Panajachel is situated on the northeast shore of Lake Atitlán which might be considered the cradle of Maya theology.
While Panajachel was once a quiet Maya village, it has blossomed into a bustling town, drawing visitors with its volcanic vistas and proximity to Lake Atitlán. The lake is encircled by three towering volcanoes—San Pedro, Toliman, and Atitlán—which are reflected in its azure waters, it’s been called “the closest thing to Eden on Earth.” And with a depth of more than 1,000 feet, it’s also the deepest lake in Central America, formed by a powerful volcanic explosion more than 85,000 years ago.
Indigenous Maya people settled on Atitlán’s shores around the beginning of the last millennium, making this the heart of the Maya world. Their ancient traditions, beliefs, and crafts are preserved in the many Maya textiles, with their distinctive geometric patterns, that are still created here using traditional methods.
Maximón—a famous Maya deity—has an altar where local people still perform rituals to honor him. the village of San Antonio Palopo, a small settlement lined with adobe homes—the residents of which still wear traditional Maya clothes. We visited a cooperative where women spin, dye and weave fabrics using traditional methods.