When we were here during the spring, there was noticeable smoke hanging in the air due to agricultural burning that goes on throughout the country during this time of year.
If you are going to do some hiking around the lake or up to one of the volcanoes, be very careful as banditos have been known to rob tourists. It's a good idea to always go in groups.
If you're crossing the lake by boat, try to avoid the later parts of the day when the Xocomil, winds from the southeast, cause the water to become extremely choppy.
I don'y know what it is about Panachel but they make terrible nachos . They are hard as rocks . i think they are basically tortillas that they try to adapt by deep frying. They smell great but be warned if you value your teeth and in my case expensive crowns!!
Guatemala is among the poorest countries in the Western hemisphere. A large percentage of the population consists in native Mayan people who often live in remote and impoverished villages. Many Guatemalans of working age don’t have jobs, especially in indigenous Mayan communities which populate this part of the country. Those communities often depend on subsistence farming and on the sale of small quantities of cash crops such as corn or beans for their meager incomes. Although tourism is growing and the economy is fairly stable, Guatemala still faces many social and economic problems. In visiting the Maya communities of Lake Atitlán be prepared to deal with poverty and be respectful of the lifestyle and the conditions of those communities.
If you're going to go diving in the lake, you'd better be careful there are many rocks beneath the water.