If you’re taking a public boat (lancha) to travel around the lake, this information may be helpful as most villages are accessible by boat. Lanchas from Jaibalito go about every 20 - 45 minutes in both directions, to Panajachel and to San Pedro.
The first boat leaves Jaibalito to go to Panajachel around 6:30h and the last one leaves around 17:30h. In the other direction, boats also start around 6:30h towards San Pedro and the last one is at 20:00h. The only official stop between Panajachel and Jaibalito is Santa Cruz, but it is possible they let people off or pick some up at private hotel docks along the way.
When you tell the captain you want to get off in Jaibalito, they may ask if you want the Casa del Mundo or Ven Aca. Just let them know you want the 'muelle publico', the public dock. On the way to San Pedro, the lancha normally stops in Tzununa, San Marcos (and San Juan on request).
Visitors to the lake pay more than residents. This system of tiered payments allows the lanchas to run with a frequency of about 20 minutes. If they were to operate on a one-fare system, based on what the indigenous population can afford, lanchas would run about every hour to hour & a half.
In a sense, visitors are contributing to the Atitlan communities by paying a higher rate for their boat trips. Please take this into account before entering into an argument with a captain over the rate system.
The following fares are approximate:
Jaibalito to Panajachel - Q25
Jaibalito to Santa Cruz - Q15
Jaibalito to Tzununa - Q15
Jaibalito to San Marcos - Q20
Jaibalito to San Pedro - Q30
San Pedro to San Marcos - Q15
Santa Cruz to Panajachel - Q15
respect local norms
When hiking in any town, the countryside, or strolling through markets, please do not wear bathing suits, short shorts or skimpy clothes.
The village of Santa Cruz sits atop a steep hill, straight up from the town’s dock. Down by the water, there are several places that offer meals, however, most of them require reservations for dinner.
Just west of the dock there is Hotel Arca de Noe, a lakefront property open for breakfast and lunch (dinner by reservation). They also offer guided activities, such as hiking, bird watching and cultural visits. Phone: +502 5355-8849
East of the dock there is La Iguana Perdida. A popular backpacker place, also hosts to the Saturday market. They offer scuba diving trips, padi courses and yoga classes. They are known for their open mic night, crossdress (fancy dress) evening and their casual lakeside restaurant, serving breakfast and lunch from 07:00h to 15:00h, plus dinner at 19:00h, but you need to sign up before 15:00h. Phone: +502 5706-4117
If you got up (or take a tuktuk) into the village of Santa Cruz proper, make sure to visit Cecap, a trade school, which features El Sabor Cruceño restaurant where students hone their skills by preparing and serving lovely Guatemalan specialty dishes. *ATM available here. They also sell sewing projects and jewelry in their shop, focusing on. Phone: +502 5034-7844
Every Friday, Santa Cruz Community Tours offers a Santa Cruz Village Tour starting at 09:30h from the Santa Cruz dock, visiting local houses and the cemetery, including lunch at Café Cruceño at Cecap. Phone: +502 4794-0816
Further along the coastal path, east of the Santa Cruz dock, is La Casa Rosa, a great place for an afternoon drink and a snack with a view of the volcanoes. Phone: +502 5803-2531
Once you walk past the last house and over a small hill, you come to the Paxanax Bay shore, a lovely (gringo) residential area with a few hotels and yoga retreat centers. Note that they cater mostly to their in-house guests. You’ll find Casa Prana, Villa Sumaya, Laguna Lodge and the Atitlan Sunset Lodge.
Around the next bend, the La Fortuna at Atitlan Ecolodge is tucked away in the private Paztziotz Bay. You can only reach this resort by boat. No trails or roads go there, making it one of the most secluded and amazing spots on the lake. Book a stay to enjoy this amazing spot with exclusive services. Phone: +502 5203-1033
Pana is the town most of the north shore relies on for groceries, and banking. Its popular Calle (Avenida) Santander is lined with vendors, selling ‘tipica’ (fabrics) and other souvenirs, and it is where you'll find many restaurants, shops and travel agencies. Be prepared for children and older ladies to stop you several times, asking you to buy their wares. Also note there is vehicular traffic in that popular street, all be it one way only and no separate sidewalk.
