Fiona and Greg Latin America Adventure travel blog

San Pedro street

San Pedro locals

Lake Atitilan

Lake Atitilan

Fiona on San Marcos dock

Santa Clara market

Santa Clara market

Santa Clara market


As we approached the end of our journey we decided to slow the pace and spent 7 days in the town of San Pedro on the shores of Lago Atitilan. This lake was described in the guidebook as the most beautiful in the world ... whoever wrote that has clearly never visited the South Island of New Zealand! San Pedro has been taken over by expat hippies from around the world, pushing the locals up the hill and away from the lake. A real shame which has destroyed much of the culture and beauty of the town. The area is famous for the coffee grown all around the lake and the numerous coffee processing plants in San Pedro were interesting to see, although the strong smell of rotting coffee bean husks was not too pleasant.

We escaped the town often, visiting the very tranquil and beautiful San Marcos, kayaking and swimming on the lake, and shopping at the local market in Santa Clara high in the hills overlooking the lake. The very friendly and colourful locals in this town made the day very enjoyable although the trip in the 'chicken bus' up and down the steep zig-zag road leading to the village was 'exciting' to say the least. Central America seems to be the dumping ground for old yellow USA school buses which are promptly painted, christened with names like 'Henrietta', lighted up like a disco Christmas tree, driven as quickly as possible and packed with twice as many locals and produce as their original capacity. Short trips in these buses were fun, anything over an hour was painful.



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