Lake Atitlan Trip
Visiting Lake Atitlán

I stayed at the places circled in red.
(Click on image to enlarge)
in Guatemala has been on my bucket list for a while.
The famous quote from Aldous Huxley compares the lake to Lake Como, "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."
Ahh, the volcanoes...

Looking out from Panajachel at Volcán Tolimán and Volcán San Pedro
No, these volcanoes are dormant - those are rain clouds.
(Click on image to enlarge)
Wikipedia has a great description of how the lake was formed.  It is interesting to note that the lake does not drain to the ocean.  The water level is continually rising causing the beaches, docks and land around it to gradually become submerged. 
Guatemala is about 2½ hour flight from Miami.  Then, I stayed in a hotel a short walk from the airport arrivals area.  I had booked a shuttle from the hotel ($40 door to door, 3hr.) for the next morning to the Airbnb where I was staying in Panajachel on the lake. 
Here is a pretty good guide to each of the most popular spots on the lake:
I will add a few of my photos and comments below.  
  Panajachel (aka "Pana") is the principal town on the lake.  From there, you can take water taxis to the small towns around the lake. 
TripAdvisor has a good list of the restaurants, cafes and pubs in Pana.  This map is copied from that page.  As you can see, the main street (Calle Santander) is packed with them.  Along with all sorts of souvenir shops and places to stay.
I prefer to stay in the part of town away from the tourists - at where I am pointing to with the blue arrow.  There is a decent restaurant about 20 yards from me (Los Pumpos), a restaurant I sometimes go for breakfast on Calle Santander about 1000 yards from me (Little Spoon) and lots of little grocery stores around for a quick snack. 
Restaurants, cafes, bars in Panajachel
(Click on image to enlarge)
  This is one of three places playing live music, Jazz Cafe.  When I was there, the live music was on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 5:30.  It was open-mic so anybody in the audiance could get up and play.  But  
  it was clear that there were regular musicians as well as regulars composing the audience.  The Thursday I went, there were more musicians than regular audience (approx. 8 to 6).  Everybody seemed to know everybody else and in short order, I had met everybody.  Not quite half were expats - the rest apparently locals.  A very friendly bunch and I wish I had known of the place earlier in my trip.
The three places are very close to one another on Calle de Arboles - Jazz Cafe, Chapiteau and Circus Bar.  The expat I talked to said Circus Bar (or maybe it was Chapiteau?) had the best pizza in Panajachel.  Live music at Circus/Chapiteau was on Fridays and Saturdays.  But, ask where you're staying or check at Circus or Chapiteau (same proprietor) for days and times.
I appologize for the really poor video quality.  My phone is old and about the cheapest there is.  But, below are a couple good videos that David McKenzie (on the video) pointed me to, made in Chapiteau:
    don't come the blues
    Jiggy Jiggy live chapiteau 9 11 22
Thank you David.
 Santa Cruz, San Pedro and Santiago
  The first stop I made after Panajachel was Santa Cruz, a short ride in the launcha.  Here is their dock with tuc-tucs waiting for customers.  Tuc-tucs are the principal means of getting around in the towns.  The cost is 5 to 20 Quetzales ($0.75 - 2.50).  I have been mostly walking though.  
The dock at Santa Cruz
  Here is a look at the water taxis ("launchas") that service the communities on the lake.  They are quicker and cheaper than taking a tuk-tuk to get anywhere around the lake.  They can get a little bumpy, especially later in the day when there is often chop on the water.  Prices seem to run around Q10-Q25 ($1.25 - $3.00) depending on distance.  When I was researching before the trip, I saw some discussion about tourists paying more than locals and what was the "correct" amount.  I didn't squabble over the cost, it being so low to start with. 
  This photo was taken from the hotel where I stayed, next to the dock.
A visitor in the room
Launchas plying the lake
  In San Pedro now.  Here is the front of a tatoo parlor. 
Tatoo parlor
  Installing a motor at the docks in San Pedro.
It felt like I was back on Man-O-War Cay.
At the docks in San Pedro
  There are two sets of docks in San Pedro.  These are the docks for launchas going to Santiago and the towns in that direction.  They were not very busy.  The launcha headed to Santiago (where I wanted to go) was waiting for at least 14 passengers before it would leave.  I counted about 6 passengers sitting around on the grass.  I walked over to the other dock, took the launcha to Pana and from there caught the launcha to Santiago.  
Docks at San Pedro
  Now in Santiago.  Here is a view from my hotel room.  That's Volcán San Pedro.  
View from my room in Santiago
  These were in front of a coffee shop in Santiago.  
A couple old coffee roasters

  For a good guide to food in Panajachel, see this TripAdvisor page.  Following are just a random bunch of meals.
  A breakfast smoothie concoction from Little Spoon in Panajachel.  
The Berry Original Smoothie Bowl
The ingredients
  Breakfasts: Huevos Divorciado, made with red and green salsas.
And a Mushroom and cheese omelete, fijolies and spicy salsa.
Huevos Divorciado in Santiago
Mushroom and cheese omelete in Pana
  Desayuno Tipico: eggs, toast, plantains, a little hot dog, frijoles, spicy salsa, some white sauce, coffee - Q28 (meal) + Q12 (coffee).  And something to read.  
Desayuno Tipico in Pana
  Pepián de Pollo - a thick stew with a chicken leg, squash, potatoes, carrots, green beans and a few things I didn't recognize.
It is a very traditional Guatemala dish.
Very tasty and filling.
Pepián de Pollo
  There are venders selling all sorts of food just outside my Airbnb rental.
Fried chicken and fries with corn on the cob was Q28 or about $4.00.
Grilled corn on the cob
Fried chicken and French Fries
  Guatemala: The Land of Eternal Spring | Travel Documentary & Guide | Things to Know & Expect | Panajacel
 An afterthought
  Panajachel is thick with souvenir shops, cafes, restaurants, hotels, apt. rentals, the works.  I stayed in the less touristed part of town which I much preferred.
The towns around the lake vary
  from San Pedro with the reputation as a party town to San Marcos, known as the hippie town of Atitlan to say, Santiago, which appears to be a very laid back, quiet town.  Still, Santiago has a large tourist shoping area (mercado) next to the docks, I assume for tourists taking the launcha from wherever they are staying looking for a good deal.  Too often the tourist industry dominates and it feels alien.
That's not to say there aren't the kind of areas around Atitlan more to my liking - a few seasoned expats living harmoniously amongst the locals.  I'm sure there are.  It would be a matter of searching them out.
  But, I think I'll have a look at Quetzal- tenango (aka Xela) that they show in that video.  It is an old colonial city with a traditional central plaza and cathedral.
Parque a Centro America, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
Click on image to go there in Google Maps, use your mouse to scroll around,
then your browser Back button to return here

 Quetzaltenango (Xela) vs Panajachel (Pana) Weather
    Xela Pana

  Finally, here's kind of an interesting relationship between elevation and temperature at several locations in Latin America.
Source of data
Analysis by Mike Niemi