Arriving to Panajachel by Car

To get to Panajachel, Lake Atitlan and other Western Highlands villages from Guatemala City, take the Calzada Roosevelt west through Chimaltenango (km 56) before reaching a crossroads called Los Encuentros (km 127), which is marked by a two-story, blue, traffic-police tower. Here the road to El Quiché (Chichicastenango, Santa Cruz del Quiché, and the Ixil Triangle) splits off to the right. To the left is the Interamerican Highway. You'll pass a turnoff to Sololá and Panajachel 3 km (2 mi) later on the left, and then shortly after, the exit at Km 148 leads to the west side of Lake Atitlán and the towns of Santa Clara, San Marcos La Laguna, and San Pedro. The Interamerican Highway continues over some impressive ridges and then descends to a crossroads called Cuatro Caminos, about 200 km (124 mi) from the capital. Here the road to Quetzaltenango, 27 km (17 mi) south, heads off to the left. For Huehuetenango, stay on the Interamerican Highway past the turnoff for Quetzaltenango, and about 60 km (37 mi) north of Cuatro Caminos, the road to Huehuetenango cuts off to the right. Many roads to the north of Huehuetenango and Santa Cruz del Quiché are unpaved and pretty rough -- this is nerve-racking mountain driving relieved intermittently by memorable views.