For those who want to be close to Lake Atitlán’s main Mayan village, these waterside hotels in Panajachel are the perfect pit stops in Guatemala.
From space, Lake Atitlán looks like a blue drop set in the ancient, wrinkled folds of Guatemala’s Sierra Madre mountain range. From the ground, it shimmers sapphire blue, the sun rippling off its tiny wavelets, silhouetting the cones of the many volcanoes that line its shore. The Maya have lived along the shoreline villages for millennia, the largest being Panajachel. As the closest thing that Atitlán has to a resort town, it has a variety of places to stay – some with those all-important lakeside views.
This flashpacker hostel has a range of brightly colored spaces and accommodation options that are adorned with indigenous art and woven wall hangings. It offers dorms (also known as community rooms), twins, triples and airy doubles with balconies – there’s even a suite. Amenities include a yoga deck with sweeping views of Lake Atitlán and a co-working area.
With a kid-friendly menu in the restaurant, cottages big enough for families and a broad spread of Lake Atitlán activities for all ages, this lakeshore hotel is a good option for groups with children in tow. There’s a tropical garden with lawns and a pool, and a beautiful view at every corner. The restaurants, shops and bustling souvenir markets of downtown Panajachel are a 10-minute walk away.
Right on the water, with easy access to the ferry, souvenir shops and markets, this welcoming, ranch-style hotel has Hobbit-like stone rooms clustered together in a tropical garden. The Lakeshore rooms have windows framing Lake Atitlán’s fabulous water-and-volcano view, and there’s a pool sitting in an attractive garden, scattered with flower-filled horse-drawn carts. The friendly staff are helpful with tours.
The bright, refurbished rooms with private balconies and lake views at this Niemeyer-esque hotel are excellent value – you’ll want to upgrade to a suite for the best panorama. The hotel has a jacuzzi, extensive tropical gardens and Panajachel’s largest pool – for those who don’t want to fight over their sun loungers – and spectacular lakeside views.
This old traveler hangout, a few blocks from the lakeshore, has simple, no-frills rooms in warm oranges and soft browns, with splashes of vivid color from Mayan textiles and scatter cushions. Public terraces and balconies feature hanging vines and colorful roses and orchids, and there are restaurants and shops on the doorstep. The hotel can organize tours and lake activities, too.
This oche-hued, colonial-style hotel, with its cloisters of rooms overlooking the lake and large central swimming pool, is simple. However, there are wonderful views from the rooms, which are large and refitted in a contemporary style, with off whites and muted beiges, exposed beams, colorful Mayan bedspreads and art. For a hotel on the lake, it’s exceptionally good value for money.
This small hotel has a pool, big rooms and an excellent location – on the lakeshore, by the ferry port in central Panajachel. Offering a good-value overnight stay, the Hotel Playa Linda is an ideal spot for those arriving late or catching that crack-of-dawn bus or boat.
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