San Pedro La Laguna, also known as San Pedro, is a magical place that enjoys an eternal spring on the banks of Lake Atitlán, one of Guatemala's most attractive areas. Each village in the region maintains its colorful traditional dress and many other customs and ways of life still flourish. Locals use their heads -- literally -- to carry loads that look impossibly heavy and precarious. Fishermen use techniques handed down and modified through the generations. Yet it's a modern place too, where technology has a significant foothold and the people have embraced perhaps their most lucrative resource -- tourism.
Whatever your fancy, San Pedro offers something. The town is a dreamlike maze of winding streets and bamboo-lined pedestrian paths, where you can rent a kayak, climb a volcano, do yoga, watch the locals fly homemade kites, or learn to paint a Guatemalan market scene. The town overflows with language schools where students sit in pleasant gardens to converse, one-on-one, with their tutor.
The small market is a great place to watch life happening. You may see men in traditional pants leading pigs on leashes. You can buy green mango with salt, cut up right in front of you. The restaurants are excellent, many serving exotic foods in courtyards draped with flowers or at tables on the banks of the lake, or even on cushions on the floor under palm thatch.
Hostels in San Pedro are central and social. Transportation in and out is a bit of a chore. From many top tourist towns, like Antigua, you can take a tourist van directly, though the roads are long and curvy and trips in the region usually take longer than expected. Local transportation might involve many transfers and some frustration. Another option is to get to Panajachel by bus and then take a boat across the lake.
San Pedro la Laguna is the perfect place to relax in a hammock, swim in a volcanic lake, learn some Spanish, and escape completely. Be careful, though, and schedule yourself a few extra days, in case you decide to stay longer.
Hi, I'm Melinda Brasher,
the Hostelz.com local expert for San Pedro La Laguna hostels. Welcome.