our Travel Specialists on 020 3481 9586.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out some of our Guatemala itineraries.

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