During the slow days of Covid last year, I was daydreaming about coming to Lake Atitlan. The picturesque backdrops of volcanos and small towns made it a dream destination. It wasn’t until I looked more into things to do here that I found a spot to go cliff jumping in Lake Atitlan. If you read about swimming in the lake, most of the suggestions are to not. There are many dirty parts of the lake, especially around popular towns. There is a nature reserve in San Marcos where you are able to do just that. This park is called Cerro Tzankujil.
It was hard to imagine exactly what this cliff jumping spot in Lake Atitlan looked like until we got there. We went from Panajachel to San Pedro. If you take the public boat, you will go right by this amazing spot. From the boat, it looks way higher than I thought it would be. I wondered if it was safe but the platform looked put together well. In this guide, I will show you that it isn’t as scary as it seems and tell you why you should try it out for yourself.
Cliff Jumping in Cerro Tzankujil (Lake Atitlan)
When I first arrived I thought I was going to just walk straight to the cliff jump and do it. The jump or “trampoline” is actually located inside a park called Cerro Tzankujil (Nature Reserve). There is an entry fee but it is very well maintained and everyone seems to love it. The platform was way more legit than I ever thought it could be. There are also other areas of the park that you can explore. There is a nice mirador (view) that gives you a good vantage point of the surrounding area. The cost to get into the park is Q20.
Mirador Inside Cerro Tzankujil
Throughout the park, there will be some signs pointing to a mirador. You can easily go and do the cliff jumping in Lake Atitlan first and then hike this. Or even better, get your sweat on then cool off in the lake. The views are epic but we were hurting still from San Pedro Volcano hike so we didn’t stay long. If you aren’t on a time crunch then I recommend you to hike up to this mirador. There will be many benches along the way if you need to sit and rest some.
Where to Stay on Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
- Free Cerveza: This is the most unique hostel to stay at on Lake Atitlan. You’re able to sleep in a tent right along the shores of the beautiful lake. It is very popular so book well in advance!
- Hotel Amigos: We stayed here during my time on Lake Atitlan. It is perfectly located to everything in the famous town of San Pedro on Lake Atitlan.
- Selina Atitlan: If you want to stay in Panajachel then you’re able to stay at the Selina. It is pricier than most other hostels it makes up for its amazing layout.
- La Casa Del Mundo: Picturesque hotel located on the Northern coast of Lake Atitlan.
How to Get to San Marcos
Getting to San Marcos is fairly easy. The main mode of transportation on Lake Atitlan is by boat. These ferry boats cost between Q15 to Q25. If you are coming from Panajachel it will cost around Q20 and from San Pedro we paid Q15. You will want to take a shuttle to Panajachel if you are coming from Antigua. Don’t buy the shuttle online. Instead, I suggest you go around to a local tour agency and purchase it from them. This should cost no more than Q100 – Q120.
My Suggested Hiking Gear
Below is a list of some of my favorite hiking/travel gear I bring everywhere. Everything below is something I currently use and never leave my house without.
- KEEN Durand II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots: I finally upgraded my hiking boots in 2022 and these are fantastic. They have top-notch ankle support and are super durable.
- Petzl Tikka Headlamp: A headlamp for hiking is a must if you’re like me and love sunrise hikes. This is a great price for a quality headlamp and also has a good red light to not disturb others in the morning.
- Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Socks: I originally got these as a present but I had to buy more because these are the most comfortable hiking socks I’ve ever tried on.
- Grayl GeoPress Water Filter Bottle: You will never have to rebuy plastic water bottles. This is the best water filtering device on the market. It is excellent for hikers and travelers alike.
Why You Should Go Cliff Jumping in Lake Atitlan
Even if you aren’t the biggest thrill-seeker, this cliff jump will be a story to tell for years to come. The drop is 12 meters or around 40 feet high. I will admit, it was a lot higher in person. Time goes by so slowly when going cliff jumping in Lake Atitlan. The backdrop of the volcanos makes for some of the coolest photos I have taken on this trip. Everyone there supports your decision to jump or not. My best advice is to start back and run and jump. This gives you less time to think about what you are doing. There is a grip on the wooden platform for this specific reason. So why not jump? You don’t want to be the only one in your friend group who doesn’t. You can read more reviews about the cliff jump and the nature reserve here.
Other Popular Activities on Lake Atitlan
Lake Atitlan is a very special place and has a lot to offer. There are many different hikes, cooking classes, knitting, and Spanish schools that people come from all around the world to do. My favorite activities I did on Lake Atitlan were hiking Indian Nose, San Pedro Volcano, and attending a traditional Mayan ceremony. Below are some of the best tours to do in the area in and around San Marcos La Laguna on Lake Atitlan.
Best Travel Insurance
When doing crazy activities like hiking volcanos and cliff jumping 40 feet into a lake, you need insurance! Accidents can happen at any time and you should be prepared.
That’s where Safetywing comes in. The last thing you want is to have to worry about your medical bill if something does happen.
Safetywing is one of the best in the business and I highly suggest you take a look for yourself.
Final Thoughts About Cliff Jumping in Lake Atitlan
This is hands down one of the most popular activities you can do around Lake Atitlan. The cost to get into the park is very little compared to how nice it is. The water around the jump feels very clean and super refreshing. There are great sunbathing spots down to the side of the cliff jumping area. The park is still very nice to go visit and see, even if you don’t do the jump. Go and do the lovely other hikes around Lake Atitlan and reward yourself with a nice swim in the lake. There is also a smaller area to jump off if you don’t want to do the larger one!
Thank you for reading my guide about cliff jumping in Lake Atitlan. I hope this blog post has answered your questions. Go out there and have an adventure!