The next day it’s time to leave this beautiful town, Antigua to Panajachel. Our van supposed to depart at 12:30 noon but until 1 pm we’re still waiting for it at the Yellow House Hotel y Agencia de Viajes. Fortunately, while waiting for our ride to come, they allowed us to use their wifi. We sat on the roof admiring the view for one last time. By 1:22 pm, it’s finally arrived.
Antigua to Panajachel
We didn’t get to choose our seats because when we got on the van, we were the last two passengers to get on it. We got the very last seats at the back on the left side. I felt caged and not comfortable at all. When the bus stopped to refuel, I took the chance to get out of the bus to stretch out.
I prefer the right side of the seat because when approaching to Panajachel, there’s a town with colourful grave (I think), and the view of the Volcano was on that side. (But it’s not that you won’t be able to see the Volcanoes in Panajachel though). On my side, I could see there’s a waterfall before going down the hill to Panajachel. But, too bad the van was descending fast, and I couldn’t get the photo.
Panajachel (population 15,000, mostly Cakchiquel Mayans)
“Panajachel (or just ‘Pana’) is the lake’s most developed tourist town. With a large expatriate community and a cosmopolitan atmosphere, Pana has dining and hotel options for every taste and budget. It is also a shopping mecca, as merchants from all over the highlands come to sell their wares.
The Catholic church here was built in 1567 and is one of Guatemala’s architectural gems. The economy is primarily based on tourism, and Pana is home to many NGOs where volunteer opportunities abound. Panajachel also features a beautiful nature park, with hiking, a zip-line, a butterfly sanctuary, monkeys, and other animals from around the region.
Many Atitlan visitors use Pana as an entry point, as it is easy and cheap to visit other villages by boat. Note: Pana has two docks: one that services Santiago and San Lucas Toliman, and another that services San Pedro, San Juan, San Marcos, Tzununa, and others.” – Credit to Atitlan Magazine – January 2019
The van stopped at a Petrol station in town at 4 pm, a stop for Panajachel town. We got off and walked around the place, trying to locate the Hotel Victoria, a place where we’ll stay for the night. We asked the locals for the location and stopped by for late lunch/early dinner at Restaurante Atlantis before carried on walking to the hotel. Pechuga ala Plancha and Mojarra @ 114GTQ.
When we arrived at the hotel, there’s no one at the reception. Cookie, the one-year-old dog guarding the place ran upstairs to let the worker know about our arrival, and not long after that, a guy showed up and checked us in.
We got the room on the ground floor. It was a decent size with hot water. However, the bed wasn’t comfy, but it’s still good enough for a night stay. It cost 240GTQ (£24) per night with Agoda.
The Pier & Santander Street
The distance from the hotel to the pier was about 1.2km. We arrived just in time to see the sunset, and it was breathtaking. The sky was changing its colour to bid farewell for the day, though, the human still busy sorting out their day, the seller happily getting income from the tourist shopping around the market, while the buyer haggling to get a lower price.
The Santander street was buzzing with tourist flocking from all around the world. This kilometres long road loaded up with all sort of thing such as fake sunglasses, clothing, food, decoration, a colourful collection of weaving and handicrafts from all over Guatemala. We stopped by to get a few drinks at the market. It cost 35GTQ for one litre of the Gallo beer.
Walking back to the hotel, we spotted the Chero’s Bar near the junction to the road heading to the hotel. Crowded with people inside the bar, we managed to squeeze in for a table. It was damn hot inside the bar, I was sweating profusely, but once I got used to it, it was alright. The Guatemalan celebrated the new year with Pine Needles on the floor. If I not mistaken, the place we went earlier also covered with it.
We had two bottles of one Litres Gallo that cost 28GTQ per bottle and two meals. The total bill only cost 78GTQ (£8).
Some of the food and drinks in Chero’s Bar:
GTQ10 – Pupusas de Chicharron con Queso/ Pupusad de Frijol/ Pupusa Revuelta o Mixta/ Pupusa de Queso/ Pupusa de Jamon con Queso/ Pupusa Frijol y Queso/ Pupusa Queso con Ajo/ Pupusa con Chipilin y Queso/ Pupusa de Queso con Guicoy/ Pupusa Queso con Zanahoria/ Pupusa con Queso y Espinacas/ Pupusa con Queso y Loroco/ Pupusa con Queso y Champinon Natural/ Pupusa con Queso y Cebolla/ Pupusa con Queso con Albahaca
GTQ25 – Todos los dias deliciosa sopa de pollo
GTQ12 – Pupusas de Chicharron
GTQ8 – Tamarindo Natural/ Rosa de Jamaica Natural/ Jugo de Tomate/ Agua Pura
GTQ10 – Gaseosas
GTQ12 – Jugo de Tomate Preparado
GTQ20 – Copa de vino Tinto/ Copa de Vino Blanco
GTQ90 – Bot. Vino Tinto Concha y Toro/ Vino Blanco Concha y Toro
GTQ15 – Fruit Punch
GTQ25 – Margarita/ Bloddy Mary/ Ruso Blanco/ Ruso Negro/ Kahlua con Leche/ Daiquiri/ Pina Colada/ Turbo/ Tequila Sunrise/ Pianters Punch
GTQ30 – Cuacaracha/ Caipirina de Brasil
GTQ40 – Cocktail Chero’s Bar
GTQ17 – Gallo/ Cabro/ Moza
GTQ18 – Modelo/ Corona
GTQ25 – Michelada
GTQ28 – Litro/Liter
The next day before leaving for San Marcos, we had our breakfast on the roof. It was alright, typical Guatemalan breakfast with eggs and beans.
Travel Date: 01st ~ 02nd January 2019