Welcome to Panajachel
A hike down to the lakeshore, though, will give you a better idea of why Pana attracts so many visitors. Aside from the astounding volcano panorama, the town's excellent transportation connections, copious accommodations, varied restaurants and thumping nightlife make it a favorite destination for weekending Guatemalans.
Several different cultures mingle on Panajachel's dusty streets. Ladinos (people of mixed indigenous and European heritage) and gringos control the tourist industry. The Kaqchiquel and Tz'utujil Maya from surrounding villages come to sell their handicrafts to tourists. Tour groups arrive by bus for a few hours or overnight. This mix makes Pana a curiously cosmopolitan crossroads in an otherwise remote, rural vicinity. All of this makes for a convenient transition into the Atitlán universe – but to truly experience the beauty of the lake, most travelers venture onward soon after arrival.