ⓘ Volcán Atitlán


ⓘ Volcan Atitlan

Volcan Atitlan is a large, conical, active stratovolcano adjacent to the caldera of Lake Atitlan in the Guatemalan Highlands of the Sierra Madre de Chiapas range. It is within the Solola Department, southwestern Guatemala.

The volcano has been quite active historically, with more than a dozen eruptions recorded between 1469 and 1853, the date of its most recent eruption. Atitlan is part of the Central American Volcanic Arc. The arc is a chain of volcanoes stretching along Central America formed by subduction of the Cocos Plate underneath the Caribbean Plate. These volcanoes are part of the Ring of Fire around the Pacific Ocean.

Volcan Atitlan is few miles south of Volcan Toliman, which rises from the southern shore of Lake Atitlan. Volcan San Pedro rises above Lake Atitlan northwest of Volcan Atitlan. A long narrow bay separates Volcan Atitlan and Volcan Toliman from Volcan San Pedro.


1. Wildlife

Atitlan is home to two particularly rare and beautiful birds that are endemic to the cloud forests of this region. The horned guan Oreophasis derbianus is a Pleistocene relic of the family Cracidae that persists today only in small fragments of its previous range. Its habitat is limited to cloud forests above approximately 1.650 metres 5.410 ft. This bird is the size of a turkey and the adult male has a one-inch scarlet-colored "horn" projecting straight up from the top of its head. The Cabaniss or azure-rumped tanager Tangara cabanisi is probably the most restricted-range species in the region. It occurs only at mid-elevations within the Sierra Madre del Sur of Chiapas, Mexico and western Guatemala.