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Things to do in

Panajachel

Our most recommended things to do in Panajachel

From Antigua: 3 Mayan Villages on Lake Atitlan Day Tour

1. From Antigua: 3 Mayan Villages on Lake Atitlan Day Tour

This is a real immersion in the Mayan culture and you will see the lifestyle of the Mayan people. See how ancient technology is used for textile manufacture as you visit three Mayan villages around Lake Atitlan. The departure is from Antigua, with a 2.5-hour drive to Panajachel (Lake Atitlán). Then, visit San Juan la Laguna, San Pedro, and Santiago Atitlan, returning at the end to Panajachel. This is a round trip around Lake Atitlan, and there will be a one-hour stop in every town. Admire the colorful town of San Juan. Visit its attractions down the main streets such as galleries and women's coops, and witness a chocolate and coffee production demo. Then, explore San Pedro. A small town populated by Mayan Tzutujil. Discover its interesting sights and learn about the local culture there. Lastly, make a stop in Santiago Atitlán, where you can make a visit to a deity revered by the locals and visitors. Its market day is very colorful, and you can visit Santiago Apóstol Parish Church, built in the colonial times in the Renaissance style.

Guatemala: 10-Day Mayan Explorer Adventure

2. Guatemala: 10-Day Mayan Explorer Adventure

Spend 10 days in Guatemala exploring the country’s stunning landscape of volcanoes and mountain lakes. Learn about the Mayan lifestyle, shop at traditional markets, visit ancient ruins, and hike up a volcanic peak. Transfers and first-class public bus service are included, as is basic hotel accommodation with private bath. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: Guatemala City – Antigua Your driver will meet you at Guatemala City’s Aurora Airport for the transfer to your Hotel in Antigua. Day 2: Antigua – Lake Atitlan Today you’ll travel from Antigua to Panajachel, where you’ll stay overnight with a Mayan Family in San Jorge village. Experience the local Mayan lifestyle. Day 3: Lake Atitlan by Boat Take a boat tour to visit Mayan communities along the lake, including San Pedro, Santiago, and San Antonio. Day 4: Panajachel – Chichicastenango – Antigua (Thursday and Sunday only) Travel from Panajachel to the Chichicastenango Market, the largest market in Guatemala, where vendors offer colorful clothing and souvenirs. You’ll have time to bargain and do a lot of shopping and interacting with Mayan sellers. Day 5: Antigua – Pacaya Volcano Active Trek Your driver/guide will pick you up at your hostel for the transfer to the bus station. You’ll have a 1-hour ride to the Pacaya Volcano base, and then hike for 2 hours to the volcano’s peak. Day 6: Antigua – Lanquin – Semuc Champey You will be transferred from your Antigua hotel to Lanquin, travelling for the whole day. Day 7: Lanquin – Kanba (Kanba Caves and Semuc Champey Day Tour) A local guide will meet you at your hotel to begin this day tour. Experience the pristine KanBa Caves and relax by the crystal clear waters of the Semuc Champey pools. Day 8: Lanquin – Semuc Champey – Flores Your will be transferred from Lanquin to Flores by shared van, travelling for the whole day. Day 9: Flores – Tikal The driver will meet you at your hotel for your transfer to Tikal park. Arriving early in the morning, you’ll be among the first visitors and have a chance to see monkeys in the jungle area. Explore the ancient Mayan ruins. Day 10: Flores – Guatemala City You have a free day in Flores to relax on the amazing beach of Lake Peten Itza. That night you'll be transferred by first-class public bus on the overnight service to Guatemala City for your departure.