As you come off the boat at the Muelle Tzan Juyu, just past the first intersection is the Xocomil Agency on the right. They are our go-to contact for shared transportation, simply because they are reliable and they are conveniently located close to the dock. They run regularly scheduled shuttles to Antigua and other destinations. They do combine their services with other transportation companies at times. Most shuttles to Guatemala City will include a stop and possible change of vehicle in Antigua. Phone: +502 7762-2005
If you prefer a private transfer we can arrange a professional driver for you through GR Transportation, Phone: +502 5414-0665
For guests coming to the lake by car, you will need to park your vehicle at a secure lot in Panajachel, before getting on a lancha. There are two locations close to the Tzan Juyu dock. One is in the Calle del Embarcadero; the entrance across from Xocomiltours. They are open from 07:00h until 17:00h and ask for Q50 a night. And the other is on the side street, just next to Xocomiltours: Kayucos Marina. They can be accessed 24 hours a day and there is always someone on duty, but they are more pricy: Q80 a night.
If you walk up the street going up from the dock: the Calle del Embarcadero, you'll notice a beautifully painted wall on the right. Turn the corner at the end of the wall to find the entrance to Selina Atitlan. The popular hostel and co-working chain revamped an older hotel to make it into a great place for lunch and a swim. Phone: +502 7762-1205
At the end of the Calle del Embarcadero, turn right onto the main street in town, the Calle Principal. Walk up to find a local market on Tuesdays and Friday at the Bomberos (the fire station) on the left. It’s also the place where the chicken buses stop. The market vendors are there from about 09:00h until 14:00h and sell mostly guipiles (women’s blouses with impressive embroideries), cortes (women’s skirts) and other fabrics, all family heirlooms.
At the traffic light is the intersection with the Calle Santander. We'll come back to this street a little later. Just past this intersection on the right is a popular gringo hostel and bar La Palapa, featuring great hamburgers and other finger foods. Every Saturday afternoon, they host Smokin’ Joe’s BBQ, famous for its juicy steaks, huge ribs, fresh seafood and delicious sides. Phone: +502 5851-9926
Across from La Palapa: with the G&T bank at the corner, there is a street going up, called the Calle de los Arboles. There, you’ll find the Circus Bar, known for live music on weekends and famous for its pizza. Phone: +502 7762-2056
Further up that street, take the second right at the Callejon de Navidad and walk to the next corner to get to Crossroads Café, where they roast and serve their own coffee and bake delicious cakes. Open Tuesday to Saturday 09:00h-13:00h and 14:30h-18:00h. Phone: +502 5292-8439. This street will take you up to the Catholic Church and the public market.
Now we return to the Calle Santander, starting from the intersection in town: About half a block down, on the right-hand side, is Mr Jon’s. A cute American-style place, excellent for breakfast or lunch, serving some interesting small brews as well. Open daily from 07:00h until 22:00h. Phone: +502 5515-8283
A few steps down, across the street is the Cafe Loco: A super friendly Korean-run coffee house, serving some of the best black gold on the lake. Open 9:00h to 20:00h, closed Mondays. Phone: +502 4704-3588
Almost right across from Cafe Loco, on the right again, is a small leather shop called Poncho’s. The owner and his family use high-quality leather, combined with beautiful indigenous fabrics and unique stitching for a perfectly finished and durable product. Phone: +502 5515-8283
In the same area, in a shopping plaza, you’ll find Real World Paragliding. They are known for great paragliding excursions on the lake. Stop in for some information. Phone: +502 5634-5699
Still on the right-hand side of the street, a little further down, check out Restaurante Hana for Japanese Food, featuring attractive patio seating. Open daily from 12:00h until 21:00h, Phone: +502 7762 0588
Also on that side of the street, is a great local place: Guajimbos. Perfect breakfast, amazing service and great grill for dinner. Phone: +502 7762-0063
At the traffic light, turn left onto the Calle 14 de Febrero to get to Casa Cakchiquel to get pampered at Zoe Spa. They have super massages, pedicures, manicures and facials. They're open Monday through Saturday from 10:00h to 18:00h. Phone: +502 5945-4681
Back down the Calle Santander, walk past the next intersection with the Calle Monterey to find Tuscani Restaurant on the right: a great small place for Italian fare, including pizzas. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Phone: +502 7762-1051
Then finally: at the end of the Calle Santander, on the right is one of the best healthy restaurants on the lake: the Deli Jasmin. Phone: +502 7762-2585
There is one more place to eat on the other side of town: A small Taqueria on the same street (El Amate) as the Despensa supermarket, but further down towards the river, on the right before the bridge to Jucanya. If you’re waiting for a ride to Santa Catarina or San Antonio and you are hungry, this is a great spot for a quick inexpensive bite, since it’s right at the pick-up spot.
