A woman standing on top of the San Juan La Laguna Mirador which is a colorful wooden lookout with spectacular views of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala and nearby volcanoes

How to get to San Juan La Laguna Mirador

Home ยป Guatemala ยป San Juan La Laguna Mirador: How to get there + What to do

The San Juan La Laguna Mirador Kaqasiiwaan is a colorful wooden lookout with some of the best views of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala!

San Juan La Laguna is a beautiful town at Lake Atitlanโ€™s shores you have to visit. We spent 10 days there staying with a local Mayan family and loved it.

There is so much more to see than just the Mirador. But visiting this lookout is one of the best things to do while you are in San Juan and at Lake Atitlan.

QUICK OVERVIEW
๐Ÿšถ 25 min walk or
๐Ÿ›บ 10 min ride to entrance
๐Ÿฅพ 10-15 minutes hike up
๐ŸŽŸ๏ธ 30 Quetzales (4 USD) entry
๐Ÿ“ธ Lake views + artwork

Why visit San Juan La Laguna

San Juan La Laguna sits on the shores of Lake Atitlan. Lake Atitlan is the largest lake in Guatemala and is the crater of an extinct volcano.

The Lake has drawn tourists for decades because of its spectacular scenery and Mayan culture. All the towns around Lake Atitlan have their own unique character.

San Juan is known for being a colorful town full of art. The streets in the evenings are quiet and relaxed and a great place to experience a real Mayan village.

Read here: What to do in San Juan La Laguna ๐ŸŽ’

A woman walking down the colorful street in San Juan La Laguna, Guatemala

How to get to San Juan La Laguna

San Juan La Laguna is located on the shores of Lake Atitlan. You can get there by bus, shuttle, tuk tuk or car. But the best and most scenic way is to take a water taxi from Panajachel.

The boat ride should take about 40 minutes and cost 25 Quetzales (3 USD) per person. You can also take the boat from other towns around the Lake.

Read here: How to get to Lake Atitlan cheap ๐Ÿš

Map showing the location of the San Juan La Laguna Mirador at Lake Atitlan
San Juan La Laguna Mirador on the map (blue circle)

How to get to San Juan La Laguna Mirador

The San Juan La Laguna Mirador is located out the back of San Juan. If you arrive by water taxi it will take you about 25 minutes to walk to its entrance or you can take a tuk-tuk.

If you want to take a tuk-tuk simply walk to the Calle de las Sombrillas. This is the colorful street you will walk through when you leave the water taxi. It is a great place for art and souvenir shopping in San Juan La Laguna.

There should be tuk-tuks waiting at the bottom of the hill and they can take you directly to the Mirador. The ride should cost around 10 Quetzales (1.50 USD) per person.

If you first want to walk the colorful Calle de las Sombrillas (which I highly recommend) there will also be another group of tuk-tuks waiting at the top of the hill.

If you decide to walk to the San Juan La Laguna Mirador (what we did) head to the Trailhead Mirador Kaqasiiwaan marked on Google Maps. Walking there will take around 25 minutes and you can check out the colorful streets in town along the way.

Read here: Epic hike around Lake Atitlan ๐Ÿฅพ

Walking up to the Mirador

The walk up the San Juan La Laguna Mirador only takes about 15-20 minutes. At the entrance to you will see a ticket booth. The entrance fee is 30 Quetzales (4 USD).

The path is well-maintained and there are a few vendors selling snacks, drinks and souvenirs. There is also a restaurant with a great view halfway up.

Read here: Best Restaurants in San Juan La Laguna๐Ÿด

It is fairly steep but as long as you are not super unfit it is a really easy walk. On the way up there are also coffee and corn plants to see.

We really enjoyed looking out over the steep mountains from the path. They are beautiful and it is super impressive how high up the hills farmers grow their crops.

On impossibly steep parts of the mountains, you will see farmers growing corn. It is insane the lengths they go to to harvest their crops!

Read here: 16 Cheap Things to do in Antigua โœจ

A woman walking along a path at the top of the San Juan La Laguna Mirador

On Top of the Mirador

Once you reach the top of the Mirador you will arrive at a circular wooden walkway, which is the main attraction of the lookout.

The top is a giant canvas for local artists. The wooden floors of the Mirador are completely covered in artwork by local Guatemalan artists.

The paintings are brightly colored and beautiful. You can spend a lot of time not only admiring the view but looking at all the details of Mayan life represented in the art.

Note: I read online that the artwork at the Mirador has recently been updated. So the paintings will be different from what you see in the photos. So when you visit you will have some newer art to check out! ๐Ÿ“ธ

A man overlooking Lake Atitlan from the San Juan La Laguna Mirador

Best Time to Visit the Mirador

The views of the Lake and the surrounding volcanoes are great at any time of day. But it is also a popular spot to watch the sunrise or sunset.

There are lights along the pathway to the top so you should be able to see where to go. We didnโ€™t get the chance to go up for sunrise or sunset but Iโ€™m sure it will be great!

