Reserva Natural Atitlán

Top choice in Panajachel

A former coffee plantation being reclaimed by natural vegetation, this reserve is 200m past the Hotel Atitlán on the northern outskirts of town. It makes a good outing on foot or bicycle. You can leisurely walk the main trail in an hour: it leads up over swing bridges to a waterfall, then down to a platform for viewing local spider monkeys.

You should also see pisotes (coatis), relatives of the raccoon with long snouts and long, upright, furry tails. The reserve includes a butterfly enclosure and herb garden, an interpretive center, a small coffee plantation and an aviary. For more extreme thrills, there are various zip lines spanning canyons and forest, the longest of which extends nearly a kilometer.

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