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Panajachel, Guatemala
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storm clearing over the volcanoes, Lake Atitlán Panajachel  Guatemala

storm clearing over the volcanoes, Lake Atitlán

Lake Atitlán, in the Guatemalan highlands, lies in the one of the most dramatic landscapes in Central America--a caldera surrounded by lush conical peaks rising to over 11,000 feet.

The biggest town on the lake, Panajachel, (called 'Pana' by locals), is sometimes called 'Gringotenango' due to all of the foreigners who have settled there. Nevertheless, it's the jumping-off point for exploring this incredible place, logistically essential.

The villages ringing the lake, many accessible only by boat, are largely indigenous: speakers of the Tzútujil and Kaqchikel Maya languages continue to dress in their colorful textiles.

Whether the sky is blue or grey, the volcano-ringed waters are mesmerizing...