Solola Market and Mountain Villages Tour

3. Solola Market and Mountain Villages Tour

See the local handicrafts from this region, and shop if you wish.  However this tour is less about shopping and more about sharing the Mayan culture.  You will find the people warm and welcoming, and more of the Kachekel Maya dress in traditional traje (clothes).  Even the men still dress in traditional clothes. You will visit many interesting sights unique to this location including the local government office, and the indigenous mayor's office.  Learn how and why the two mayor's exist side by side.  Your guide can explain about the Mayan calendar and teach you about the unique Mayan counting system. Full day trip takes you high into the mountains above Lake Atitlan and features the Solola market, small farms, and Mayan villages. Drive through maize and terraced vegetable fields, coffee fields, old growth forest, and into the cloud forest.  Visit a sacred Mayan site with the chance to witness a Fire Cleansing Ceremony.  The day begins in Panajachel and the start of our adventure. You drive along ancient roadways that have been used by the Kachekel Maya for centuries.  You will view villagers going about their daily life, encounter farmers tending their maize and coffee fields, and see some of the most magnificent scenery in the world.  You can visit a sacred Mayan site where rituals are performed by the local shamans, and make your own offering at the alter. This rugged and remote area has barely been touched by the outside world.  Our drive takes us 2500 feet above the waters of Atitlan for breath taking views and pristine scenery.  We drive into the countryside to visit the small mountain village of Conception.  The road to this village has been paved for less than 10 years. The town is especially proud of its beautifully maintained church built in 1612.  Visit the confradia of Saint Frances and a lesser known Maximon.  Learn about the confradia systems and why they are important to the people of Guatemala.

Chichicastenango and Panajachel One Day Tour

4. Chichicastenango and Panajachel One Day Tour

This day-long tour of Guatemala, beginning from Antigua or Guatemala City, covers market villages to picturesque lakes and is sure to give you a bar-none introduction to some of the country's loveliest sights! Start your day at the open market of Chichicastenango. Here, you can explore the indigenous market and witness the incessant exchange of fruits, vegetables and handicrafts between local people and foreigners. This charming local market really does offer just about everything—you can even shop for wood products, ceramics and the sorts of gifts that the Mayan priests offer on their pre-hispanic altars. We will then move on to visit Santo Tomás church, where the Popol Vuh (The sacred book of the Maya) was found. For the perfect end to the day we will spend the remainder of our time overlooking one of the world's most beautiful lakes.

Lake Atitlan Full-Day Tour with Shared Boat Trip

5. Lake Atitlan Full-Day Tour with Shared Boat Trip

Cruise across Lake Atitlan and visit the villages of San Juan La Laguna on this full-day shared sightseeing tour. Ringed by 3 volcanoes on its southern flank, Lake Atitlan is the deepest lake in Central America. Departing from Panajachel, at the gateway to the lake, your private guide will take you on a scenic shared boat trip before exploring some local textile communities and the Mayan villages of San Juan La Laguna. Get amazing views of the Atitlan, Toliman and San Pedro volcanoes, as you experience for yourself why the area became such a Mecca for beatniks and bohemian writers such as Aldous Huxley. Capture the scent of coffee plantations, and then try some freshly ground coffee. Here, you can immerse yourself in the laid-back vibe of the Tz'utujil Mayans and turn the noisy dial of modern life down to zero.

Antigua – Panajachel Private Shuttle Service

6. Antigua – Panajachel Private Shuttle Service

Hire a private shuttle for your travel between Antigua and Panajachel. You’ll be picked up at any local hotel or residence, travel in comfort and safety on this 2.5-hour transfer, and be dropped off at the address you request. Unlike shared shuttles, this service does not have a set schedule, which allows you to set a travel time of your choice. If you’re renting a house, you can ask the driver to stop at a market so you can pick up what you need. You can also stop at a bank to exchange money, or at a restaurant for a meal. Vehicles are supplied by Xocomil Tours, a reliable travel agency operating since 1995, and offering safe and comfortable transfers. All vehicles are recent models and are fully insured. The drivers are all professional and helpful, helping ensure that you enjoy your visit to Guatemala.

Lake Atitlan: Boat Trip and Full-Day Tour with Lunch

7. Lake Atitlan: Boat Trip and Full-Day Tour with Lunch

After pick-up by your local guide from Panajachel, make your way to volcanic Lake Atitlan and set off on a boat trip across the peaceful water. Listen as your bilingual guide shares facts about life in the Guatemalan Highlands, and visit the villages of Santiago Atitlan and San Juan La Laguna. Learn about the local Maya culture in these traditional communities, as well as the benefits the textile and coffee farming industries brings to this peaceful region of Guatemala. While in San Juan La Laguna, enjoy a typical lunch at a local restaurant. Then admire the view of the 3 majestic volcanoes nearby; Atitlan, Toliman, and San Pedro.

