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PanajachelGuatemala

Wildlife spotting, trekking in the Guatemalan highlands and a 16th-century church make this lakeside town a magnet for outdoor types and cultural enthusiasts.

Panajachel is a town on the shores of Lake Atitlán, in Guatemala's western highlands. Volcano scenery, wildlife, nightclubs and Mayan culture and traditions, means there is always something to see and do here.

Enjoy a scenic walk along the lake shore or for something more strenuous, hike to the top of one of the volcanoes surrounding the lake. The Atitlán Nature Reserve to the north of the town is a good place to see butterflies, monkeys, raccoons and other wildlife. Walk through its oak forests, coffee groves, along nature trails and by a waterfall. Take the opportunity to fly above the tree tops on a zip-line tour, then cool off on the sanctuary’s private beach. Book a hotel room or camping space if you want to stay at the reserve for more than one day.

Then turn your attention to some of Panajachel’s cultural attractions. See lots of examples of indigenous folk art at La Galeria. The gallery also showcases local and international contemporary art. Stop off at the Casa Cakchiquel for its indigenous crafts shop and the exhibition of old photographs of the area. The cultural center was once a hotel and locals will tell you about famous former guests such as the writer Aldous Huxley and Che Guevara.

While Panajachel is more developed than many other towns around Lake Atitlán, you can still find several historic buildings. They include the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, built by Franciscans in the 16th century. Parts of the original structure remain to this day.

In the evening, head for Calle Santander, the main street where there are numerous bars and restaurants serving local dishes. There is always plenty on offer for those missing the flavors of home. Partygoers are catered for in Panajachel's discos.

Panajachel can be reached by bus from several cities including Guatemala City and Antigua. If you are in a rental car, follow the Pan-American Highway. Accommodation for all budgets can be found throughout the town.

The combination of natural beauty, historic architecture and indigenous culture make Panajachel a great spot for a vacation.

Top Hotels in Panajachel

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Hospedaje El Viajero
Hospedaje El Viajero
2.5 out of 5
Final de la Avenida Santander, Panajachel, Solola
The price is $24 per night from Sep 24 to Sep 25

Situated in Panajachel, this hostal is within a 10-minute walk of Azul Maya Archaeological Museum, Casa Cakchiquel Arts Center, and La Galeria. Church of Saint ...

3.6/5Good! (28 reviews)

"Great place! Clean, comfy rooms and a beautiful garden. We really enjoyed our stay"…"

Reviewed on Mar 1, 2020

Hospedaje El Viajero
Hotel y Centro de Convenciones Jardines del Lago
Hotel y Centro de Convenciones Jardines del Lago
3 out of 5
Calle Monterrey, Panajachel, Solola
The price is $72 per night from Sep 25 to Sep 26

This family-friendly Panajachel hotel is located on the waterfront, within a 10-minute walk of Azul Maya Archaeological Museum, Casa Cakchiquel Arts Center, ...

4.1/5Very Good! (124 reviews)

"The service staff was excellent. The location perfect. The cafe has some really nice hot drinks. The food at the restaurant Does need improvement. The birds should be stopped from flying into the restaurant and soiling it."…"

Reviewed on Feb 28, 2020

Hotel y Centro de Convenciones Jardines del Lago
Hotel Atitlán
Hotel Atitlán
3.5 out of 5
Finca San Buenaventura, Panajachel, Solola
The price is $125 per night from Sep 23 to Sep 24

Situated on a lake, this historic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Azul Maya Archaeological Museum, Casa Cakchiquel Arts Center, and La Galeria. Church of ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (249 reviews)

"Beautiful grounds and scenery. very helpful staff."…"

Reviewed on Feb 12, 2020

Hotel Atitlán

Popular places to visit in Panajachel

Panajachel Municipal Market
Image for Panajachel Municipal Market

Panajachel Municipal Market

4/5(81 reviews)

Experience some of Guatemala’s indigenous traditions as you browse the stalls of this colorful market and shop for handcrafted souvenirs and fresh produce.

Church of Saint Francis
Image for Church of Saint Francis

Church of Saint Francis

4.5/5(11 reviews)

Admire the art and architecture of the old Catholic church in Panajachel that is dedicated to the town’s patron saint.

Azul Maya Archaeological Museum
Image for Azul Maya Archaeological Museum

Azul Maya Archaeological Museum

Browse a private collection of Maya artifacts, such as jewelry and pottery, amassed by a local man during his travels throughout Guatemala.

San Pedro Volcano
Image for San Pedro Volcano

San Pedro Volcano

4.5/5(27 reviews)

Hike through coffee plantations and thick orchards to the summit of this dormant volcano, which towers above the western shores of Lake Atitlán.

Santiago Atitlán
Image for Santiago Atitlán

Santiago Atitlán

3.5/5(4 reviews)

Learn about the local history of Santiago Atitlan with a stop at Santiago Atitlán. Wander the lakeside and picturesque gardens in this relaxing area.

Atitlan Volcano
Image for Atitlan Volcano

Atitlan Volcano

4.5/5(44 reviews)

Trek to the summit of the highest point along Lake Atitlán and be rewarded with remarkable panoramas of breathtaking mountainous landscapes.

Top things to do in Panajachel

Atitlan Mayan Villages Boat Tour
Image for Atitlan Mayan Villages Boat Tour

Atitlan Mayan Villages Boat Tour

$125
Per adult
Full Color Atitlán Lake
Image for Full Color Atitlán Lake

Full Color Atitlán Lake

$193
Per adult
Birdwatching in Panajachel
Image for Birdwatching in Panajachel

Birdwatching in Panajachel

$55
Per adult
Private Full-Day: Atitlán Lake & Locals
Image for Private Full-Day: Atitlán Lake & Locals

Private Full-Day: Atitlán Lake & Locals

$154
Per adult
Lake Atitlan tour by shared boat
Image for Lake Atitlan tour by shared boat

Lake Atitlan tour by shared boat

$55
Per adult
Shared shuttle - Antigua to/from Panajachel, Lake Atitlan
Image for Shared shuttle - Antigua to/from Panajachel, Lake Atitlan

Shared shuttle - Antigua to/from Panajachel, Lake Atitlan

$15
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend

Reviews of Panajachel

4.3

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
55
5 - Excellent 45.833333333333336%
4 - Good
52
4 - Good 43.333333333333336%
3 - Okay
9
3 - Okay 7.5%
2 - Disappointing
4
2 - Disappointing 3.3333333333333335%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Mar 3, 2020

The most touristy place on the lake. Very walkable, and the waterfront area was nice.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Feb 12, 2020

Nice place to visit with plenty of shopping, dining, sightseeing. Just be safe when traveling around and I wouldn’t suggest walking around the area (Outside of your resort/hotel) at night.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Feb 7, 2020

Panajachel is an okay town, but what makes it special was the stay at Jenna's B&B.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

Nov 21, 2019

Nice view of the Volcanoes and Lake Atitlan, and a good launch point trips to other towns around the lake.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Oct 8, 2019

Besides been an excellent place to relax, its natural beauty enhances a peaceful rest.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Oct 5, 2019

Wonderful Place to relax and enjoy the beautiful nature of Guatemala!

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