Lake Atitlán in San Pedro
Lake Atitlán – San Pedro
Lake Atitlan was one of those destinations where you only plan to stay for a couple of days but end up staying for much longer. It is the deepest lake in Central America reaching 340 m deep and has a surface area of 130 km2. In its surrounding villages, 3 types of Mayan languages are spoken. The locals told us that they could understand each other but not much. Around it, there are 3 volcanoes. Each one of them gives a beautiful touch to this landscape, they are: San Pedro Volcano, Atitlan Volcano and Toliman Volcano. It was quite interesting to be in this place and be surrounded by these huge mountains everywhere I looked.
In this lake you can do so many things, starting from hiking to the most remote villages to get to know the fascinating cultures that live there, to scheduling diving courses in its waters or Spanish classes. We arrived in San Pedro with the idea of staying 2 nights but there is very relaxing energy in this area, plus we were a bit tired from our previous itinerary so we were looking for a place like this to relax and start all over again.
Amongst all the towns surrounding Lake Atitlan, San Pedro is known for having a lot of rumba, so we had a couple of parties in this town. You can party from Monday to Sunday pretty much if that’s what you want and this town, in particular, is full of tourists which makes it easy to party.
San Pedro is somewhat divided into 2 parts, the lower part which is closest to the lake where all the hostels, hotels and restaurants are and the upper part which is where all the locals live and where the market is which I recommend visiting.
If you want to study Spanish in this town you can find incredible prices ranging from US$250 to US$300 per week including accommodation.
– Accommodation prices in this town are also very cheap. You can find it from 40Q (US$ 5). We stayed in one called La Casa de Felipe, which was comfortable and cosy.
- What to do in San Pedro
– Climbing volcanoes is one of the activities that many people do when they come to San Pedro. I climbed the San Pedro Volcano and it was a good experience, the landscapes, the lake in front of you, the vegetation, in general everything was excellent. It was almost 3 hours up and 2.5 hours down. The view from the top leaves you speechless.
There is another hike called La Nariz del Indio where many people go up to see the sunrise but we decided not to do that one as it was a bit out of budget. The locals told us that it was possible to do it without paying but it can be a bit dangerous.
There is a hostel called Zoola which is run by Israelis and has a very relaxing atmosphere. In the back, they have a swimming pool for which you don’t have to pay anything and you can go and have a good time there. On many evenings, there are parties organised in this hostel. Another place to the party was a well-known club for tourists called Sublime. This place schedules rumbas almost every day and we were there too. It is nice and some days they have a live band.
I was also kayaking in this lake and the experience was great, being surrounded by so much green and the sound of the wind hitting the water is great. I highly recommend this activity wherever you go.
Another interesting place in Lake Atitlan is the village of San Marco, which is a bit quieter than San Pedro. There is a lot of meditation, yoga and everything related to spiritual things.
- How to get to Lake Atitlan from Antigua.
– We travelled to San Pedro on Lake Atitlan from Antigua, first we took a chicken bus near the market which took us to Los Encuentros and then we took another bus to Panajachel and then a boat to San Pedro.