Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

A short distance from Antigua, Guatemala, lies Lake Atitlan (known locally as Lago de Atitlán). The large lake is surrounded by three volcanoes: Volcán Atitlán, Volcán San Pedro and Volcán Tolimán. Lake Atitlan is an endorheic lake, meaning it doesn’t flow into a sea. The area surrounding Lake Atitlan is home to many small villages, the people of which practice Mayan culture and wear traditional Mayan dress to this day. There are also a number of Mayan archeological sites in and around the lake. For tourists, the best places to stay are in Antigua, or the town of Panajachel which is on the lake’s shore. A variety of accommodations can be found in either town. Visitors can trek up the volcanoes, enjoy a boat trip on the lake, and visit the nearby Atitlan Butterfly Sanctuary.

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Credit: Emilio Piovesan

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Credit: Frederic

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Credit: Quasebart

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Heaven Lake, China and North Korea

Heaven Lake, China and North Korea

On the border of China and North Korea, in a caldera at the top of Baekdu Mountain, you will find Heaven Lake. The caldera was created when the volcanic mountain erupted in 969 CE. Visitors to the lake can enjoy stunning walks, hiking, and horse rides along the mountain paths. Canvas yurts are the most common accommodation for tourists, but there are also more upmarket hotels. The semi-nomadic Kazakh people inhabit the area seasonally. Staying in traditional Kazakh yurts and using their guided horseback tours help them earn the income that they live on for the rest of the year. It can get quite cold in the area, so warm clothes are suggested.

Heaven Lake, China and North Korea