Daytripper San Pedro: Ziplining in Pana

Unless you’re an avid naturalist, hiking and kayaking can get a little old after the fourth volcano (another eruption – yawn) and yet another trip across the lake (yep, still a good view). And if you’re in the minority of Atitlán backpackers who don’t smoke pot, you’re bound to run out of interesting things to do at the lake after a week or so. Fear not, dear readers, for once again we’re here to get your alcohol-saturated blood pumping.

To get to the zipline, head over to Calle Santander in Panajachel. At the top of the street, proceed left towards Solala. In five minutes or so, you’ll come to a sign marking the Reserva Atitlán. Follow this path straight past Hotel Atitlán until you see the entrance to Reserva Atitlán. For Q120, you get 6 zipline rides, the longest of which is almost 1,000 feet across and thousands of feet high. The entrance fee also includes access to a monkey reserve and a butterfly farm. I’m not sure how many of you will take advantage of this, but there’s always at least one in the crowd.

We began our afternoon by putting on our gear: a crotch harness that made me wonder if they had a deal with male fertility pharmaceutical companies and a helmet that got me thinking: if I were to fall the blank feet to the bottom of the gorge, what in the hell is a helmet going to do?! Deep breaths.

The views of the lake from the zipline were breathtaking and the ride exhilarating. Taking off the harness alone make me happy to be alive. Be sure to wait until the wind dies down; one of my companeras was hit with a big gust and got stuck in the middle of the zipline for a few heart-stopping minutes. Needless to say, a change in pants was in order. Brown stains notwithstanding, ziplining was a welcome change of pace from the idle tranquillity of the lake.

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