San Pedro la Laguna Journals

Great Guatemala Loop Part 5 – Lago de Atitlán

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A February 2004 trip to San Pedro la Laguna by lcampbell

Hotel boat dock Photo, San Pedro la Laguna, Guatemala More Photos
Quote: In Part 5 of 7 of our month-long journey around Guatemala, we find out where all the tourists are! The villages of San Marcos and San Pedro are tourist magnets, with dramatic volcano scenery reflected on the vast calm of Lago de Atitlán.

Great Guatemala Loop Part 5 – Lago de Atitlán

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Overview

Lake view Photo, San Pedro la Laguna, Guatemala
Quote:
Visitors to Guatemala head primarily to three places: Tikal, Antigua, and Lago de Atitlán. Hoards of tourists can be easily overlooked in Tikal – it is an archeological wonder after all. The also scatter around many acres, so there are still quiet pockets in the park. Antigua is a big city with plenty of non-tourists as well as tourists. It is a cultural and historical center that should be seen despite the crowds. The light-skinned masses are harder to ignore in the small towns around Lago de Atitlán. Their presence seems to overwhelm all local culture, and travelers tend to group together with each other, making for more of a western atmosphere. Much of Guatemala seems to be lost arou...Read More

Hotel San Marcos

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Hotel

Hotel San Marcos Photo, San Pedro la Laguna, Guatemala
Quote:
Our Room: Very clean, with a double bed. Private or Shared Bath? Shared. Showers were good, but there were lots of spiders. The Atmosphere: The garden was pretty, but the owner was a bit stand-offish. No one else was staying here, which leads me to believe that there are better places to stay, but we just didn’t find them. Food and Other Amenities: No restaurant on-site, but there are plenty nearby. Location: From the boat dock, head west for a very short distance, then take the first right down a path. If you get to Piramides, you have gone too far. Follow the path, and Hotel San Marcos is on...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 22, 2005

Hotel San Marcos

San Pedro la Laguna, Guatemala

Casa Elena - San Pedro

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Hotel

Casa Elena - San Pedro Photo, San Pedro la Laguna, Guatemala
Quote:
Our Room: Our room was spacious and clean, with a bright hammock hanging just outside the door and a table and chairs nearby. We had a view of the lake from the balcony. We had room number 16, which we liked, but the two best-looking rooms at Casa Elena seemed to be numbers 14 and 17. These two rooms were somewhat separated from the rest in that they were half a floor up or down from a row of rooms. They were on the lake side and therefore had better lake views, and the rooms had two windows each instead of one. Because they were half a floor different, they each had their own balcony area (versus the shared balconies of the other rooms), with hammocks, tables, and chairs. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 22, 2005

Casa Elena - San Pedro
San Pedro La Laguna
San Pedro la Laguna, Guatemala

San Marcos

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Story/Tip

Lake view Photo, San Pedro la Laguna, Guatemala
Quote:
My first impression of San Marcos was not a good one. First, after being overcharged for our bus ride, we were also overcharged for our boat ride. The boat money collector blocked our way onto the dock until we paid what he demanded. Next, we were finding it difficult to find our way around. We were tired and frustrated and just wanted to find a clean and reasonably priced place to stay. Finally, I have a lingering image of a young boy, angry and stomping away from me when he didn’t feel I had given him enough money for "guiding" us to a hotel. We didn’t ask for his services, and he didn’t actually guide us anywhere but rather walked in front of us as we wandered around, pointing at signs we cou...Read More

San Pedro

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Story/Tip

Hotel boat dock Photo, San Pedro la Laguna, Guatemala
Quote:
San Pedro, like Panajachel and San Marcos, is filled with tourists. But, unlike San Marcos, at least there are Guatemala people running the businesses rather than foreign expats (although there are a few of those as well). The prices are better as well. We liked it way better than San Marcos and wish we had gone there first. We walked from San Marcos to San Pedro, which was very nice and took 2 hours. We talked to a couple friendly local folks along the way and were not harassed by anyone trying to sell us anything. Once in San Pedro, of course that changed quickly. And along with the deluge of offers to buy food, drinks, and trinkets, my husband caught a 10-year-old boy trying to steal ...Read More

About the Writer

lcampbell

lcampbell
Port Angeles, Washington

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