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What’s it cost to stay in Panajachel?

Typical breakfast menu

Typical breakfast menu

One of the people asking about our rental unit asked this question. As there is no kitchen in the unit, the question was inspired by the cost of eating out but I have decided to be a bit more comprehensive. The information is also much more generic as the rental unit is very central so you will have the same experience if you are staying in a nearby hotel such as Hotel Regis.

The short answer is “as little or as much as you want”. I almost suggested this was obvious but there are lots of tourist destinations where your only options are tourist locations accompanied with all too typical tourist prices. This is not the case in Panajachel. That is because “local folk” live very near the tourist locations. Thus, it is more a selection of the tourist where to go/eat/buy than in most places. That said, let’s look at some numbers.

If I go out to breakfast, it is almost always to one of the places within 200 meters of the house. I usually get a tipico and it tends to cost Q20 including cafe (or tea). This is in any of maybe 10 restaurants nearby. I could get pretty much the same breakfast from a street vendor or stall (where I buy my tortillas, for example, serves breakfast) for from Q6 to Q10. Out of the tourist area you will find something similar in a restaurant for Q10-Q15.

Lunch is typically the big meal of the day. What you want to spend on it is, once again, up to you. Restaurants like where I would eat breakfast tend to have economical (meaning small) lunches in the Q30 to Q50 range. You can get fried chicken and potatoes from street stands for Q20. Or splurge as you wish. For example, you can get an excellent Japanese lunch for about Q100. Again, all within walking distance.

Dinners are, once again, your choice. Assuming I had a big lunch, dinner is usually an avocado with tortillas (Q3-Q5), tortillas and cheese or a couple of tostadas from a street vendor (Q6 for two veggie ones). On the high end you will find a couple of restaurants with a dinner plate (some sort of meat, a side dish or two, wine or dessert, … ) for Q100-Q120. That’s about it.

While you can walk to everywhere in Panajachel, if you want transportation, a TukTuk to anywhere costs Q5/person. Boats to other towns on the lake cost from Q15 to Q40. A bus to Sololá is Q3. That’s about it.

Let me also mention that while my goal is to rent out unit, you have lots of options from $180 to just about nothing. There are lots of rooms available in the Q40 to Q50 range, for example. Some will even have a private bath and hot water.

Bottom line is that this is not like Hawaii or assorted tourist traps. There are no hidden costs and, pretty much whatever your budget is, you can afford to visit.


3 comments to What’s it cost to stay in Panajachel?

  • Ruben Garcia

    Since you are talking about food in Pana..I got got to say:
    The restaurant food in Pana it sucks.. there are not real places
    to eat out in Panajachel…all the restaurants are so mediocres..lol.

  • admin

    Mostly, I agree. I have my favorite breakfast spot and one place near the lake with good fish “with the trimmins”. I also like the Mexican restaurant — because what they have tastes like Mexican food. Beyond that, there are lots of “the calories I want for cheap” but not a lot of interesting stuff.
    OK, toss in Hana, the Japanese restaurant. I find it quite good.

  • Carl Christy

    What about the Italian place that “made you want to vomit”? I thought it was classy and the food was very good. I think we had Pizza and Pasta, but can’t recall totally…

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