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San Pedro La Laguna: Where Time Stands Still And The Party Never Stops In Guatemala

lake atitlan

Lake Atitlan

Guatemala’s Lake Atitlan boasts a number of tourist-friendly villages worth exploring. While Panajachel offers chances to hike and interact with wildlife, San Antonio is a Mayan Village known for its weaving and textiles; however, of all the places I visited on the lake, my favorite was undoubtedly San Pedro La Laguna, or San Pedro.
san pedro cafe

Cafe culture in San Pedro. Photo courtesy of Matt Stabile.

A Slower Pace

As soon as you step off the lancha — ferry boats that take you around the lake — your heart rate slows down. It’s the type of place where time stands still and things move on island time, despite the fact San Pedro is not an island. You’ll spend a lot of time lounging in hammocks with a Gallo beer reading a book, sipping coffee, and making new friends at cafes, swimming in the lake, strolling through narrow streets, and practicing Spanish with the many language students. Try not to get angry when your food takes 30 minutes to arrive; instead, sip a “Cuba Libre” and chat with the many other travelers and expats.

Chillen at Zoola. Photo courtesy of Zoola.


The best hostel and hotel in San Pedro is undoubtedly Zoola San Pedro, with a funky pillow-seating restaurant, multiple bars, a hammock area and pool with gorgeous views of Lake Atitlan. Whether you’re a guest or not you can spend an afternoon sipping rum cocktails on the deck, talking with other travelers, and enjoying the lake ambiance. If you’re lucky enough to visit San Pedro on a Tuesday make sure to go to their weekly Tuesday night party, which tends to get wild with live DJs and drunken debauchery.
indian's nose sunrise

Epic sunrise from Indian’s Nose

Outdoor Beauty

Along with being able to swim and kayak on Lake Atitlan, San Pedro offers hikes up the San Pedro Volcano and a sunrise trek up Indian’s Nose. The latter was the highlight of my entire trip to Guatemala, as from the top of the 2,863-meter (9,393 foot) peak I sat above a sea of swirling clouds, taking in aerial views of the lake and surrounding peaks streaked in hot pink, orange, yellow and purple. Have you been to San Pedro on Lake Atitlan? 

About Jessie Festa

Jessie Festa is an New York-based travel content creator who is passionate about empowering her audience to experience new places and live a life of adventure. She is the founder of the solo female travel blog, Jessie on a Journey, and is editor-in-chief of Epicure & Culture, an online conscious tourism magazine. Along with writing, Jessie is a professional photographer and is the owner of NYC Photo Journeys, which offers New York photo tours, photo shoots, and wedding photography. Her work has appeared in publications like USA Today, CNN, Business Insider, Thrillist, and WestJet Magazine.

Jessie Festa standing in front of grafitti wall

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  1. Annabelle on at 5:59 am

    Your post is very helpful thanks!
    How do you book for Zoolas? I cant find anywhere online where I can contact the hostel to book!

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