|— City —|
|Elevation||1,597 m (5,240 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||1,562 m (5,125 ft)|
|Time zone||Central Time (UTC-6)|
Panajachel (Pana) is a town in the southwestern Guatemalan Highlands, less than 90 miles from Guatemala City, in the department of Sololá. It serves as the administrative centre for the surrounding municipality of the same name. The altitude is 1,597 metres (5,240 ft). The population is 11,142. The town of Panajachel is located on the Northeast shore of Lake Atitlán, and has become a centre for the tourist trade of the area as it provides a base for visitors crossing the lake to visit other towns and villages.
"Panajachel" derives from the Kaqchikel language and roughly translates to "place of the Matasanos." Matasano is a fruit tree native to the lake credited with an array of curative powers.
In the 16th century, during the period of the Spanish conquest of Guatemala, the shore of the lake was the scene of a battle in which the Spanish and their Kaqchikel allies defeated the Tz'utujils. The Spanish set up a church and monastery in Panajachel soon afterward, and used the town as a centre to convert the indigenous people of the region to the Roman Catholic faith. The original façade of the church still stands, and is considered one of the gems of the colonial style in Guatemala.
The town attracted many Hippies in the 1960s, but the numbers of foreign visitors plummeted during the Guatemalan Civil War. After the war ended, tourists started coming back, and Panajachel's economy is once again primarily based on tourism.
Places of Interest 
Built in 1948, Casa Cakchiquel was one of the first hotels on the lake and according to legend, Ernesto "Che" Guevara, Ingrid Bergman, and other intellectuals and artists enjoyed the house. Today it is restored and one of two historic buildings (the central Church of Saint Francis of Assisi being the other) in Panajachel. It houses a vintage photo gallery, fair trade store, and more.
Things to do 
Although Panajachel is mostly used as a jump off point for other places around Lake Atitlan it does offer some interesting activities.
Calle Santander, the town's most prominent Street is home to some of the best bargains in Guatemala.
The Reserva Natural Atitlan is a beautiful reserve set on the outskirts of Panajachel. Here you can watch monkeys, visit a butterfly farm, go canopying or simply hike the nature trails.
The Maya Traditions Medicine Garden is a social project set up by the Maya Traditions Foundation which educates locals and visitors about the uses of local and other plants in herbal medecine. Tours are offered by request.
International organizations 
Hurricane Stan 
- Morgan Szybist, Richard (2004), The Lake Atitlan Reference Guide:The Definitive Eco-Cultural Guidebook on Lake Atitlan, Adventures in Education, Inc.