Photographer's Note

A sunset view of the Atitlan Lake and the omonymous volcano, from the small village of Panajachel.
After the sunset we went all the evening to have a dinner and post-dinner to the Circus Bar, where some guys plays guitars all the night, where it was possible to meet people from all the world and where a Cuba Libre had a price in the local money (Quetzal) of 0.50 euro of today!

*Scanned image*


Lago de Atitlán is a large lake in the Guatemalan Highlands. While Atitlan is recognized to be the deepest lake in Central America, its bottom has not been completely sounded. Estimates of its maximum depth range up to 340 meters. The Lake is shaped by deep escarpments which surround it and by three volcanoes on its southern flank. Lake Atitlan is further characterized by towns and villages of the Maya people.

The lake is volcanic in origin, filling an enormous caldera formed in an eruption 84,000 years ago. It is renowned as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, and Aldous Huxley famously wrote of it:

"Lake Como, it seems to me, touches on the limit of permissibly picturesque, but Atitlán is Como with additional embellishments of several immense volcanoes. It really is too much of a good thing."

The lake basin supports extensive coffee growth and a variety of farm crops, most notably corn. Other significant agricultural products include onions, beans, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, chile verde, strawberries, avocados and pitahaya fruit. The lake itself is rich in animal life which provides a significant food source for the largely indigenous population.

In 1955, the area around Lago de Atitlán became a national park. The lake was mostly unknown to the rest of the world and Guatemala was seeking ways to increase tourism and boost the local economy. It was suggested by Pan American World Airways that stocking the lake with a fish prized by anglers would be a way to do just that. So, a non-native species, the black bass was introduced into the lake in 1958. The bass quickly took to its new home and began eating the native inhabitants of the lake. The predatory bass caused the elimination of more than two-thirds of the native fish species in the lake and contributed to the extinction of the giant grebe, a rare bird that lived only around the Lago de Atitlán region.


Atitlán is a 3.535 meters volcano near the Lake Atitlán in the Highlands of Guatemala. The lake is also surrounded by Volcán San Pedro (3.018 meters) and Volcán Tolimán (3.158 meters).
On the other side of the volcano there are several farms considered amongst the most beautiful in the region.
Atitlán is home to two particularly rare and beautiful birds that are endemic to the cloud forests of this region. The Horned Guan (Oreophasis derbianus) is a pleistocene relic of the Cracidae family that persists today only in small fragments of its previous range. It's habitat is limited to cloud forests above approximately 1650 meters. This bird is the size of a turkey and the adult male has a one-inch scarlet-colored "horn" projecting straight up from the top of its head. The Cabanisi's or Azure-rumped Tanager (Tangara cabanisi) is probably the most restricted-range species in the region. It occurs only at mid-elevations within the Sierra Madre del Sur of Chiapas, Mexico and western Guatemala.

From Wikipedia

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Additional Photos by Paolo Motta (Paolo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3739 W: 144 N: 8840] (41258)
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