Lake Atitlan : The Volcano Lake
Lake Atitlan (a.k.a. Lago de Atitlán in Spanish) is a massive lake in the Guatemalan Highlands of the Sierra Madre mountain range that is world-renowned for the ring of volcanoes that encircle it (see images above). It is the deepest lake in all of Central America and is itself volcanic in origin—it’s waters filling an enormous caldera formed by an eruption 84,000 years ago!
The local Maya people influence the culture of the towns and villages surrounding Lake Atitlán. The word Atitlán meaning “between the waters” in the Nahuatl language. Panajachel is the largest town on the lake, while San Pedro is popular for backpackers and San Marcos is renowned for cliff diving.
German explorer and naturalist Alexander Von Humboldt called it “the most beautiful lake in the world.” Aldous Huxley famously wrote of it in his 1934 travel book Beyond the Mexique Bay: “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.”
Visited in Chapter 40 of The Travelers Within: Into The Unknown
An Excerpt from the Book
“Cramming themselves aboard an overcapacity lancha, they soon found themselves packed like sardines into the little water taxi, alongside several dozen other people, piles of cargo and numerous live animals. Simon sat looking on, aghast, as the load weighed the boat down so much that small waves lapped over the edges onto the passenger’s legs. This is insane. The six life jackets for twenty-five people didn’t help calm Simon’s nerves either.”
From The Author
“Lake Atitlán has long been one of my favorite locations in Guatemala. The volcanoes around it frame the blue waters in a way that photographs can’t even begin to convey. The diversity of the towns and villages along its shore make it a cultural smorgasbord for the senses. Many of the experiences Simon has in the story are inspired by my own and stories from those I’ve met in the area.”
Several Books, One Global Adventure
The Travelers Within is a travel adventure fiction series following a motley cast of characters on a wild and profound journey through the bizarre locales, unfamiliar cultures, and perilous dangers of the world.
When office worker, Simon, is unexpectedly thrust into the wilds of Central America, he soon learns to trust his instincts, harness his unknown personal strengths and open himself up to the unlikeliest of friendships along the way. Inspired by extraordinary, real locations and remarkable stories from the road, The Travelers Within is a journey beyond all limits.
BOOK ONE: INTO THE UNKNOWN
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The Travelers Within: Into The Unknown
Simon had always followed a typical routine in life. Work, TV, Sleep, Repeat. But when a wild series of events lands him deep in Central America, Simon’s world takes a dramatic turn to the extraordinary. With no previous experience in third world travel, and driven only by a newly ignited lust for life and the need to survive, Simon sets forth on an epic journey through the dangerous mountains of Guatemala, the smuggler’s jungles of Nicaragua, the islands of Honduras and more.
Meeting a wonderful and eclectic cast of characters along the way, Simon eventually links up with Jonah, a young survival expert with a plan as bizarre and terrifying as anything Simon could have ever imagined. Inspired by real places and stories from the road, The Travelers Within is told with intrigue, suspense, humor and insight, capturing a visceral spirit of adventure and bringing out the wanderlust hidden deep within all of us.
“Into The Unknown is an enthralling combination of thriller and travelogue. It’s packed full of incident and exotic scenery, and, as you’re reading, it feels like you’re right there—in every stunning new location, on every new adventure.”
-Sue Paulson, U.K. Readers Digest