Panajachel is located in the Guatemalan highlands and provides incredible views to three volcanoes and Lake Atitlan. The volcanoes, San Pedro, Toliman, and Atitlan set an incredible stage for this town. Panajachel also serves as a gateway to explore the three indigenous villages around Lake Atitlan. Santiago Atitlan, Santa Cararina Palopo and San Antonio Palopo, are all famous for its women weavers and their typical clothes.
During the period of the Spanish conquering Guatemala, the shores of the lake were the scene of the great battle in which the Spanish and their Cakchiquel allies defeated the Tzutuhils. The Spanish set up a church and monastery in Panajachel soon afterward, and used the town as a center for converting the Indians of the region to the Catholic faith. The original façade of the church stills stands, and is one of the gems of the colonial buildings in Guatemala.
Panajachel or Pana as it is called by the locals is a town full of interesting sights, sounds, and smells. The town has numerous hotels and is full of small quality restaurants and interesting nightspots. During the day you can visit the surrounding villages, enjoy the breathtaking views onto the volcanoes that surround the lake or visit Panajachel’s busy market street. It is also one of the best places in Guatemala to shop for souvenirs.
The town itself is small and you can get anywhere within 15 minutes. Tuctuc’s (taxis on 3 wheels) are widely available to take you to nearby attractions. Private boats which take you across the lake and to the Indian villages regularly leave from the pier at the foot of the main street, Calle Santander. There are also larger public ferries but they only go to Santiago Atitlan and San Pedro.