Pana is perfectly situated on beautiful Lake Atitlán and surrounded by volcanos - the picturesque view is not to be taken for granted. There are a lot of perks about living in Panajachel and the constantly beautiful views are one of them. All that being said, if you want to take in the beauty of Pana, all while experiencing some thrills, look no further. We have you covered with some of our favorite adventures on Lake Atitlán.
Zipline at the Reserva Natural Atitlán
Nothing is more exhilarating than soaring through the trees on a zipline, especially as monkeys jump from tree to tree above you. At the Nature Reserve in Panajachel, you can explore their lush grounds and take a trek up through their private trails to zipline. Walking high in the treetops across hanging bridges then floating down on zipline is such a rush! They have two different courses (one more extreme than the other) offering superb views of forests, waterfalls, volcanoes, and the lake itself. Ranging from $30 - $50 you can zipline, feed the monkeys, enter the butterfly garden and hike their private trails.
Photo via Reserva Natural Atitlán
Cliff Jump in San Marcos la Laguna
Are you ready get a taste of the lake in one of the most up close and personal ways possible? Venture over to the Nature Reserve, Cerro Tzankujil in San Marcos La Laguna. Offering some of the greatest views on Lake Atitlán and hiking paths, it is a great way to get lost in nature! 15Q ($2) gives you entrance to a park full of trails, swimming areas with incredibly clear water, and...best of all, you get to experience one of the most exhilarating jumps on the lake! At just about 30ft this leap will give you a huge rush, but not too much that you have energy for more. Dive right in, swim to the side and climb right back up again. With a full volcano backdrop on a clear day, it's a thrilling activity for the adrenaline junky and photographer alike.
San Antonio Natural Hot Springs
For a real adventure exploring the majestic Lake Atitlan, take a swim to find the thermal pockets near San Antonio Polopo. The water seeps out of the volcano and trickles straight into the lake. This experience is 100% natural and a great way to connect with Mother Nature. Right near the shoreline, it's way too hot, so you've got to explore and swim around to find the perfect place where the (hot) volcanic water and the (cold) lake water mix enough for it to be just right. Only accessible by boat, you might need a private driver to accompany you. From there, it's just you and the lake as one.
Hike Rostro Maya, San Juan la Laguna
As you look to the right of San Juan La Laguna, you can see a mountaintop in the form of a face with the mouth looking upwards. This is famous the Rostro Maya (Maya Face) the exudes the spirits of the ancestors who lives here on the lake before us. Living off of the land, while always giving back to nature - the Maya culture is deeply in tune with Mother Nature. From San Juan, you can hike the trail all the way up to the peak. Or take the public pickup truck up to Santa Clara and ask to be pointed in the direction of Rostro Maya. From Santa Clara you walk through people's backyards and use trails the locals trek daily, to eventually reach the steep climb to ascend the top. While it’s beautiful all of the time, catch it at sunrise or sunset for an even more breathtaking view, as if that was possible! (We recommend asking for Juan at the LEMA association in center of San Juan to be your guide.)
If you’re looking for a great way to spend a free afternoon, hiking El Mirador trail is a perfect way to soak in the incredible view while getting in a great workout. Taking around 2.5 hours, you will enjoy hiking through farms and forests all while having an incredible view over Lake Atitlán. The hike begins from Godinez, a town up above Lake Atitlán, then descends into Santa Catarina Palopó. To begin, take the public microbus that leave from the produce market in Panajachel up to Godinez. From there, descend down following the local trails used by the indigenous communities in that area.
With all of the options around Lake Atitlán, what are you waiting for? We'll meet you at the lake!
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