This town is known as the ‘hippie town’ on the lake. There are many street vendors with interesting jewelry, a large variety of chocolate tasting rooms and little galleries. Mostly though the emphasis is on spiritual transformation with a village-wide offering of ceremonies, practices, schools and centers; all focusing on new-age philosophy: It’s a good place to get a massage, taste vegan food and work on your yoga practice. But also: to sit and drink a local kombucha and listen to music. This new age energy gives San Marcos a specific vibe, albeit not a Mayan one. The 5B Cajero is located near the school and market.
Beware not to miss the last lancha at 17:45h, coming back in the afternoon. We would advise taking the 17:15h one to be on the safe side. Our personal experience with San Marcos is limited, but you’ll find a lot of information online and in print about this town. The recommendations we’d like to make are:
Close to the lakefront, west of the dock, you’ll find the Cerro Tzankujil Nature Reserve where you hike up to the top of a bluff and if you dare: jump off the cliff into the lake (check lake water first!!). Phone: +502 4772-4988
The street that goes up from the dock is lined with Mayan vendors and pop-up jewelry stalls. There are many curious murals along the way, mixed in with travel agencies, restaurants and hostels.
As you walk up this street from the dock, you’ll come to Xocolatl, a small chocolate shop where the staff will explain the process of chocolate making in a concise manner (for those who don’t have time to visit a chocolate farm in person). They have great products and you can touch, feel and taste all of them, before buying. Open daily from 10:00h to 19:00h. Phone: +502 5031 2299
A little further up the street, on the left as well you’ll find Restaurant Fé and shop. To us, it embodies the San Marcos vibe: great Indian food, fresh pastries and healthy drinks in a relaxed environment. Great place to stop and recharge your batteries. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Phone: +502 3009 5537
Just up the street on the left once more you’ll find Paco Real, a local posada, but mostly known for its excellent pizza. Open from 09:00h until 21:00h. Pizza oven gets heated up at 15:00h. Phone: +502 5723-5426
Immediately after the little street turns right, you'll come to Circles Cafe and Bakery. Hands down the best bread and croissants at the lake. Open 7:00h to 16:00h. Phone: +502 3021 8771
At the end of the tourist street, you will get to the actual Mayan town. Turn right at the next street for Barrio 3. Just as that road turns to the right, you’ll come upon Blind Lemon’s. They are open for lunch and dinner daily from 11:30h to 21:00h. The food is decent American fare and the drinks are wet, but the main attraction is owner Carlos and his friends who put a spell on visitors with their raw Mississippi Delta Blues. Phone: +502 5502-4450
This is our favorite town on the lake for a day visit. It is a true Mayan Village, with very little gringo influence. After you walk uphill from the dock, the town spreads out around you on the plateau. Walking around the upper village, you’ll see that unlike most other Atitlan village, here, there are many adobe structures that remain.
But what is even more amazing are the buildings showcasing colorful Mayan murals. Other than its attraction as a picturesque town, San Juan has so much to offer that it is worth visiting more than once. In this context we are referring to the women’s coops: showcasing weavings that can only be found in this small town in the Guatemalan Highlands. Nowhere else in Central or South America will you find fabrics like this: the perfect combination of natural fibers (cotton, silk, bamboo); natural dies (rosemary for blue, beets for dark reds, turmeric for yellow) and innovative designs, such as their signature Jaspe.
These fabrics and home décor items rival what you encounter in top furnishing design galleries around the world. And you won’t find more beautiful sheer wraps and tunics in any of the European fashion centers. These fabrics are old world: traditionally Mayan spun, died and woven; where the plants and flowers are harvested according to the moon cycles to assure different hues of the same color in one piece of weaving. But the designs evolve and cover anything from traditional guipil embroideries to new takes on Jaspe and backloom pieces, integrated into stunning table runners, fashionable bags and soft silky scarves or tunics. If you’re not dreaming of starting an export business after visiting this place, then you may need to go back to take a better look.
To get to San Juan, take care to let the captain know when you get on board, cause this is not a regular stop for all lanchas. This means that you may go to San Pedro first and then get dropped off in San Juan. Or that on your way back, you may need to catch a quick feeder boat to San Pedro to take the regular lancha going back to the North Shore: San Marcos, Tzununa and then Jaibalito.
