Scenes from around Panajachel, Guatemala, one of many villages set on Lago de Atitlán, a crater lake surrounded by mountains and volcanos, and referred to by many famous travelers as of the most beautiful views in the world.
Read more on Panajachel and its surrounding watery paradise, here.
A boat returns to the docks at sunset in Panajachel.
Vendors sell hot dogs and other snacks at the waterfront.
Kayaking is best done in the morning, when Lago de Atitlán is silky smooth.
Much of the town gets around by motorbike.
Tuk tuks act as the town’s quick, cheap taxis.
A family watches Lago de Atitlán on a perfect sunny day.
The view of the main docks at Panajachel from the water.
Picositas, or beers with spices and pickled shrimp, are a common lakeside drink.
On the walk to the cemetery, pedestrians will pass through the real neighborhoods of Pana.
An espresso at La Casa del Mundo, a short public boat ride from Pana.
Sunset over Volcán San Pedro
A small bakery off one of Pana’s side streets.
Pastel de leche at Cafe Asawako.
The view from Trampolin, a cliff-diving point in the town of San Marcos, a short public boat ride from Pana.
The entrance to my casa in Pana.
A boat cuts through the golden light at sunset.
Vendors sell spiced nuts, corn nuts and other snacks along the waterfront in Pana.
A Campari drink at Cafe Asawako.
One of the many views from La Casa del Mundo, a short public boat ride from Pana.
Streetside chuchitos, or small tamales topped with avocado, salsa and sour cheese.
weaves scarves and blankets near the water.
A man hits Lago de Atilán early, when its smooth.
The view of Pana from the water.
Rooftops bedecked with plants are common in Pana.
Marinated octopus with crackers, served at Marea Pana
Churrascon Tejano, a popular spot for Churrascos, or grilled chicken and steaks with green onions and other accompaniments.
Drinking on the docks is permitted in Pana, and there are plenty of stalls around the lake to grab one to enjoy while watching sunset.
Kids blow bubbles at the main municipal market.
A typical breakfast, eaten at a street cart: eggs, beans, tortillas, coffee and hot sauce.
Take a leisure boat to view some of the most beautiful mansions built around the lake.
With cloudy afternoons often clearing around sundown, the light shows can be fantastic.
Plants in every sort of container, even shoes, at the casa I stayed at in Pana.
Homemade pies are sold on the street in Pana — this one is apple.
The garden at Jasmin Deli is a great spot for lunch.
The main marina in Pana.
Kids ride on the front and the back on motos in Pana.
Calle Santander in Pana, the main drag.
Cocktails at Simoneta Mixology Cantina.
Life on the lake is still active, even on a cloudy day.
Pana’s street food is known for its relative diversity — everything from fried chicken to hamburgers to traditional Guatemalan fare.
Late afternoon, following the rain, in Pana.
Calle Santander, Pana’s main drag, is lined with vendors selling textiles and other handicrafts.
Lago de Atitlán is surrounded by mountains and volcanos on all sides, making for quite the experience in a kayak.
Street tacos: mixed meats and sausages with avocado creme and pico de gallo.
A sign advertising smoothies on a building.
A boy sells trinkets while passengers embark a boat.
Fresh fruit on display at the municipal market.
Hang gliders soar above the boats on a sunny day.
At Crossroads Cafe, the owner’s wife bakes all the fresh treats.
The river heading toward the lake on the edges of Panajachel.
Women balance bowls holding their wares on their heads.
Locals lounge of the steps of a popular bakery in Panajachel.
The streets off of the main stretch in Pana boast more interesting bars and cafes.
An artist paints a wall off the main drag in Panajachel.
Typical steak churrascos at a street cart in Pana.
A boat docks for the evening at the main marina in Pana.
La Casa del Mundo, a short public boat ride from Pana, makes for an incredible stop for breakfast or lunch. It’s also a hotel.
Lakeside stands sell ceviche, beer and other snacks.
Hamburguesas, from a street cart in Pana.
One of the views from the Trampolin, a cliff diving platform in San Marcos.
The entrance to Crossroads Cafe, one of the friendliest places in the world.
A boat heads for the harbor.
A woman sells homemade pies in flavors such as lime, banana and apple on the street.
The lone pier just beyond the Pana cemetery.
Two women and their adorable pup shop at the municipal market.
Caldo de pollo, a broth served with chicken and vegetables, at the municipal market.
A cheese tart from Panaderia San Miguelito in Pana.
Just beyond the touristy sector in Pana.
One of the many views from La Casa del Mundo, a short public boat ride away from Panajachel.
A weekday scene at the municipal market.
A quiet evening at Cafe Asawako, a great stop for a dessert, coffee or cocktail.
A man rides across the back neighborhoods of Pana.
