Panajachel, dubbed ''Pana,'' is usually the first stop for backpackers. Be warned, if an authentic, lakeside experience is what you are in the area for it is best to catch a boat to another village like San Pedro or Santiago Atitl├ín. But Panajachel is what it is: full of gringos, hotels, restaurants, internet cafes, clubs, bars and tourist agencies. In fact, the town's bustling nightlife is probably the main draw, since hoards of Guatemalans from the capital mix with tourists on weekends to party until bars close, then find another spot to waste away the night. Mayas from surrounding villages make the trek here to pawn their handicrafts to tourists, and the town's abundance of transport connections to all parts of Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras add to Panajachel's popularity. And the influx of tourism will never spoil the view from the lakeshore.
Other places nearby Panajachel: Santiago Atitlan, San Antonio Papol├│, San Marcos La Laguna, San Juan La Laguna, Santa Cruz La Laguna, Jaibalito, Santa Catarina Palop├│, San Lucas Tolim├ín, Tzunun├í and San Pedro La Laguna.