Knowing this, take into account that being at the dock at 17:30h, counting on the last boat to stop and pick you up may not work. Be sure to get to the dock no later than 16:45h, so you allow time to travel to San Pedro in order to get on the last lancha leaving from there at 17:30h.
You can also get to and from San Juan by tuktuk from San Pedro. This is a Q10 per person ride. They leave from anywhere in San Pedro and drop you off in the upper town in San Juan, but are not always able to go down to the dock. They also have collectivos (minibuses) and pick-up trucks for Q5 per person.
When you get off the lancha in San Juan, you’ll walk up from the dock and along the Calle Chi Nima Ya’. You’ll find several coffee shops and fabric vendors. You’ll also find a tour guide association; if you are interested in a guided tour. There is a medicinal garden that is worth a visit and several art galleries with wonderful paintings. There is also a small place where you can find out what your Mayan Nahual (Spirit Animal) is. In the upper part of town, there is a coffee museum and shop, but you can also go out a little to visit a coffee plantation.
We have our personal preferences for fabric shops, but all of them are worth a look, since each one has their own variations on a shared style. And each shop is a women’s coop where at least 20 women collaborate to create the pieces they sell at the in-town locations. They generally work at home for spinning, dying, weaving and sewing and then sell their wares on the day that it is their turn to mind the shop. Most of these shops will offer a free weaving demonstration, many will show the dying process and often you will find bi-lingual displays with samples of the plants used to obtain certain colors. You can contact my favorite Coop Madres Solteras through WhatsApp: +502 5967-1419 to set up a visit. They'll meet you at the dock. Or have their brother, a tuktuk driver, bring you to their door.
If you don’t have enough cash with you to complete your purchases, some vendors will accept credit cards with a 5% fee, but you can also get cash at the ATM in town, the 5B cajero that belongs to Banrural Bank on Solola Route 4.
Up top in the village is one different kind of shop that is definitely worth visiting: The fabulous leather shop La Cueva, run by Nicolas and his wife Dina. They make the cutest boho bags in amazing combinations of leather, beads and fringe. Phone: +502 4291-0204
On the north side of town, close to the road to Guatemala, you'll find El Gato Perdido, where you can get cheese plates, pizza, and pasta . Open Thursday - Saturday from 12:00h to 20:00h. Phone: +502 3004 4329
Our personal favorite for a shopping day is the Alma de Colores Comedor. They have a short but fresh daily menu that always includes a salad and pasta, with veggies from their own garden and daily baked fresh bread. The comedor is run by an NGO as part of a program to integrate young adults with disabilities into the workplace. Open Monday through Friday 08:30h to 17:00h. Phone: +502 4259-7183
From either San Juan or San Pedro you can take a bus with a guide to hike the “Indian Nose” to watch the sunrise over the lake, but you’d need to spend the night there; since the trip starts no later than 4AM.
This village is our neighbor to the west, with some hotels by the lake and a few interesting places in and around town. Tzununa is growing mostly with new residents who relocated from San Marcos, so it is also attracting visitors with a new age theme: including permaculture, holistic practices, meditation and yoga. * This town has no ATM.
Just east of the town, you’ll find Lomas de Tzununa; flanking the mountainside and overlooking the lake. It’s a hotel and restaurant and a lovely place for lunch or a drink away from it all. Phone: +502 5201-8272
Closer to town, but still on the east side there is a lovely retreat center, called the Seed; offering courses in mindfulness, plant meditation and sustainable living. Phone: +502 3074-5695
Above the village, you’ll find the Bambu Guest House and Atitlan Organics. This is an amazing place to participate in a week-long introductory course to Permaculture. If you can’t spend that much time, then make sure to join them for an hour of yoga or a healthy organic lunch. They grow all their own veggies and make their own delicious goat cheese. Phone: +(502) 4681-4697
And even higher up above the village is a lovely restaurant with delicious lunches: Cafe de la Granja. Phone: +502 3330-5340
Just west of the main dock, you’ll find Maya Moon Lodge. You can walk there from The Tzununa dock, but best is to ask the boat captain to drop you off. They are a lakefront property with a private swimming beach and lovely hammocks. They are open from 08:00h to 21:00h with happy hour from 16:00h to 18:00h. Phone: +(502) 4486-3521
This town is a popular tourist center on the lake, attracting large crowds of young Israelis. Combine this with many nightclubs, and you find yourself in the ‘party town’. When visiting for the day, remember that the last lancha back to Jaibalito leaves at 17:30h and it will be packed. We do have some favorite places to share with you.
