Panajachel
Travel Guide

Panajachel which includes a bay or harbor, a lake or waterhole and boating

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.

Porta Hotel del Lago
Porta Hotel del Lago
3.5 out of 5
2a Avenida 06-17 Zona 2, Panajachel, Solola
The price is NT$2,937 per night from Apr 26 to Apr 27
This family-friendly Panajachel hotel is located on a lake, within a 5-minute walk of Multiple Use Area Lake Atitlan Basin and La Galeria. Azul Maya Archaeological ...
4/5Very Good! (415 reviews)
"Excelente!!! Buen espacio para compartir y disfrutar en familia!!!!"

Reviewed on 2021/3/22

Porta Hotel del Lago
Hotel Atitlán
Hotel Atitlán
3.5 out of 5
Finca San Buenaventura, Panajachel, Solola
The price is NT$4,365 per night from Apr 24 to Apr 25
Situated on a lake, this historic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Multiple Use Area Lake Atitlan Basin and Azul Maya Archaeological Museum. Casa Cakchiquel ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (253 reviews)
"The best of the best. A unique place on this earth. Breathless views and attention to detail. Find me someone that doesn't want to stay in this place forever."

Reviewed on 2021/4/15

Hotel Atitlán
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 NT$1,656 per night from Apr 26 to Apr 27
This family-friendly Panajachel hotel is located on the waterfront, within a 5-minute walk of Multiple Use Area Lake Atitlan Basin and Azul Maya Archaeological ...
4.1/5Very Good! (129 reviews)
"The room was simple. No fridge, no phone, but there’s always someone in the front desk to help. The hotel in general is very beautiful and the staff is extra nice. The restaurant people are so nice and the food was delicious. The view from the restaurant to the lake is incredible and there’s so many ..."

Reviewed on 2021/2/24

Hotel y Centro de Convenciones Jardines del Lago
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Villas Jucanya
Villas Jucanya
3.5 out of 5
Barrio Jucanya, Calle del Lago, Frente al Lago (juegos infantiles), Panajachel, Solola
The price is NT$3,751 per night from Apr 27 to Apr 28
Situated in Panajachel, this beach vacation home is within a 15-minute walk of Multiple Use Area Lake Atitlan Basin and La Galeria. Casa Cakchiquel Arts Center ...
4.6/5Exceptional! (21 reviews)
Amazing Villa
"The guest service was Amazing from start to finish. The communication was awesome the moment I did my reservation. Very secure property and just a great atmosphere The locate is Perfect right by the lake and 5 minutes from central Panajachel."

Reviewed on 2020/11/29

Villas Jucanya
Villas B'alam Ya
Villas B'alam Ya
3.5 out of 5
Km. 4 Carretera s Sta. Catarina Palopó, Santa Catarina Palopó, Panajachel, Solola
Situated in Panajachel, this beach villa is within 1 mi (2 km) of Multiple Use Area Lake Atitlan Basin and Pintando Santa Catarina Palopó. La Galeria and Casa ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (51 reviews)
"Perfect in every way. The view and accommodations were beyond expectation. I stayed in the Villa Jade and Bambu. Highly recommend either."

Reviewed on 2019/5/15

Villas B'alam Ya
Luxury Villas Atitlan
Luxury Villas Atitlan
3 out of 5
Bahia de San Buena Aventura, Panajachel, Solola
Situated in Panajachel, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Multiple Use Area Lake Atitlan Basin and Casa Cakchiquel Arts Center. Azul Maya Archaeological ...
3.3/5 (16 reviews)
"What a view! Beautiful space. Nice swimming pool."

Reviewed on 2020/1/27

Luxury Villas Atitlan
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Panajachel

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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