Tip: You also have to walk through the Mirador to get to the Indian Nose. It is the best San Juan La Laguna hike and has spectacular views over the Lake.

A blue cross in the center of a colorful wooden lookout with views of the volcanoes around Lake Atitlan Guatemala
A woman sitting crosslegged on top of a painting of a boat full of fruits and vegetables at the top of the San Juan La Laguna Mirador

San Juan La Laguna FAQ

We have answered here some of the most frequently asked questions about San Juan La Laguna. Still in doubt? Ask away in the comment section at the end of this blog post!

How do I get from San Pedro to San Juan?

Itโ€™s easy, you can either take a tuk tuk for 25 Quetzales or the boat for 10 Quetzales to get from San Pedro to San Juan La Laguna or visa versa. The tuk tuk takes 10-15 minutes and the boat about 5 minutes but leaves less often.

How much is a tuk tuk from San Pedro to San Juan?

We paid 25 Quetzales (3 USD) per person for a tuk tuk ride from San Pedro to San Juan La Laguna. Surprisingly they charge you per person instead of the whole tuk tuk, so the ride will cost 50 Quetzales for 2 people.

Where to swim in San Juan La Laguna?

The best place to swim close to San Juan la Laguna is the Cerro Tzankujil Nature Reserve in San Marcos which is a 10-15 minute boat ride from San Juan. It has crystal clear waters and is a beautiful and safe spot to swim at Lake Atitlan.

What is San Juan La Laguna known for?

San Juan la Laguna is known for its rich Mayan culture, arts and crafts. The whole town is an art display with colorful murals on its walls and grounds. You can visit art galleries, weaving shops, a chocolate factory, coffee farms and the popular Kaqasiiwaan lookout.

A paining of a Guatemalan woman dresses in typical clothes

Where to Stay in San Juan La Laguna

If you decide that you would like to stay in San Juan La Laguna (what we did) check out these great budget accommodation options below.

San Juan La Laguna Hotels

๐Ÿ˜ด Eco-Hotel Mayachik โ€“ is a hotel for nature lovers located in the hills above San Juan. The hotel is quiet because it is away from the town, has a temazcal/sauna and an amazing view over the Lake. Rooms start a 35 USD. Book this hotel here.

๐Ÿ˜ด Eco Hotel Uxlabil Atitlan โ€“ this hotel is a 15-minute walk from downtown. There is free breakfast included and also free use of kayaks. Rooms start at 60 USD. Book it here.

Find more hotels in San Juan La Laguna here ๐Ÿ‘‡

San Juan La Laguna Hostels

There are not many hostels in San Juan La Laguna. San Pedro is the backpacker hotspot at Lake Atitlan so if you want a greater variety of hostels you should stay there.

๐Ÿ›Œ The Hub Centro Sakbe โ€“ is a rustic hostel 20 minutes from the center of San Juan. Dorm beds cost about 10 USD per night. Book this hostel here.

Find hostels in San Pedro La Laguna here ๐Ÿ‘‡

Guatemala Housesitting

Another cool way to find unique accommodation is by looking after someoneโ€™s home and pets while they are on holiday. We have done that multiple times around the world, many of them in Mexico.

It will be hard to find a house sit in San Juan La Laguna, but there are some in San Pedro La Laguna, Antigua and Guatemala City. You just have toย create a free profileย onย Trusted House Sittersย and keep looking!

Sign up to Trusted House Sitters for free + use code HAPPYHEALTHYNOMADS for a 25% discount on your membership! ๐Ÿถ Read about our experiences here.

TrustedHousesitters - The Freedom To Travel

San Juan La Laguna Airbnb / Homestay

We stayed in San Juan for 10 days with a Mayan family which is very popular at Lake Atitlan. Many Spanish schools offer homestays but you can also book them on Airbnb.

There are quite a few options on Airbnb and we went for this one. The room and facilities are basic but we loved staying with the family. It will help if you speak some Spanish!

Book: Flexible cheap travel health insurance with SafetyWing in under 5 minutes. Read about our experience plus other options here ๐Ÿš‘

Nomad Insurance by SafetyWing is one of the best travel insurances for Guatemala

Enjoy the View from San Juan La Laguna Mirador!

A walk up to the San Juan La Laguna Mirador is a must-do for any visitor to Lake Atitlan. It is a spectacular view and a unique and beautifully constructed lookout.

I hope you enjoy your trip to San Juan La Laguna. Leave a comment if you have any questions or say thanks with a coffee if this article has helped you out ๐Ÿ’›

Also, make sure to check out our other articles on Lake Atitlan and Antigua which we have linked below for you. Happy travels!

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Hi, I am Allan, a travel, health and fitness fanatic from New Zealand. I'm a former lawyer who turned into a full-time nomad in 2020. For the last 4+ years I've been traveling the world. I'm always on a hunt for good food, activities on a budget and workouts on the go. I hope you find my tips helpful and get inspired to travel more!

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