First of all, San Pedro is the starting point if you want to hike the San Pedro Volcano. It’s a great hike that needs to be commenced before 6AM, so you can get to the top, above 3000 meters before the clouds roll in and block the view. Take a tour from town, or a tuktuk to the entrance station to the National Park, where guides are available there to accompany you for a fee. There is an entrance fee for the park as well. You’ll need 3 hours to walk up and 2 to get back down. The first part of the path is confusing, going through coffee groves. Then once you get up into the forest, it’s just one trail, but pay attention, because you’re going to have to remember how to get back down to the ranger station.
The town itself boasts a lot of vendors, fabric shops and many restaurant options. You’ll get off the boat from the Pana dock on the west side of town. The 8a Avenida goes up from the dock and there is an ATM 15 meters on the left. Banrural Bank is around the corner on the right at the first intersection.
On the same street as the bank: across the street at the Chabad, is our go-to snack bar: Ha-Falafel. Maybe grab one before getting on the boat. Open every day from 10:00h to 19:00h, closed early on Friday for the Sabbath. Saturday hours are 18:00h to 22:00h. Phone: +502 5444-4418
A little further down this 8a Calle, there is one little place that we like to hang out: Sababa. they have really good coffee and during the day and into the evening, tasty snack foods are served with much attention to presentation. The food and coffee are already worth the visit, but the atmosphere with lakefront swings and cozy tables makes this an enjoyable resting stop. Open daily from 08:00h to 22:00h, closed Friday and Sunday evening. Phone: +502 4259-7183
Instead of going west on 8a Calle, you could go straight up the hill into town on 8a Avenida. On top, you’ll find the local market and church. Along the way there are a few cute shops: on the left, you’ll see Gypsy’s; a second-hand boutique with a great selection of clean and fashionable clothes in generally smaller sizes. And across the street from them, there is an interesting leather store called the Casa de Sueno. They mainly sell hippy-style items, but offer beautiful artisanal work.
If you take the 8a Calle going east this time (the first left from the dock), you’ll see D’ Juice Girls a little further down. It’s a tiny place that serves a great selection of smoothies, homemade yogurt and fresh juices. You can enjoy your drink along with a view of the lake. Open daily from 07:00h to 23:00h.
If you prefer to skip the touristy waterfront then keep going east for some interesting places on the ‘adult side of town”, close to the Santiago dock.
Just past the health food store, there is an alleyway on the right. It turns to the left and ends at the corner of 7ma Avenida. Go straight onto that one. You’ll walk past the Tzunun' Ya' Museum. An interesting place to learn more about the volcanic origins of the lake, the Mayan culture and local customs. Open weekdays from 09:00h to 12:00h and from 14:00h to 17:30h. Phone: +502 4134-5575
At the next corner, turn left and then immediately right to stay on the 7ma Avenida. A few doors down on the left, you’ll find a great Italian Bakery with a lovely outside seating area, called Idea Connection. They also sell coffee, bread and pastries to go, but it’s worth spending some time in the garden. We love their croissants, but the pastas and salad are delicious as well. Open daily from 07:00h to 16:00h. Phone: +502 7721-8356
On the same street, further down is our favorite: El Barrio, a friendly gringo owned place. Basically, this is a pub, with live sports games, poker tables and quiz nights. The food is of the highest quality, using only organic ingredients, making everything you order very tasty. They have a great drink selection as well, especially during the popular Happy Hour. Most people flock in on the weekends for the all-you-can-eat Champagne Brunch, which by the way, is the best restaurant deal in Guatemala. Open daily from 09:00h to midnight. Phone: +502 4136-8608
If you keep walking down this street you’ll see Smokin’ Joe’s BBQ on the right. This place is mainly interesting if you are a meat and fish lover, very hungry, and here on a Sunday afternoon. It also helps if you feel like jumping in a pool. Nestor cooks up a storm here every Sunday afternoon, so it’s a good social event if you’d like to meet the local gringos. Only open Sunday from 12:00h to 16:00. Phone: +502 4252 7227
At the end of this street, make one more left to end up at the Santiago dock. By the way: San Pedro streets are confusing: they mostly have the same name and don’t always go straight through. There is no shame in taking a tuktuk to make sure you get to where you’re going without getting lost.
