Things to do in Panajachel
- Volunteer, Robert Muller LIFE School; LIFE's mission is to provide a top-notch, multicultural education to expat and indigenous children alike. LIFE School is the only English-speaking non-profit school in Guatemala. 44% of its current students receive some for of financial assistance. For more information please visit:LIFE School
You can also volunteer for free with Mayan Families (www.mayanfamilies.org). The organization provides support to Indigenous and Ladino Guatemalans through education scholarships, emergency food and medical services, donations, etc. You can install new stoves, teach preschoolers, translate, cook food for their Elderly Feeding Program, help sort donations and more! In addition to the aforementioned volunteer opportunities, Panajachel has a number of other Non-Governmental Organizations that accept volunteers on a no-fee basis. A couple of these include: Thirteen Threads (www.thirteenthreads.org), Mayan Traditions, and Estrella de Mar.
- ATI Divers, . In the nearby village of Santa Cruz La Laguna is ATI Divers. Diving in the lake is interesting as this is high altitude diving into a fresh water lake. Also, due to the fact the volcanic activity is present there are hot spots under the bed of the lake. At various points it is possible to feel the heat with your hands by digging them into the floor of the lake. The life in the lake consists of crabs, fish, snails and plants. ATI Divers do the PADI open water course for US$220 over four days. PADI advanced is $200. Fun dives are $30/$50. They also do an altitude dive course for $80. Located on the same site and run by the same people is La Iguana Perdida.
- Kayaking, Many of the lake side resorts own recreational and sea kayaks that they are more than willing to rent. But if you're not staying at a resort the public beach in Panajachel in front of Hotel Del Lago has a small two story tower that rents kayaks. The mobility of the kayaks and warm waters provide endless stopping points for private cliff-side diving and swimming as well as a close up look at some very fancy homes. Prices for the day are around Q100-200 for a two-person kayak. Q50 at La Iguana Perdida backpacker's hotel! Los Elementos Adventure Center has an excellent kayaks, and offer guided tours as well as hourly rentals. Full moon and sunrise paddles are a unique way to enjoy the lake. 2-4 day around the lake tours are an affordable adventure if you are looking for something special. 5359.8328
- Kukulkan travel and adventure tours, , [email protected]. Offers quality bike rentals for village around the lake also offers boat tours, trekking around the lake, climbing volcanoes, coffee tour, and other adventures ideal for adventure tourism can be organizing in Panajachel.
- Nature Reserve, for Q55 the nearby Reserva Natural Atitlán, or Atitlan Nature Reserve and butterfly sanctuary is part of an old coffee finca. You can see monkeys, coatimundis and many species of birds, walk on hanging bridges towards the waterfall or the private beach. Stay in their "green" Hotel Atitlan. The oldest house in the area (~1700 AD) and a stone, German-built mill (~1880s AD) are on the property. You can ride eight zip lines across the valley with a great view of the property, the lake and the volcanoes and then ride into the forest for Q220 (which also includes the normal Q55 admission to the Reserva). The equipment and gear is very secure and you always have two guides.
- Boat Tours, . Private boat tours to explore the more remote areas of the lake, or for private transportation to any area of the lake. Maximum capacity 8 passengers. Travel in affordable luxury. Ideal for birdwatching, visiting the geothermal hot springs, or just for a swim in the middle of the lake.