Our most recommended things to do in Panajachel

Lake Atitlan: Day Tour by Boat with Expert Guide

1. Lake Atitlan: Day Tour by Boat with Expert Guide

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.

From Antigua: 3 Mayan Villages on Lake Atitlan Day Tour

2. 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.

Lake Atitlan Villages Tour

3. Lake Atitlan Villages Tour

On our amazing Lake Atitlan Villages Tour we have brought fun and excitement and mixed it in with the beauty and cultural experiences the lake has to offer. We depart from our office in Panajachel and head over to Barrio Jucanya and visit Playa los Salpores, the local beach located on the edge of the lake to take our first clear view of the lake and its surroundings.  After spending some time there we make our way to the colorful village of Santa Catarina Palopo.  In this village we are able to see and learn about local weavings, blankets, nahuales and other goods made and sold by the locals.  At the plaza of this village, we visit a local coffee house where you can grind your own coffee and taste the locally grown beans.  Once finished in Santa Catarina we hop back on our ATVs and continue our ride for a few more kilometers until we get to the village of San Antonio Palopo.  Once in San Antonio, we park at the local pier and walk over to the local ceramic factory where we visit and learn about the process to make all these incredible goods. We also visit a local chocolate factory in San Antonio where we learn about the process of turning the cacao into a finished product and get to taste some chocolate as well. Once finished in San Antonio we head back towards our office in Panajachel for a drink.

Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan Tour From Antigua

4. Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan Tour From Antigua

Your 10-hour excursion begins with a drive into the western highlands of Guatemala. The region is home to quaint and colorful mountain villages, highland lakes, pine forests and the majority of Guatemala’s indigenous peoples. When you arrive at the Chichicastenango market you’ll begin your walking tour. The market is at the center of the town and is the heart of commercial life for maxeños, the natives of Chichicastenango. Every Thursday and Sunday merchants head to the central plaza to sell their products in this impressive indigenous market that has changed very little over the centuries. Explore the pathways of the market and admire the colorful handicrafts and produce offered by the local people of the region. In Chichicastenango, you’ll also visit Santo Tomás Church, built in 1540 over the base of a pre-Hispanic temple. This church is a splendid example of colonial architecture, and the Mayan and Latino influence is evident in both the interior and exterior of the building. After exploring the market you’ll enjoy a delicious lunch (not included in the tour price). Next you’ll continue to the town of Panajachel, located at the edge of Lake Atitlan. Take a walk along Santander Street and enjoy the spectacular views of Lake Atitlan, considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. The volcanoes Tolimán, Atitlán and San Pedro form a natural frame for the lake. Lake Atitlan has a surface of 125 square kilometers and sits 1,560 meters above sea level.

Guatemala or Antigua Guatemala: Lake Atitlán Boat Cruise

5. Guatemala or Antigua Guatemala: Lake Atitlán Boat Cruise

Start the day with a trip from Antigua or Guatemala City to the Maya town of Panajachel. During the drive there will be a brief stop in Katok, a very famous restaurant where you can indulge in a hot drink. Once at Panajachel, it's time for a boat trip to cross Lake Atitlán and visit the Tzutuhil Village of Santiago de Atitlán. In this village you will visit the confraternity of the local saint named Maximon or Ri Laj Mam, visited by people all over the world who come to ask for health and prosperity in their lives. The lake itself owes its grandeur to its enormous size and spectacular volcanic setting. Three large volcanoes, Atitlán Tolimán and San Pedro, rise gracefully from its southern shore, creating breathtaking views around the area. You will experience these views and the traditional practices still carried out by the Maya-Tzutujil and Cakchiquel women who live around the lake. After a short transfer, we will have lunch at one of the most exquisite restaurants of Panajachel. While in town, guestes will also Santander Street and experience its vast, bustling handicraft market.

