Panajachel

Western Highlands

Panajachel is Lake Atitlán’s most popular traveler town. Set along the northern shores of the lake, the setting is here is gorgeous—think blue water, forested mountains, and volcanoes. The town’s culture mixes North American, European and Central American influences.

Panajachel was one of Central America’s main hippie hotspots during the 1960s and 1970s. Over time it has integrated into Guatemala’s mainstream tourism circuit, and these days is popular with Westerners and Guatemalans alike.

Prior to the arrival of travelers, Panajachel was a small Mayan village. Early in the Spanish conquest, Franciscans had a church and monastery in Panajachel—from here they launched regional conversion campaigns in other indigenous villages. Most of the old village is gone these days, having been taken over by fairly nondescript buildings. The setting here is spectacular enough.

Pana, as locals know it, is one of the most developed towns along Lake Atitlán. It has good accommodations, some of which are set just outside town, and a smattering of tasty restaurants. There are garden cafés where you can enjoy fresh fruit smoothies, as well as upscale options that serve excellent international cuisine. Pana is also a great place to shop for handicrafts. Stalls line Calle Santander, the town’s main street, and sell all manner of goods. Bargaining is encouraged.

During the weekends, residents of Guatemala City make their way to Pana to party. Appropriately, the city has a fair share of bars and dance floors. Some places have mellow bohemian atmospheres, while others host live bands and turned-up dance parties.

The Reserva Natural Atitlán is located just outside town. Set on a former coffee farm, this nature reserve offers travelers a number of attractions, including a butterfly farm, zip line, lakeside beach, waterfalls, nature trails, and hanging bridges. The trails here run through thick foliage and offer the possibility to spot monkeys and small mammals.

The lake and surrounding hillsides offer up all kinds of recreational activities. Pana’s public beach is fairly clean and fine for swimming. Kayaks can be rented and paddled out into the lake—try to avoid doing so in the late afternoon, when the winds known locally as Xocomil come blowing in.

Hiking trips can be arranged to the San Pedro Volcano or in the mountains surrounding town. Going with a guide is definitely recommended. Mountain biking, rock climbing, and rappelling can also be arranged.

Nearby Activities

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One-Day Tour to Lake Atitlán

4-in-1 combo|6hrs

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan

5.0 / 5.0
Starting At$67
One-Day Tour to Lake Atitlán

This tour explores several towns along Lake Atitlán. In the process, you'll enjoy wonderful views of the lake and also learn about the culture and history of the...

5.0 / 5.0
Tour Details

Lake Atitlán Villages Half-Day Tour

5-in-1 combo|4hrs

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan

4.9 / 5.0
Starting At$36
Lake Atitlán Villages Half-Day Tour

Lake Atitlán is one of the most beautiful places in Guatemala. The villages that surround the lake are unique and fascinating. This tour takes you to three such...

4.9 / 5.0
Tour Details
Hiking Mario Mendez Viewpoint to Panajachel

This tour will take you to the small, idyllic village of Santa Catarina on the shores of Lake Atitlán. Along the way you'll see forests, agricultural fields, a...

4.5 / 5.0
Tour Details

Canopy in Atitlan's Natural Reserve

3-in-1 combo|4hrs

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan

4.3 / 5.0
Starting At$67
Canopy in Atitlan's Natural Reserve

This hike through the tree canopy of the Atitlan Reserve will give you a bird’s eye view of an exciting environment. Pristine Lake Atitlan offers more natural...

4.3 / 5.0
Tour Details

Atitlán Coffee Tour

3-in-1 combo|2hrs

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan

New Tour!
Starting At$67
Atitlán Coffee Tour

Guatemalan coffee is highly regarded around the world. During this tour you'll visit a coffee farm near Lake Atitlán and learn about the growing process.

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Extreme Biking Atitlan Tour

Biking|2hrs

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan

New Tour!
Starting At$67
Extreme Biking Atitlan Tour

If you're looking for adventure, you can't miss this tour when visiting Atitlan. We depart from Panajachel and descend to San Jose Chacaya afterwards, where we'll...

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Hiking San Pedro Volcano

3-in-1 combo|8hrs

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan

New Tour!
Starting At$64
Hiking San Pedro Volcano

The San Pedro Volcano was declared a national park in 2006. The volcano is covered with tropical forests and takes about 4–5 hours to reach the summit along a...

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Tour Details

Horseback Riding Around Atitlán

Horseback Riding|4hrs

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan

New Tour!
Starting At$77
Horseback Riding Around Atitlán

Spend an afternoon riding horses above the shores of Lake Atitlán. You'll enjoy fabulous views of the lake, forests, and mountains on this tour.

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Bike the Lake

3-in-1 combo|4hrs

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan

New Tour!
Starting At$72
Bike the Lake

This tour explores the Lake Atitlán area on bike. You'll get awesome views of the lake, mountains, and towns.

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Nearby Lodging

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Hotel Atitlan

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan

Air Conditioning

Bar

Cable TV

Jacuzzi

Restaurant

& More

3.9 / 5.0
From$238

Hotel Atitlan

Hotel Atitlan is set along the shores of Lake Atitlan in the town of Panajachel. The setting is absolutely beautiful and the hotel has quiet, spacious rooms.

3.9 / 5.0
Rooms and Rates

Posada Don Rodrigo

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan

Cable TV

Restaurant

Swimming Pool

Wireless Internet

& More

4.5 / 5.0
From$229

Posada Don Rodrigo

Hotel Posada de Don Rodrigo is located in the town of Panajachel, which lies along the northern shores of Lake Atitlán. The hotel has clean, spacious rooms and beautiful...

4.5 / 5.0
Rooms and Rates

Hotel Regis

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan

Bar

Cable TV

Jacuzzi

Restaurant

Wireless Internet

& More

4.5 / 5.0
From$77

Hotel Regis

The Hotel Regis is located in Panajachel. The hotel is easily accessible and has a nice garden and spa area.

4.5 / 5.0
Rooms and Rates

Hotel Dos Mundos

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan

Cable TV

Free Breakfast

Restaurant

Swimming Pool

& More

3.1 / 5.0
From$186

Hotel Dos Mundos

Hotel Dos Mundos is located one block from shores of Lake Atitlán in the town of Panajachel. This hotel is a quiet and comfortable oasis in the heart of Panajachel.

3.1 / 5.0
Rooms and Rates

Hotel Kakchiquel

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan

Cable TV

Restaurant

Swimming Pool

Wireless Internet

& More

New Hotel!
From$50

Hotel Kakchiquel

Hotel Kakchiquel is located along the shores of Lake Atitlán in the town of Panajachel. This hotel is centrally located and offers basic rooms and a complementary...

New Hotel!
Rooms and Rates

Porta Hotel del Lago

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan

Bar

Cable TV

Jacuzzi

Restaurant

Swimming Pool

& More

New Hotel!
From$140

Porta Hotel del Lago

The Porta Hotel del Lago is set near the shores of Lake Atitlán in Panajachel. The hotel’s location is unbeatable, as is the level of service and kinds of amenities that...

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Rooms and Rates

Rancho Grande Inn

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan

Cable TV

Free Breakfast

Swimming Pool

Wireless Internet

& More

New Hotel!
From$171

Rancho Grande Inn

The Rancho Grande Inn is centrally located in the town of Panajachel. This hotel has cabin-style accommodations, a small swimming pool, and super tasty breakfast.

New Hotel!
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