Most vendors don’t emerge onto the main streets until 7:30 or 8 p.m. at night, but a handful sell hot dogs and snacks throughout the day.
Piles of fresh fruits and vegetables await shoppers at the municipal market.
An espresso at one of the cafes along the main drag, Calle Santander in Pana.
The sunset as seen from the cemetery beach.
Al pastor tacos, served from a street cart.
A vendor sells churrascos on the street.
A woman walks with the items she sells — textiles including blankets and scarves.
The docks are the perfect spot to await the sunset.
Fried chicken, sold in street carts in Pana, closely mimics that found in the U.S.
A chicken sandwich at Deli Jasmin.
Street carts set up for the night on the main drag in Pana.
The river stretching toward the river on the edges of Pana.
With clouds and sun intermixing, the light throughout the day over the lake is often magnificent.
Pies as street food? Yes, in Pana, where apple, banana, strawberry and lime versions are sold by the slice.
Simoneta Mixology Cantina sticks out in Pana — purposefully.
Drinks made at Simoneta Mixology in Pana come via homemade syrups and bitters using local ingredients and in cut wine and booze bottles for glasses.
In Guatemala, it is customary to bury the dead above ground, in colorful, house-like mausoleums.
Most people get around the small city via tuk tuks (small taxis) or motorbikes.
The secondary street in Pana, Rancho Grande.
A chicken empanada from Pizzeria Florencia — fantastica.
Boats head out in the stillness of the early mornings on Lake Atitlán.
The sun set sent pink clouds glowing throughout the sky by the cemetery one night.
Spiced shrimp from Doña Chave, a local bar and restaurant.
Mixed ceviche, eaten on the waterfront via one of the many carts that lines the lake path.
Cafe Loco, a popular coffee shop with locals and tourists alike.
Plants in every corner in the courtyard of the casa I stayed in for $10/night.
Shoppers browse fresh produce at the main municipal market in Pana.
Vendors sell garnachas — small tortillas topped with meat, salsa and pickled vegetables — on the street.
The water in Lago de Atitlán, a crater lake, is turquoise and translucent.
Would-be jumpers peer over the railing at the Trampolin, a cliff-diving platform in San Marcos.
A cat borrows a cool drink from her bird friends at La Casa del Mundo.
Pupusas, thick masa patties stuffed with cheese and other toppings, are sold at Rinconcito Salvadoreño on the main drag in Pana.
A young girl mugs for the camera at the municipal market.
Women prepare caldo — a broth-like soup — at a stall at the municipal market.
Pedestrians walk down the main street in San Juan la Laguna, a pueblo about a 30-minute ride across the lake.
In Pana, old ships sit abandoned on the lake shores.
A garden salad — a rarity in Guatemala — at Deli Jazmin in Panajachel.
The alternate view from El Mirador, a tall viewpoint of Lake Atitlan in Santiago, the lake’s largest city, which is about a 30-minute boat ride from Panajachel.
A group of kids walks to the first overlook on the hike to Indian’s nose, a mountain peak that sits between the towns of Santa Cruz and San Juan.
A beachside lounge; part of San Juan la Laguna’s Caffe La Cabaña
Fruit vendor sip slushees between sales in Panajachel.
Santiago, a 30-minute boat ride from Panajachel.
The start of the long climb up to Indian’s Nose, a peak between Santa Cruz and San Juan la Laguna.
The graveyard in Santiago
One of the many glorious views from the journey up to Indian’s Nose
Young men hold on to a packed pickup truck as it rolls through the main market in Panajachel.
A Cuba Libre cocktail at Caffe la Cabaña in San Juan
Lanchas — or transfer boats — line the short at Santiago.
Women sell fresh produce in the Panajachel market.
The entrance to La Galleria, an art gallery in Panajachel.
Panajachel boasts many shops selling textiles, leather goods and other gifts.
Inside the Colonial church courtyard in Santiago.
If it isn’t raining, sunsets, layered with cotton candy clouds, can be fantastic on the lake.
In the early morning, Lake Atitlan is as still as glass.
A man walks through the Feria in Panajachel.
A cup is piled high at Pana’s Dolce Gelato.
A streetside stand sells candy and other sweets.
San Juan La Laguna’s El Artesano is known for its sprawling backyard and its exclusivity — accepting guests by reservation only and for just about 3 hours a day.
Calle Santander in Panajachel
A view from San Juan la Laguna’s Caffe la Cabaña
A funeral procession in Santiago, a short boat ride from Panajachel
The climb up to Indian’s Nose, a peak between the towns of Santa Cruz and San Juan la Laguna.
The lake view of Caffe la Cabaña in San Juan.
A leather store in San Pedro la Laguna.
An early morning at one of the docks in Panajachel
La Galleria in Panajachel serves a crepe breakfast inside the garden on most weekends.
