Panajachel

We arrived in Pana after sunset via the detour road through Godinez. What appeared to a be a quick route from border crossing to campsite quickly turned into an uphill battle between us and the road as we gained 5,000 feet. Although the winding highways were in fairly good shape, navigating through large city centers was an extravagant waste of daylight. If there is a street sign, it is often painted onto the side of a building and most have faded away completely. Further, the highways of Latin America were built to pass through the colonial cobblestone streets of each town center. Imagine I-80 routed through the one-way alleys of Chinatown.

Finally arriving at camp, we set up under moonlight on the shore of Lago de Atitlan next to Hotel Vision Azul and awoke to a magnificent sunrise. The cool mountain air at 5,200’ was a welcome reprise from the humid Pacific coast. Our days were spent at camp mapping out the future and by night we explored the city streets. After a month in Mexico where we were constantly confronted with fearsome travel warnings, we were surprised to find international visitors pouring into the city at all hours. Pana is an international hotspot rivaled only by Antigua, our next stop.