Home DestinationsLatin America Casa Colonial Panasurf: Stay & Surf In Panajachel Guatemala

Casa Colonial Panasurf: Stay & Surf In Panajachel Guatemala

By Daisy Li
Casa Colonial Panasurf is a cute hideout on the main street of Panajachel, one of the towns in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. This hotel is vibrant, airy, and oozes a welcoming warmth like its owner, JC.

JC’s story is captivating. At the age of 18, he surfed from his hometown of Southern California to Central America. While in Guatemala, a series of unexpected events led to his ownership of property just east of Lake Atitlan.

It wasn’t until the past 5 years that JC and his wife decided to create a space for travelers on this almost-forgotten property. And like the confidence JC uses to receive the unanticipated, Casa Colonial Panasurf is a space full of positive vibes, good energy, and adventure.

Casa Colonial Panasurf, Panajachel Guatemala

casa-colonial-panasurf-panajachel-guatemalacasa-colonial-panasuf-panajachelLocated at Calle Monte Rey, Panajachel, this three-story building has a reception floor that doubles as a surfboard storage space. 2-meters in length, the pieces stood towering over the ground floor. Its colors beautifully complimented the bright-yellow interiors of the building.


This family-friendly hotel is equipped with a kitchen, laundry services, free WIFI, and 24-hour security surveillance cameras. Although the ground floor was still under construction during my visit, this cozy space had all the necessary amenities. All the rooms were equipped with a TV and a private bathroom. The designs were modest, and the bed perfect for a restful stay.

Paddle Boarding with Panasurf Atitlan

To amplify the hotel’s relaxing atmosphere and provide additional options for guests, JC tells me that he is building a yoga studio on the rooftop of Panasurf. His enthusiasm for yoga is noted with 4-hours of practice each morning.

But this isn’t his only passion.

As the name of the hotel, JC is also an avid surfer.

When he proposed to take me paddle boarding down Lake Atitlan, I was a bit skeptical at first.

I can barely paddle around the waters, and couldn’t imagine falling into Lake Atitlan without some repercussions in mind.

But all my fears turned into excitement once we arrived at the beach.

With decades of surfing experience under his belt, JC couldn’t have been a better instructor. He guided us through an hour-long introduction of the boards and a much-needed stretching session, before teaching me ways of navigating my board.

Alongside a few of his puppies, we cruised down to Santa Catarina. And I stayed dry the whole way!


Paddle Boarding in Lake Atitlan GuatemalaGorgeous waters, beautiful weather, and surrounded by distant volcanoes and stunning scenery. I’d recommend anyone to give it a try!

Panasurf Atitlan offers a number of packages. From SUP Yoga to SUP Wakesurfing, there is a range of options for those seeking adventure. Although inflatable boards are an option, most of these surfboards are hardwood, which offers a much more stable alternative for beginners like myself.

Or, why not relax on the boards and simply enjoy the view?

JC also works closely with the local government and non-profit organizations. His yearly surfing lessons for the disabled has been a significant mark in Panajachel. The organizations he helps include With 30+ years of experience in the area, he’s definitely the go-to for all you need to know when traveling this beautiful region!

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bianca8080 June 4, 2019 - 3:08 pm

Wow 4-hours of practice each morning?! Now that is some dedication! I am just getting back into yoga after a long break. This sounds like a place I would enjoy staying at. I love the sound of combining yoga on a rootop and some paddle boarding or wakesurfing.

Clarice June 4, 2019 - 9:50 am

OMG! This is the type of vacation that I have in mind. Happy to know that there are family-friendly hotels available in the area complete with necessary amenities. Will try to see if I can schedule a trip here soon. I miss paddle boarding.

Paul Healy June 4, 2019 - 4:56 am

There’s so much of this part of the world I still need to see, but now at least I have one nice place to stay! Looks like a beautiful property and the paddle boarding sounds cool. I’m sure I’d suck at it, but I’d love to give it a try.

Hailey June 3, 2019 - 11:44 am

This sounds like a place I would stay! I love little hotels that have a great story like this one. Not to mention paddle-boarding with dogs, that sounds perfect!

Mick Salas June 3, 2019 - 6:49 am

Wow – the place looks super vibrant and cozy! I took surfing lessons for the first time a couple months ago and I really loved it – so looking forward to putting this on the itinerary when I hop on my S. America trip the next few months (gonna look into staying here in Guatemala)!

Shreya Saha June 3, 2019 - 3:01 am

That’s such an interesting experience you have gained being there Daisy. I would love to stay in that hotel and get instructed by JC.

Diana Chen June 2, 2019 - 11:55 am

This sounds like my kind of place! I love the bamboo hand rails in the stairwell of the hotel, and the security features are super important too for a solo female traveler, like you said. I’ve always wanted to try yoga on a stand up paddle board, and I’d love to learn how to surf one day!

Daisy Li June 2, 2019 - 6:49 pm

Surfing has been on my bucket list for ages-too bad my balance is horrible :'(

Lisa June 1, 2019 - 9:51 am

What a beautiful property in this part of Guatemala! It’s also great they lock the doors at night so guests can rest peacefully knowing they’re safe. JC also sounds like a great instructor, I’d give paddle boarding a go too!

Daisy Li June 2, 2019 - 6:48 pm

JC was great! I had lots of fun, hopefully I’ll get to try SUP Yoga next time! 🙂

Bhushavali June 3, 2019 - 11:18 am

That’s such a charming property. Good to know it’s family friendly as well with kitchen and laundry services. It’s super awesome that he’s a surfing instructor as well. Definitely the best place to stay when visiting Panajachel.

RN May 31, 2019 - 11:18 pm

Stunning Photos!


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