ADD TO LISTPanajachel attracts a decent number of travelers visiting Guatemala, and it can be worth stopping by if you're traveling through the area. Most travelers go to check out the Lake Atitlan and enjoy Panajachel's shopping and lakes. Explore this Panajachel travel guide to get more ideas for things to see and do.
Travel Tips from people who've been to Panajachel
Panajachel was great! We timed our visit just right to see the Festival for Saint Francis of Assisi, which was one of the most impressive fireworks displays I have ever seen, mostly for its enthusiasm and uniqueness. You can take a boat trip to all the different towns around the lake. It is lots of fun, beautiful scenery and each town is unique. You get the best rate for the boat trip at the door of the boat on the docks. So don't bother with the travel agencies on the main street. What is good with the travel agencies though, is they arrange a mini bus to take you to the Chichicastenango markets, keep your bags on the bus while you wander the markets for a few hours and then drive you on to Antigua. This is a great way to do it if you are on a time limit. Otherwise, the local buses will be a lot cheaper. We stayed at Mario's Casa (maybe not that name but similar.) There was a beautiful flowery courtyard and the rooms were nice, but the shared shower was a little iffy. The owner however was one of the friendliest people we have ever met. Even though we don't speak Spanish and he didn't speak English we seemed to understant each other easily. We thought the festival was over and came back but it turned out it was still leading up to the finale, he explained this to us and told us we could make it if we ran, and then he waited up for us so he could lock the door when we came in. Really went out of his way to be nice to us so definitly stay there. If I remember the name properly I will re-post it.
It's impossible to get the real boat fares.
San Pedro Q15
Santa Cruz Q5
You will be charged
San Pedro Q25
Santa Cruz Q10
Due to the high turnover of the small boats, the captains are not pressured to negotiate with you to fill the boats. If you don't like being cheated then this criminal behavior just isn't for you. Remember that every single tourist who consents to the tourist rate reinforces the idea in the Guatemalan captains' minds that this behavoir is acceptable. It's as much your fault for flaunting wealth as it is that of their greed, and those who partake ruin the experience for the rest of us.
i never regret an experience in life, but the trip could have just as incredible without this addition...however i will say that if you choose to go to lake atitlan, check out the other lake towns. my best memory was paying a boy to take my mother and i to the 'secret' shrine of the local saint. the running through alleys and between buildings just to keep up was the best part...the shrine was closed before us and barely saw anything!
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