Lake Atitlan: Mayan Ceremony at the Sacred Caves

8. Lake Atitlan: Mayan Ceremony at the Sacred Caves

Experience an important ceremony of the Maya people of Guatemala at the most sacred and holy location on Lake Atitlan. Transfer to the trailhead from Panajachel. Then, walk to the 1st cave (a maximum 20-minute hike). Named “Nimajay,” “San Simon,” “Singing” and “Colorado,” the 4 caves have been used by the Mayans for centuries for their Fire Cleansing and Protection Ceremony. The highland tribes travel for hours to visit the holy caves, and you will feel the energy and power as soon as you approach the cave entrance. Watch the shamans perform the ceremony (not guaranteed, but available on most days), and experience an authentic part of the living Mayan culture of the Guatemala highlands. Your guide will explain why the ceremonies are performed, and teach you about the ritual and unique meanings of the Mayan calendar. Located 1,200 feet above Lake Atitlan, the caves offer panoramic views of the lake and caldera. Stand on top of Eagle Rock, and marvel at how the earth drops hundreds of feet around you. Feel your spirit soar like a bird as you stand with nothing but air on all sides. You can also visit the shrine of San Simon/Maximon, the colonial church, and a 200-foot waterfall.

3-Day Tour of Lake Atitlan & Chichicastenango Market

9. 3-Day Tour of Lake Atitlan & Chichicastenango Market

Experience two of Guatemala's most celebrated points of interest: sparkling Lake Atitlan and the Chichicastenango Market on this 3-day tour from Antigua. Visit the highland town of Chichicastenango, world-famous for its open-air market. Here you'll find amazing handicrafts created by the indigenous Maya people as you witness an incessant exchange of fruits and vegetables. Next to the market stands the Church of Santo Tomas, a 16th-century church where you can observe age-old Mayan rituals being performed. Filling an enormous caldera and surrounded by volcanoes and traditional Mayan villages, Lake Atitlan has become renowned for its indescribable beauty and unique cultural history. Spend a day on a guided boat tour of the lake and surrounding towns, then experience the nightlife of Panajachel. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: Antigua ̶ Chichicastenango – Panajachel Travel from Antigua to Chichicastenango. Explore the open-air market, where a wide array of produce, finely woven textiles, and intricate handicrafts are for sale. Afterward, visit the Church of Santo Tomas. Evening transfer to Panajachel for overnight. Day 2: Lake Atitlan Boat Trip Board a private boat for a scenic trip across Lake Atitlan. Visit two traditional Maya villages that line the shores of the lake and admire views of the nearby volcanoes. Afterward, enjoy free time in Panajachel on your own. Day 3: Panajachel ̶ Antigua Have free time to further explore Panajachel. In the afternoon, transfer to Antigua Colonial City.

Private Shuttle: Guatemala City - Panajachel

10. Private Shuttle: Guatemala City - Panajachel

Guatemala City to Panajachel: Available in either direction.  Professional driver and private van is the most secure and comfortable method of travel.  Airport, hotel, or residential pick-up and drop-off makes transfers easy and safe.  We are a reliable travel agency operating since 1995, which offers secure and comfortable trips to our clients within and autside the country. Additionally, we provide a wonderful experience of sustainable tourism in Guatemala, preserving the environment, improving a fulfilling experiencie to our tourists and visitors. Safe, reliable and affordable to or from the airport, hotels and destinations in Guatemala. Unlike shared shuttles, this service does not have a set schedule, which allows you to set a time for the collection of your choice. For airport pickups we will need your flight details and our driver will be waiting for you outside arrivals with your name written on a board.  Authorized by INGUAT  Res. No. 815-2012-D06-08-2012

Other Sightseeing Options in Panajachel

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What people are saying about Panajachel

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 25 reviews

An amazing tour! Totally recomended, we learned a lot about the mayan culture, history and deities. Salvador, our guide, is from Lake Atitlan, he is amazing, truly recomended. At the start, due to a confusion with the name of the hotel, the driver didn't pass for us. But Salvador made the arrangement with the company to give us a private shuttle few minutes after. So, it was great! Again, totally recomended. You have to walk a lot in the tour to enjoy it in fullness, so is not recomended for childs or old people.

Had a great time! The tour was extremely organized, with on-time pick up from my hotel in Antigua directly to Lake Atitlan, wth a boat to take us between the various villages. Freddy was an awesome tour guide! And our driver was also very nice - we experienced hale on the way back to the hotel and he made sure we were safely taken care of.

although we came late for the ceremony. the local tour guide was extremely knowledgeable. He showed me some great spots around and its overall history of his people.

Great tour! If you are interested in learning more about mayan culture or how cristianity has merged with local religion you should definitely give it a go.

Very good private tour, spanish guide Elena was amazing, many activities! Very recommended