Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

     Panajachel is the jewel of the highlands. A Cachikel place for 800 years. Nestled beside Lake Atitlan, in a volcanic archipelago, Panajachel is surrounded by astounding natural beauty. Lake Atitlan floats in the sky, a mile above sea level, relying on 3 majestic volcanos to hold gravity at bay.

     The Cachikel are among the largest of 22 distinct Maya groups in Guatemala, each with its own traditional language, dress and custom. Together, they define the only native culture in the entire Americas to surive intact the European invasion of 500 years ago. In the highlands of Guatemala, especially around Lake Atitlan, the Mayan culture still rules. In Panajachel, it thrives. The spirit it invokes is the hidden gem of Guatemala.

     Among other Mayans, the Cachikel are known for being friendly, funny, welcoming of strangers, and shy. They make the perfect hosts. Living among them is an enchanting experience. more video.