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8km (5 miles) S of Panajachel across the lake

Set on the southern shores of Lake Atitlán, near the start of a long narrow bay, Santiago de Atitlán is a picturesque Tz'utujil town with a distinct character and fiercely independent streak. Santiago de Atitlán was the site of a horrible massacre during the civil war and one of the first villages to organize against the paramilitary and military forces.

The town was severely ravaged by the effects of Hurricane Stan in October 2005, and mudslides from the Toliman volcano killed more than 70 people in and around Santiago.

The Santiago de Atitlán huipil and men's pants are unique and highly prized by foreigners buying indigenous textiles. The cult of Maximón is very strong in Santiago, and as soon as you step off of any boat here, you'll be met with offers from local kids and touts to take you to see him. You'll definitely want to visit Maximón, but don't feel obligated to go along with the first person who approaches you.