Private Shuttle: Guatemala City - Panajachel

6. 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

Acatenango Volcano Trek & Tour from Antigua 2D/1N

7. Acatenango Volcano Trek & Tour from Antigua 2D/1N

There are approximately 5 hours of walking to reach the camp, along the way there will be several stops for rest, hydration and food. There is the option to visit the volcano of fire the first day with an extra walk of 03 hours round trip. People who wish to do so must confirm at the time of booking to assign a guide with experience in the fire volcano. The prize for visiting the volcano of fire is Q200 per person. The accommodation in the tents is shared Day 2: 4 am Start of ascent to the summit of Acatenango 5.45 am Arrival at the summit of Acatenango Sunrise view on the summit summit descent 7:30 a.m. Breakfast at camp team review 8:30 a.m. Start of the descent 11:30 Arrival at La Soledad Village 12:30 Arrival in Antigua Guatemala

Los Elementos Adventure Center: Kayak, Swim, and Relax

8. Los Elementos Adventure Center: Kayak, Swim, and Relax

The day begins in Panajachel or Santa Cruz La Laguna, where your guide will meet you at your hotel and bring you to the boat docks along Lake Atitlan. From there, take a boat transfer to the Adventure Center in Santa Cruz, where you'll spend the day with a bilingual guide and plenty enjoy activities, all in line with USA safety standards. Kayak for an hour or so, take a swim in the crystal blue waters, or go for a cliff jump if you dare!   For lunch, enjoy a home-cooked meal by the center's very own chef; you're free to pre-order your meal selections based on your own tastes and preferences. After lunch, hike through the hidden Pumpatin Canyon through the lush local forest to a rock wall, where you'll have to chance to enjoy an invigorating and safe rock climb, with secure top-rope systems (harnesses, ropes, etc.). Climb up to 45 feet (14 meters), before rappelling down.   When you're ready, return to the Adventure Center for more free time to go for a swim, kayak, or just to hang out and relax. You can even try your hand at archery, or lie in a hammock and enjoy the splendid views. You can also schedule a professional massage or facial (for an additional charge).   You'll return to your hotel at around 16:00. Just pick your favorite activities and enjoy!

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

9. 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 Atitlán Sunset Tour

10. Lake Atitlán Sunset Tour

The Lake Atitlan Sunset Tour is one of the best afternoon activities you can do while visiting Lake Atitlan. This adventure begins at our office in Panajachel and we head over to our first stop to Barrio Jucanya and visit “Playa los Salpores,” the local beach located on the edge of the lake to take our first clear view of the lake and its surroundings. After spending some time there we make our way to San Andres Semetabaj to a look-out called “Ojo De Aguila”. Once we arrive we are able to have an aerial view of the entire lake seeing the volcanoes, different towns, all the boats traveling in the lake and if we get lucky some paragliders lifting off or touching down from their flights. After spending some time here we head back down the mountain and visit the town of Santa Catarina Palopo where we go and visit the town's cultural center where we are able to see hand crafted weavings, local art, traditional clothing and even some local coffee. For those who like to venture out you can take some time to walk around the edge of the lake and meet some locals. After visiting Santa Catarina, we head to our last stop which is off the road going back to Panajachel, it is a small lookout that allows us to watch the sunset over the lake. Here we have an opportunity to grab some snacks and drinks while watching the sunset from the lake shore. Once finished, we have a 15 minute ride back to the office in Panajachel.

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What people are saying about Panajachel

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 32 reviews

Had a wonderful time on the Lake Atitlan tour. We were short on time, so this covered what we wanted to see/do. Definitely worth it, even with the couple of hours each way of travel time to/from Antigua. Bring water/drink/snacks for the ride. We lucked out on a fairly smooth boat ride across Lake Atitlan. Got a little wet on the way to San Pedro La Laguna; recommend bringing a small towel in case. Was fine/dry on the way back. Normally it's the opposite. San Pedro La Laguna was amazing! Visually stunning, and there's some pleasant street music too! Main street from the harbor was a well maintained but steep hill. No problem for us, but may be tough if you're mobility challenged; they do have tuk tuks that'll take you up/down the hill. On our trip, we visited a handicraft shop with wood carvings and paintings; a local herbal medicinal place with demo; and a textile weaving demo by a local Mayan. Very informational, and of course, lots of shopping options!

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.

Wow what an amazing cultural day at the famous Chichicastenango market. It was unfortunate to see how the community has been negatively impacted by low tourism during the pandemic. We really enjoyed shopping, learning about the history, and marveling at the beautiful handmade items.

You got to know the history about the Mayans. Saw the market and the lake. Wish we had more time to buy stuff but it’s ok. Saving money. The best part was. There were two other local guides at the market that took you around so you wouldn’t get lost and helped translate.

Guide, Driver, Activities were excellent. Great time, Wonderful views!!