Panajachel
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Panajachel Culture & History

  • 3-Day Tour of Lake Atitlan & Chichicastenango Market

    1. 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

  • Atitlán: Private Full-Day Lake and Locals Tour

    2. Atitlán: Private Full-Day Lake and Locals Tour

    Take a day trip to one of the most beautiful lakes in Central America, Atitlán Lake. Explore 2 ancient Mayan towns with your private guide and admire the impressive landscapes formed by 3 volcanoes. After pickup at 6:00 AM at your hotel in Antigua Guatemala or Guatemala City, take a 3-hour journey towards Atitlán Lake. Your first stop will be a viewpoint with impressive panoramic views over Sololá Department, the volcanoes, and the lake. From Panajachel, one of the 11 Mayan villages, take a 20-minute boat trip across the lake towards San Juan La Laguna. Once you debark, stroll along the “handicrafts” street, which includes chocolate and medicinal plant stores, textile factories, art galleries, and souvenir shopping.  After San Juan La Laguna, take the private boat towards Santiago Atitlán, where you learn about Mayan ethnic groups and their unique textile patterns and colors, religious ...

  • Chichicastenango and Panajachel One Day Tour

    3. 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: Mayan Ceremony at the Sacred Caves

    4. 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 view...

    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.

  • Panajachel: Families and Beginners 3-Hour Rock Climb

    5. Panajachel: Families and Beginners 3-Hour Rock Climb

    Enjoy a 3-hour rock climbing adventure in Lake Atitlan that is perfect for anyone with no experience, or who has only ever climbed in a gym before. A professional teacher will be on hand at all times, and will provide you with all the equipment and instruction necessary for a safe but fun adventure. The only climbing school in Guatemala where you can learn the basic principals of top rope climbing, you will receive full instruction on tying knots, harness sizing, and climbing techniques. After the class, try your skills on one of the easier walls. A unique over-the water climb is available for those looking for more experience. Get a taste for climbing and you might even decide to advance to a climbing camp in Santa Cruz La Laguna on Lake Atitlan’s northern shore. Climbing sites are available for a range of ages and abilities, and stays of a week will immerse you in the beauty of the l...

  • Bird watching at a Private Reserve

    6. Bird watching at a Private Reserve

    Enjoy the best bird watching on an exclusive private reserve.  Experienced guides will ensure you see a large variety of unusual species native to Guatemala, plus many migratory species from North America.  This is your best opportunity to see rare species from this area, such as the Great Horned Guan. A birding paradise. This package includes private transportation from your hotel or residence in Antigua or Panajachel.  Upon your arrival at the nature reserve, you will have time to explore the area that includes a coffee plantation, exotic plant and flower nursery, and nature trails.  Near sunset, you have a high likelihood of seeing local wild life. Settle into your cabin or room in the main lodge before you enjoy a hearty home cooked meal.  Explore the 100 year old main lodge and learn about its history.  There are many old photos and mementos from the past that explain about the hi...

  • From Antigua: 2-Day Chichicastenango & Lake Atitlan Tour

    7. From Antigua: 2-Day Chichicastenango & Lake Atitlan Tour

    In Chichicastenango, explore the indigenous market and be witness to the incessant exchange of fruits, vegetables and handicrafts between the locals and foreigners. Lake Atitlán was formed when a volcanic caldera depleted its magma. Three stately volcanoes - Atitlan, Tolimán and San Pedro - rise gracefully from its southern shore, their perfect cones reflected in the azure mirror of the lake. Discover weaving made and worn by the Maya-Tzutujil and Cakchiquel women who live around the lake and many of the men also wear traditional, hand-woven clothing. Day 1 – Chichicastenango: - 07:00: Transfer from your hotel in Guatemala City or Antigua to Chichicastenango - 10:00: Arrival to Chichicastenango’s market.  In the center of town you will find the local market where you can buy wood products, ceramics and even gifts that the Mayan priests offer on their prehispanic altar...

  • Private Tour: Chichicastenango Market and Lake Atitlan

    8. Private Tour: Chichicastenango Market and Lake Atitlan

    Take time to journey beyond Guatemala City to take in the beauty of the surrounding region and learn about local culture and history. Explore the Chichicastenango Maya Market, and the scenic Lake Atitlan with your guide and make lasting memories of your time in Guatemala.  You will be picked up from your hotel in Guatemala City then journey to the Western Highlands to arrive at your first location of the day, Chichicastenango. You will be mesmerized by this region of Guatemala an area most travellers would daydream about. The region is home to quaint and colorful mountain villages, highland lakes, forests and the majority of Guatemala’s indigenous people. Once you arrive at Chichicastenango Market you will begin your walking tour of the market. The market is the heart of commercial life for “maxeños”, having changed very little throughout the centuries. With your guide explore the pathw...

  • 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.

  • Lower Mayan Trail: San Marcos to Santa Cruz 4-Hour Hike

    10. Lower Mayan Trail: San Marcos to Santa Cruz 4-Hour Hike

    The day begins in Santa Cruz, where you depart for the rugged north shore and the remote village of Tzununa. The north shore of Lake Atitlan has no true road access, so you’ll be hiking along ancient paths that have been used by the Kachekel Maya for centuries. See villagers going about their daily life, encounter farmers tending their corn and coffee fields, and see some of the most magnificent scenery in the world. This rugged and remote section of Lake Atitlan has barely been touched by the outside world. This hike takes you several hundred feet above the ever-changing waters of Atitlan for breathtaking views of the famous volcanoes. Then descend into the Pumpatin Canyon for a nature walk along the banks of the river. You experience 2 different ecosystems as you walk from the upper lake shore into the narrow canyon. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the banks of the river, and take a swim if y...

Other Sightseeing Options in Panajachel

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What people are saying about Panajachel

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 3 reviews

I like the options they present for trips, and I loved the tours to the towns of Lake Atitlán. Although it would be advisable in each place to give about 2 hours to stay. It is also recommended from the beginning to put the options with the price of different hotels, so that the client can choose from the beginning. And it is also recommended that with the transport the seats of each traveler be reserved, because in the minibuses the small seats are uncomfortable and if you change the minibus, they sit where it is available.

Very neat and accomplished

Everything offered was fulfilled. Comfortable transport. Very friendly in the chosen hotel. Good location and willing to collaborate. The guide in the Lake very attentive to his work. A very pleasant experience. Thank you

It may seem a bit pricey but well worth it. Your guide, Lee, will take you places you would not find on your own. As a Mayan in the know he can explain everything to you. You will not be disappointed

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.