Guatemala's South


See rating for Lago Atitlan area at Panajachel

Description :
The most relaxed village by the lake

Comments : This place has a 'New Age' and community atmosphere and would offer a good alternative to sometimes 'excessive' San Pedro. 

What to do ? Relax ! / Meditate / Relax a bit more / Walk to Santa Cruz / Climb rocks / Relax on the rocks / Dive from the rocks / Take a pick-up to San Pedros

What you may not like ? The lack of beach or good place to swim / All those new guesthouses  being constructed : relax while you still can ! / The strangely remote pier to Panajachel, on the eastern 'empty' side of the village / Already, a few 'quetzales' kids / Spotting more westerners than locals

How long ? How long do you need for yourself ?

Where to stay ? Quite a few places with a community atmosphere :

  • Hotel Paco Real, going down from the church / Q50 per person / Nice surroundings but rather empty & basic rooms without showers. Too expensive therefore. 
  • Hotel San Marcos, a bit down / Q25 per person / Acceptable rooms without shower in a nice little garden
  • Las Piramides (2057151,, the big original (and rather commercialized) center for meditation, certainly worth a look. Beside Yoga and meditation techniques, you will be taught, depending on the moon, various spiritual or metaphysics subjects, once every week, to end on the 4th, by the 'Las Piramides' Retreat ! If you do not wish to spend so much time under a pyramid, you can still bring home a souvenir... The original lodging & sessions (but not the food) cost $12 per day. You can also join the mediation & yoga evening session for Q30. 
  • Hotel Unicornio, follow the signs / Sgl 25, Dbl 50, basic 'bungalow' style / Sauna & Kitchen / Go there for the acceptable quality-price ratio / What you may not like : it somehow lack the charm of the other places
  • Hotel La Paz (7029168) / Dorm (4 or 6) 30 / Go there for the comfortable & original dorms by a nice garden and the community atmosphere / What you may not like : paying more for a bed than for a room...
  • Hotel Quetzal / Dorm (5) 25, Room 30(1) or 60(2) / Go there for the nice house and the family atmosphere with lots of friendly kids

Where to eat ? A couple of international & vegetarian restaurants. You should not starve (except if doing a fasting retreat, of course !)

The trip to San Pedro : SSSS / everywhere / Q2 / 20mn / Pick-up
A fun (feels like a roller coaster) & refreshing trip, standing at the back of a pick-up. Some nice beaches were spotted just before reaching the village of San Juan. If some time ahead and some energy left, you could stop there to climb the mountain up to the cross, for a superb panorama...

See also the trip from Santa Cruz