Most Beautiful Lakes of Central America

The Central American territory enjoys tropical weather year round. This means that in all of its forests and jungles it rains often. Over the years this has created ​a lot of lakes and many other smaller bodies of water. There are around 20 lakes in total and at least five that are pretty popular for their beauty. Continue reading to find five of must-not-miss ones and learn about what makes them such special places for visitors and locals. 

  • 01 of 05
    Sunset over Lake Atitlan
    Jeremy Woodhouse/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

    Lake Atitlan is located in the Guatemalan highlands. You will find it hidden among volcanoes and mountains, settled over what once was the crater of a volcano that collapsed a long time ago.

    It is also a place that has been inhabited by Mayan tribes for at least one century. It is tied to many traditions and legends from the surviving Mayan people that still live in the villages around it.

    This lake appears on many top 10 lists as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Once you get there you will understand why immediately. 

  • 02 of 05

    Lake Arenal - Costa Rica

    Lake Arenal is located in the northern highlands of Costa Rica. It used to be a lot smaller until 1979 when the local government enlarged it to help provide more electricity. This tripled its size.

    It offers amazing views of Arenal volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. At night you can see gorgeous lava shows that reflect on the lake.

    The lake is also famous for the many activities that are offered in and around it like windsurfing (from November to April), wake boarding, kayaking, sports fishing, zip lining, horseback riding and wildlife viewing.  

  • 03 of 05
    Nicaragua-Lake.jpg
    Marina K. Villatoro

    This one is pretty unique. Lake Nicaragua, also known as Cocibolca Lake (sweet sea), is the largest lake in Central America. However, it isn’t very deep, only 13 meters in depth. It also has a Volcano and an island right in the middle.  As if that wasn’t enough, it is home to fresh water sharks and many other cool species.

    People from the surrounding cities and towns love bathing on its beaches when the weather is right.

    Fun Fact: Before the Panama Canal was built the plan was to take advantage of this huge lake to build an interoceanic canal. 

  • 04 of 05

    Lake Yojoa - Honduras

    This is another gorgeous lake that lies in the middle of volcanoes. It is actually in a depression formed as the volcanoes grew. 

    Locals and visitors like to stop and to explore the surroundings of the lakes as a small rest stop while they travel between the Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula cities.

    Lake Yojoa is also a popular place for sport fishing because of its size and the amount of fish species that live in it.  

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Lake Coatepeque, El Salvador

    I know this is starting to look a bit repetitive but this is yet another lake surrounded by volcanoes. This one was created by a catastrophic eruption that happened a long time ago. It is now more of a place for renting a luxurious home or staying on one of the beach front hotels.

    Two more things attract people to it aside from its views and hotels: the nearby hot springs and the Mayan site that is located on a small island in the lake.