There are more villages around the lake, such as Santa Catarina Palopó, San Antonio Palopó, San Lucas Toliman and Santiago. Or further away from the lake: Look for detailed descriptions in your guidebooks, cause our personal experiences there are limited. We enjoy Santa Catarina for its beautifully painted houses and to shop for the famous ceramics in San Antonio, but we don’t have specific places to recommend.
If you want to go visit Santa Catarina and San Antonio, you have to catch a pick-up truck from Pana: If you turn right onto El Amate street from the Calle Principal, as if you’re going to the Despensa supermarket, just keep going. Just before you cross the bridge to Jucanya on the right, in front of a taqueria, the trucks stop and pick you up. They charge Q3 to Santa Catarina and Q5 to San Antonio.
The view from that road is particularly beautiful especially late in the afternoon. But enjoy it on the way back. You don’t want to miss the last boat from Pana to Jaibalito at 19:30h. There are no public boats from Pana to either one of these towns, even though they do have their own docks down by the water. Santa Catarina is located down by the lake, but San Antonio is pretty far up the hill, so the road is an easier and less expensive way to travel there.
To get to San Lucas Toliman, you can continue with a public lancha from the dock in San Antonio Palopo, or you can catch one from Santiago. There are places along the water for lunch, even a lakefront park. A spot we like to visit to enjoy lunch and a great view is the Hotel Toliman. But we make it into a day with some friends, hiring a private boat for about Q125 an hour. We combine it with a visit to Santiago and a cruise along the South Shore, known as millionaires Row.
Santiago de Atitlan, across the lake, can be reached by boat from the Santiago dock at the Playa in Panajachel or you can travel to San Pedro, walk or tuktuk over to their Santiago dock and take another boat from there: no direct boats go to that side of the lake from Jaibalito. We are not familiar with restaurants here. They do have a mirador (viewpoint) of the bay and San Pedro Volcano. You can always catch a tuktuk to visit Maximón: a Mayan folk saint represented as a wooden figure created who lives with a different local family every year. He is moved during the week before Easter and the men of the household that hosts him, guard him the entire year, sitting, drinking and smoking with him. Visitors are asked to make an offering, in the form of money, minimum Q3 per person.
The department’s capital: Solola is a great place to check out: the parque municipal, with its pink government building is a great place to stop and rest, but even better is the large market that takes place on Tuesdays and Fridays. This Mercado is fascinating, especially if you want to avoid the 2-hour drive to Chichicastenango on their market days.
To reach Solola, take a 20-minute chicken bus or pick-up ride from Pana for 3Q. Pick-ups leave from the Calle del Embarcadero, buses from the Bomberos in the Calle Principal. This will get you up to the park. Then a tuktuk takes you up to the mercado for Q5.
banks and atm's
Banks and ATMs: You can find most major Guatemalan banks in Panajachel. BAM will change up to $150 at a time, maximum $500 per calendar month with your passport and valid entry visa. They will need some information for their records, but you’ll only have to supply that once. Banco Industrial will exchange $200 at a time with a $500 limit per calendar month for non-customers. G&T, BAC and Banrural will not exchange cash unless you have an account with them. They do all have ‘cajeros’ – ATM’s. The maximum most cajeros will give you is Q2000 daily, except for one on the Calle Santander. That one may give you up to Q3500 per day, depending on your bank’s agreement. San Pedro, San Juan, San Marcos, Santa Cruz, Santa Catarina, San Antonio, San Lucas and Santiago also have ATM’s. The only villages without an ATM are Jaibalito and Tzununa.
The “Despensa Familiar” and “La Torre” supermarkets have cash machines at your disposal and they accept major credit cards for purchases. Chalo’s and Sandra’s also accept credit cards for purchases over Q100. Smaller places in other villages only take cash. If you’re trying to give someone dollars, consider that unless they have an account, they won’t be able to exchange them. Exchanging money without having a bank account is currently reserved for foreigners with a passport and a current 90-day visa.
Remember that local street vendors, small shops and boat captains can’t always make change for Q100 notes. Get your change at the bank or the supermarkets, so can make your small purchases without any hiccups.
You’ll find TukTuks (mototaxi's) in all towns on the lake to make getting uphill easier. In Panajachel and San Pedro there are travel agencies that provide shared-ride shuttles to any destination in Guatemala and beyond. In those two locations you will also find chicken buses (camionetas) with direct or connecting services to Sololá, Quetzaltenango, San Lucas and Santiago Toliman, Quetzaltenango, Antigua and Guatemala City.