Late Atitlan, a very large volcanic lake in Guatemala, is a great place to relax and explore. The lake itself is in an enormous crater, surrounded by perfectly-formed volcanoes. The best and most invigorating way to get around the lake and visit all the villages is by lancha, which is Spanish for small boat.
These boats ply their way around the shore of the lake, picking up the tourists and locals. You'll have a great time getting to know the locals close at hand, and may even pick up a good deal from one of the vendors transporting their goods to the main lakeside town of Panajachel.
After the excitement of the boat ride, you can follow some of the many trails around the lake, and take in the stunning views. The morning's the best time, early, when there's a beautiful stillness on the lake, and the volcanoes are gently lit.
The lake's popular with yoga lovers, and spiritualists. I met Roberta, a yoga teacher who can be found at La Casa Rosa Hotel, in Santa Cruz de la Laguna. You can also get a great meal there too, cooked by Rosa herself. AM
Images: copyright Alan McArthur