Trips and Itineraries for Panajachel
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The streets of Panajachel....
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Lake Atitlan might just be the highlight of your trip whether your looking to party of relaxing lake side and do yoga and meditation everyday. With over 10 small lakeside villages it's easy to base yourself in one village or town and take a lancha (small boat) to the others. We choose to stay in San Pedro as it was where our chicken bus dropped us off. There were tons of hostels and guesthouses and the further out you went the cheaper the accommodation was. We ended up finding a place to stay for a week for $15 a night- private room with bathroom, good wifi, a shared kitchen, hammocks to lay in and the best part was it was lake side. For a splurge in food visit San Juan Wine and Cheese Restaurant. It has a solid 5 star rating on Tripadvisor and serves huge anti-pasta, curried meats, and cheese platters. We spent our anniversary here! Walk around the town of San Pedro and you'll see hippies and artisans lined up selling their hand made jewelries, clothes, and smoking paraphernalia. There are tons of cheap eats and if you have a particular craving you're likely to find it. This place is also a haven for great vegetarian options given the huge new age scene. At night there are tons of places to drink and party including some amazing open mics. Ask around and you'll find something going on each night of the week. For shopping there's a huge market in Panajachel but these will be items similar to Antigua. If you're looking for some peace and quiet considering staying in San Marcos. While it's a bit more expensive the hotels have incredible value. This side of the lake is the cleanest and there tons of docks you can jump off and go for a swim. San Marcos is also a haven for yoga and meditation. You can find certification courses with a duration of a couple of weeks to a few months. There are tai-chi, reiki, and other "spirtual" centers and courses that can be done at very affordable prices.
Each week there's an explosion of colors, fabrics and carried and put together by the Mayan women that come from all over Guatemala to sell their goods in the tiny town of Chichicastenango. This little villages stays very quiet 5 days a week but on Sunday and Thursday locals and foreigners come to get lost in the Central America's largest market. We ended up spending 3 hours in town. There are a few must visit spots in the area including the town's main church (Iglesia de Santo Tomas), of course the market itself (which is in front of the church), and lastly the very colorful cemetery located 5 minutes from the market. If you're staying at Lake Atitlan, Antigua, or Xela it's an easy day trip and can be done via chicken bus or tour shuttles.