7 Awesome Things To Do In Panajachel

sunset over panajachelPanajachel isn’t just a jumping point to explore the “cool towns,” around the lake. It’s not just the place to go to catch the shuttle back to Antigua, Guatemala.

Panajachel is one darn cool town in it’s self and aside from Santa Cruz, it’s one of my favorites.

The sunsets from Panajachel are without question the best on the lake. The selection of food at Chalos and Sandra’s grocery stores is tremendous. And the local market offers some of the freshest and cheapest produce around.

Not only does Panajachel have great sunsets and shopping but it also has loads of cool things to do and places to explore.

Below are the top 7 things to do in Panajachel, Guatemala.

1) Sweat Out The Toxins In A Temescal

A Temescal is a traditional Mayan Sauna. It’s been used for centuries among the Mayan for both medicinal and relaxation purposes.

It gets hotter than a hot tamale in there and you’ll sweat more than you did during your San Marcos orgy a few nights ago but you’ll feel like a Mayan god after a cold shower.

Hotel Utz Jay offers the cheapest Temescal in town. It’s 35Q per person, you can stay in for as long as you can, and it includes complimentary lemon grass tea.

2) Kayak In The Morning

Panajachel offers some of the best kayaking on the lake. From here get an unobstructed view of the lake’s three volcanoes. Plus If you paddle east towards Pena D’Oro, you get the chance to see some of the lake’s most beautiful waterfront homes.

Kayaks rent for just 15-25Q. To avoid high winds, it’s best to head out in the morning.

3) Check Out The Sunset

One of the best places to watch the sunset is down by the cemetery off of Calle De Los Salpores. From here, the setting sun paints the clouds and volcanoes in brilliant oranges, pinks, and purples. If only Van Gogh had had the chance to paint it, it would have surely rivaled “Starry Night.”

The Sunset From Panajachel

The Sunset From Panajachel

4) Shop For Souvenirs

Panajachel offers a huge selection of Guatemalan made goods. You can literally spend hours just looking through it all. The best part is, most of goods actually sell for cheaper than Guatemala’s biggest street market, Chichicastenango. This makes Panajachel the best place to do your shopping.

Like everywhere in Guatemala, you can and should haggle. A good rule of thumb is to half whatever the asking price is and judge the reaction. The angrier the shop keeper, the better the deal.

The main market in Panajachel

The main market in Panajachel

5) Go Paragliding

I don’t think there’s a more picturesque place in the world to go paragliding. If you’ve ever thought about doing it, Panajachel is the place. For just 90$ you get the chance to soar over the lake for about an hour. For more info, check out Real World Paragliding.

 6) Rent A Motorcycle

Mountain top passes, banked turns, dirt trails and lake side stretches make Panjachel a motorcyclists dream. 250cc bikes go for around 250-350Q a day There are multiple motorcycle rental shops around town so be sure to shop around for the best price.

7) Explore The Nature Reserve

Atitlan nature reserve offers some pretty wicked zip lining and immersion in the lake’s local flora and fauna. Although it’s a bit pricey at 55Q a person, it’s definitely worth it.


If you’re coming to Lake Atitlan, be sure to check out Panajachel. Although it doesn’t have the best night life or hostels, it does have the best selection of restaurants and a lot of awesome things to do. For more info on Panajachel, check out the Ultimate Guide To Panajachel Guatemala.

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