The road to San Pedro La Laguna on Lake Atitlan

Panajachel Travel Blog

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We woke up early today, 6AM, so that we could catch the one bus that left the station at 7AM for Panajachel.  It turned out that that was pretty much irrelevant and we could have caught any bus but it worked out in the end because we got there early and could still enjoy the day and some of the sun.  It´s a good idea to wake up early.  Keep the blinds open and wake up with the sun.

So we ended up taking the chicken buses for a ride to Panajachel (four in total).  The first bus we took was to Chimaltenango.  As we arrived in the town we were still unaware that a single bus wasn´t going to take us to Panajachel so we were noticeably confused as to why we were being kicked off the bus before our destination.

  We grabbed our bags and navigated our bodies between the bustling people, swerving cars, chicken buses, and whistle-blowing policeman.  I remarked that it was somewhat bizarre that they would have 6 policeman do the work of one traffic light but John pointed out that it may be the case of the government creating employment opportunities for their population.  I don´t know.. will have to look into that.

So we jumped on the next bus to a new destination.  Each successive bus seemed a little more packed than the previous.  On most we ended up separated from eachother and enjoyed the crammed company of the local people (three to a seat of course).  On the last bus a whole troop of women in traditional dress got on.  Que bonita! 

On the last bus I was trying to jam John´s huge bag into an overhead compartment and I think I dislocated my thumb.

Arrival in Panajachel, the Guatemalan ladies in their traditional dress
.. not too pleasant.  Then the bag was hanging precariously over this man´s head the whole time and to make it worse he was holding a baby so the whole bus ride I couldn´t relax out of fear that it would fall on them.

The view on the journey was amazing.  The Guatemalan Highlands is a very beautiful area.  No more the dirt and chaos of the cities and a return to nature.  With huge conifers and rolling grassy fields I really felt comfortable in this place.

Then we arrived in Panajachel and sat down for some lunch and to use the internet.  The city itself wasn´t too spectacular but it had lots of nice little shops.  Then on our way to the lake to catch the ferry we ran into a couple that we had hiked with the day prior on Volcan Pacaya.

The ¨ferry¨at the dock was more a motorboat with a roof on it.

Guatemalan Highlands on the way to Panajachel
  We waited for about 15 minutes then set off.  The ride was pretty bumpy on the waves of the lake and water was splashing through the protective tarp and on to us as we sped along.  A kind Guatemalan couple offered us some fruit that they had with them.  I don´t remember what it was called but it was a small cherry-sized yellow fruit with the consistency and texture of a soft apple in the pulp.  It was a little sweet and bitter at the same time.

John informed us that he could see land and we soon pulled up to the dock at San Pedro La Laguna.

cianmodel says:
did you visited tikal?
Posted on: Apr 27, 2008
tiffharg says:
I love the 2 black and white photos... they are very telling!
Posted on: Jul 18, 2007
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Arrival in Panajachel, the Guatema…
Arrival in Panajachel, the Guatem…
Guatemalan Highlands on the way to…
Guatemalan Highlands on the way t…
John and Stina in the ¨ferry¨
John and Stina in the ¨ferry¨
Lise near the beach in Panajachel
Lise near the beach in Panajachel
Lake Atitlan
Lake Atitlan
Guatemaln girl on the chicken bus
Guatemaln girl on the chicken bus
A farm in the Guatemalan Highlands
A farm in the Guatemalan Highlands
photo by: Biedjee