Santa Catarina Palopó Receives the “Picturesque Town” Distinction

by Astrid Luna

Guatemala City, by Jenny Herrera -AGN-  One of the magical towns located on the shore of the most beautiful lake in the world, Atitlán, is Santa Catarina Palopó, which has received the distinguished title of National Picturesque Town from the Guatemalan Institute of Tourism -INGUAT-.

On its patron saint’s day in honor of St. Catherine of Alexandria, the recognition was presented in a special ceremony.

Inguat press release stated, “This prestigious recognition is the result of a joint effort and a shared vision between INGUAT and the citizens of Santa Catarina Palopó, seeking to strengthen identity and belonging, as well as to preserve and revitalize the cultural and natural characteristics of this picturesque municipality.”

Santa Catarina Palopó is located 86 miles from Guatemala City in the department of Sololá. It has a size of approximately 5 miles in length. It is next to Lake Atitlán and 19 municipalities of the department around this body of water. Out of these, 12 are on the shore of the lake.


Through its recognition as one of the most outstanding tourist destinations in the region, Santa Catarina Palopó attracts local, national, and foreign visitors. Visitors are attracted by its natural beauty and beautiful landscapes, such as the lake view between the Tolimán and Atitlán volcanoes.

Its thermal waters, tourism, handicrafts, painting, and textiles, such as the Painting Santa Catarina and Knitting Santa Catarina projects, keep the Mayan culture alive. This picturesque place is also ideal for sports lovers, as thet can practice mountain biking, kayaking, fishing, paragliding, and other water activities.

Picturesque Towns Program

INGUAT’s Picturesque Towns program intends to preserve the identity and belonging of exceptional places in Guatemala. It also contributes in a relevant way to the objectives of the Sustainable Tourism Development Master Plan 2015-2025.

Finally, programs such as Picturesque Towns enhance the name of Guatemala and its magical towns and invite other countries to visit this beautiful region with more than 3,000 years of cultural richness.

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