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Panajachel, Guatemala

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Sep 17, 2022

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in Panajachel, Guatemala: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

What do I need to know about living in Panajachel?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Panajachel, they said:

"Be prepared to live a different life style. Life is affordable, help is affordable. Slower pace," said another expat in Panajachel.

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William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance in Guatemala

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
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What do I need to know before moving to Panajachel?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Panajachel, they said:

"I would advise someone moving to Panajachel, Guatemala to rent first, read the Facebook expats group, read expats' blogs, pack lightly, use a lawyer for any relation with locals and use a translator to understand what's going on when you sign a contract or deal with locals," commented one expat who made the move to Panajachel.

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How do I find a place to live in Panajachel?

If you live in Panajachel, newcomers to Panajachel would love to hear your answer to this question.


We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"By accident.. renting a place and discovering the area. Arrived without knowing the area, first struck by the climate and then by the locals. I found my house by world of mouth," commented one expat who made the move to Panajachel.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Panajachel?

"A vacation rental, because I arrived for vacation but then moved to a locally built house not specifically for expats. I would say that's what happens with others expats," commented one expat who made the move to Panajachel.

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What is the average cost of housing in Panajachel?

If you are thinking about moving to Panajachel, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"The housing costs in Guatemala are much lower. You can get a 2 bedrooms houses for around $500 per month," added another expat in Panajachel.

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How do I meet people in Panajachel?

When we asked people living in Panajachel about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"There are group of people biking, playing pokers, theatre. Saturday mid day at the center of town big bbq where lots of expats goes. Lots of NGO offering volunteering plans," explained one expat living in Panajachel, Guatemala.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

What should I bring when moving to Panajachel?

People living in Panajachel were asked what three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They wrote:

"I wish I had brought a LED Flash light, portable water filtering device and portable solar phone charger when I moved to Guatemala. I wish I had left behind extra clothes, luggage and prejudices," said another expat in Panajachel.

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What is life like in Panajachel?

When we asked people living in Panajachel what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"People are pretty much having a great time having a good life. Not too many expat with families," remarked another expat living in Panajachel, Guatemala.

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AGS Worldwide Movers

AGS Worldwide Movers can move you to and from anywhere in the world. Presently the AGS Group has over 141 locations in more than 95 countries and has one of the largest networks in the international removals industry. We relocate 85,000 families every year. Free moving quote!

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AGS Worldwide Movers

AGS Worldwide Movers can move you to and from anywhere in the world. Presently the AGS Group has over 141 locations in more than 95 countries and has one of the largest networks in the international removals industry. We relocate 85,000 families every year. Free moving quote!

Learn MoreGet a Quote

Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Panajachel accepting of differences?

"Locals are very welcoming, lots of businesses are run by expats but locals are slowly picking up. Very tolerant," added another expat in Panajachel.

Answer this Question

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance in Guatemala

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

What are the pros and cons of living in Panajachel?

Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Panajachel responded:

"Well for starters, I love the people of Panajachel. I fell like I am home there. Life is not expensive. There is lots to do or you can do nothing at all. Lake Atitlan is THE most beautiful lake in the World. All the villages that surround the lake are totally different and fun to visit.. There are 22 different indigenous languages. Travel around the area is very cheap. A car is not necessary. The chicken busses and Tuktuks get you where you need to go on land and the public boats get you across the lake to any village you like for very little cost.( Pana to San Pedro 25 Q - $4. ) It is called the eternal Spring because it never gets over 75F or under 15F. The rain season is tollerable as most the rain comes at the afternoons. You are 2-3 hrs from the airport by shuttle. (aprox $25) Competition for that service allows you to negotiate a better deal. I have used the same service for 6 yrs and they have been very reliable . On time pickup and drop off. Just a note: When going to the city to catch a flight I always go a day before to avoid any delays that can happen between Pana and the airport. I stay a a little hotel where I am again like family and they drop me off for my flight at no cost. When I first started to go to Panajachel I did get annoyed at a few things I saw. After a while I had to realize that It was not my Country and I had to accept the way certain situations are. I would recommend you come to Pana and see for yourself. It may not be everyone's cup of tea. For those of us who live there it is Paradise," commented one expat who moved to Panajachel.

Answer this Question

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance in Guatemala

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

What type of social life can someone expect in Panajachel?

When we asked expats and global nomads about their social experiences in Panajachel, they replied:

"I am a musician and enjoy being able to play with locals .There are many places to enjoy a night out for very little money. Never feared for my safety. Like in most areas there are places you avoid," remarked another expat in Panajachel.

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"In Panajachel the family is important. I was so impressed with the locals and how they greet each other and Expats with the same smile and genuine joy to greet you. We adopted my daughter as a baby, from that area. She is Mayan decent. Learning about their past and their rituals has been a wonderful experience. I have now gained lifelong friends there, who have accepted me into their lives like family," said one expat living in Panajachel.

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What advice to expats in Panajachel have about housing?

"I own my place there. You can live in a very nice house for little money or rent for a small amount," commented one expat living in Panajachel, Guatemala.

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What are medical services in Panajachel like?

When we asked expats and global nomads about the quality of medical care in Panajachel, they replied:

"For myself I bring enough of my meds from Canada to hold me over. Any other first aid or illness I have been able to get what is needed, either for me or my neighbours kids who may need meds or see a Doctor. As most Pharmacies are owned by Doctors ,it is convenient and easy to receive treatment," added one expat living in Panajachel.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

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