Santiago, a short boat ride from Panajachel.
The view for El Mirador in Santiago
Young kids selling wares at the main market in Santiago.
The back streets of Santiago
The main market in Panajachel
Santiago, as seen from the lake.
Dried shrimp sold at the main market in Santiago
Cafe Rafa in Santiago.
Pancakes, as part of the four-course breakfast (for about $5.50 USD) at San Pedro la Laguna’s El Barrio.
At the Panajachel main market.
Streets of Santiago.
Caffe la Cabaña in San Juan la Laguna.
Where Calle Santander and Calle Principal meet in Pana.
On the dock in San Juan la Laguna.
Dina’s Chocolate, a truffle and sweets shop in Panajachel.
The garden at San Juan la Laguna’s El Artesano
One of the many docks on the main beach in Panajachel.
Cocktails at Simoneta’s Mixology Cantina in Panajachel, a new-wave bar with local ingredients and no menu.
Santiago, on Lake Atitlán.
A cabana at a cafe in San Marcos la Laguna
Young men play foosball at a weekend feria in Panajachel.
A view from El Mirador in Santiago.
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The main market in Panajachel.
A stand selling carnitas and chicharron in Panajachel.
Chicharron and accompaniments from a street stand in Panajachel.
One of the last boats of the day takes off from Pana as the sun sets.
Santiago, a short boat ride from Panajachel.
The graveyard in Santiago.
A local band plays at Circus Bar, a pizzeria and live music venue in Panajachel.
Families watch the many parades on Sept. 15, Guatemala’s Independence Day.
A streetside stand selling juices and snacks in Panajachel
The market is augmented on Sundays in Santiago.
San Pedro la Laguna
San Pedro la Laguna
Through the window in the guest house at La Galleria in Panajachel
Pizza, pasta and bruschetta at Circus Bar in Panajachel.
An abandoned boat on the shores of Panajachel.
San Pedro la Laguna
Pineapples at the main market in Santiago.
Young men jump off a swimming platform in Panajachel.
Fishermen’s boats line the Panajachel shore.
A ceremony for Maximón, a Guatemalan folks deity, in Santiago.
A chuchito — mini tamales filled with meat and topped with salsa, at a street cart in Panajachel.
Because the water level in Lake Atitlán rises and falls dramatically, parts of some towns — like this part in Santiago — are underwater.
One of the vistas from the climb up to Indian’s Nose, a steep hill peak between the towns of Santa Cruz and San Juan la Laguna.
One of the views from the climb up to Indian’s Nose, the peak between the towns Santa Cruz and San Juan la Laguna.
Pottery for sale at a street-side stand.
On the streets of Panajachel
The outdoor guest shower at the guesthouse at La Galleria in Panajachel.
Chickens roam in San Juan la Laguna.
Fried whole fish with all the accompaniments and soup, for about $7 USD.
Locals and visitors watch the annual Sept. 15 (Independence Day) parades in Panajachel.
The Colonial church in Santiago.
Iglesia San Francisco in Panajachel.
The view from El Mirador in Santiago.
The path that winds up to the steep peak of Indian’s Nose, between the villages of San Juan la Laguna and Santa Cruz.
A barber shop in Pana.
The treehouse/guesthouse at La Galleria in Panajachel.
A man sells snacks near El Mirador in Santiago.
The view of Santiago from inside a lancha — or on of the transfer boats.
As seen from the shores of Pana.
Wares for sale in Santiago
A young girl poses on her stoop in Santiago
The Indian’s Nose peak from afar.
The terrace at La Galleria, where the owners serve a crepe brunch most Sunday mornings.
A little girl picks her prize at a stand at Panajachel’s feria.
Marchers walk with flags in a parade on Sept. 15 (Independence Day)
The view into the square from the inside of Colonial Church in Santiago
One of the views from the hike up to Indian’s Nose.
A party boat, seen from the shores of Pana
A chicharron pupusa, from a street stand in Pana.
A ceremony with Maximón, a Guatemalan folk deity, in Santiago.
A young boy waves the Guatemalan flag
As seen from the shores of San Juan la Laguna
Fresh tomatoes at the main market in Santiago
Three men take a moment to enjoy a few ice cream cones in San Pedro.
The graveyard in Santiago, a short boat ride from Panajachel
A Guatemalan enchilada — the word used for tostadas, here — topped with beets and carrots, onions, guacamole, salsas and egg.
On the streets of Panajachel
Many children are walking vendors in Guatemala — that is, selling wares they carry on themselves, such as baskets of bracelets, keychains and other trinkets.
The grassy beach of Panajachel.
One of the many parades in Panajachel on Sept. 15, Guatemalan Independence Day.
Santiago as it appears from an approaching boat
A perfect Panajachel pastime: beers and Elotitos — spicy corn nuts — on a dock.