The three hour shuttle from Antigua to San Pedro La Laguna wasn’t exactly a fun one, but we got there. Up and down a volcano. Around a lot of windy roads. I sat next to a Montanan (?) and chatted with her the whole time, one of those free-spirit types that was going to San Marcos, the next town over, for a yoga training and retreat.
Stopped for gas and saw a pretty usual family outing in Guatemala.
San Pedro itself is filled mostly with hippies and people trying to learn Spanish. I’m trying to decide between attending a Spanish school for a bit or getting a few tattoos and piercings so I can fit in a bit better. Maybe if I just learn how to say “I consider myself very spiritual” in Spanish and get a septum piercing that will do the trick.
My guesthouse is actually about a 25 minute walk outside the town center, which was a little annoying at first, but I kind of appreciate the quiet. Especially since I’m here for over a month. It’s a nice size for me, and while the view is a little obstructed, it’s still quite beautiful. The owners live next door and are very welcoming.
My first couple days I was more or less getting my bearings. Didn’t do much shopping, and ate at a couple of the restaurants in town. There is a very active gringo area, having a wide variety of food and people that speak very good English. Lots of coffee/breakfast/lunch places with good WiFi.
Idea Connection – Good breakfast, good wifi, good coffee, relaxing open area. A nice morning hangout the one morning I decided to come into town. A little pricier though.
The Clover – Had a green curry tofu & rice for dinner. I was a little worried about the bugs attracted to the bright shamrock light, but they ended up being far more interested in smashing into those bulbs than tofu. I ate the entire thing with chopsticks, like some kind of sophisticated, chopstick-using person. That and a beer for $8. Not so bad.
Cafe Atitlan – Had lunch here one day and had a Mango Tanango smoothie and a veggie burger. It was pretty good, but not the best ever. Still, happy there are so many veggie choices here, and hard to argue for $5.
Bar Sublime – Aptly named, I came here for the happy hour to do a little work. Definitely had the psychedelic party vibe though (even though it was a Monday), so I got out of there pretty quickly. But with a great view, campfire, and pool table, it’s a cool spot.
El Barrio – Stopped in for a couple drinks and to work for a bit. Chill people running it, ex-pats, very helpful giving me some tips on the surroundings. I’ll probably stop in here for a beer and some work frequently.
Cafe Las Cristalinas – On a side street up the hill a little bit, but has great coffee and is a good place to sit and get some work done. No lake view, but the coffee and prices are just fine. I suspect it’s right next to a Spanish school, because there seemed to be a lot of those kind of people around.
Then on Tuesday I met someone from Austria wandering around, so I walked with her to San Juan, the next town over. It was a bit of a walk, but something to do. There were a number of art galleries, organic food and coffee places, and shops. We stopped for some street food ($0.40 for this huge chip topped with like 7 different things), so overall a nice change-of-pace.
But the week was mostly just work and walking back and forth the trek into town.
On Saturday, I made an excursion to San Marcos. It’s known for its Yoga retreats, and I’ve met a lot of people doing both training and just general retreats in the “Yoga Forest”. I guess that’s cool if you’re into the yoga or meditation stuff. Personally, I just couldn’t wrap my head around most of the shenanigans that were going on there. On a spiritual level I guess?
This seemed pretty cool though. I might come back for it.
There was a little more area there to swim and peacefully kayak or just hang out, so it has that going for it. And everyone was SUPER nice there. Like as they were talking to me it wouldn’t have been surprising if they had reached out and petted me.
And with the whole yoga vibe, there was a ton of vegan/gluten free stuff all over the place. It made my vegetarian take on things seem lame. But at lunch I met a guy who needs some Adwords work done, so there’s that at least. In the least likely place I would have thought to meet someone for business purposes.
But here’s a nice little view of the lake in San Marcos.
Speaking of things I’m definitely going to do, here’s another flier I took a picture of.
I’m glad I chose San Pedro over San Marcos, although it’s definitely an interesting place. It would probably be nice for a couple days if I were capable of relaxing, but as it stands I’d rather belittle and poke fun at the lifestyle. Austrian girl and I reconnected Saturday night and bonded over our ambivalence to the San Marcos atmosphere. She climbed the volcano on Sunday, which is something I’ll do at some point.
I’m able to run along the coast where I am, and it’s the perfect temperature in the mornings. This is actually our neighbor, or a couple houses down. I don’t know what they’re growing, seeds of some kind of I think. Bonus guy in a canoe too.
This is about as far as I run this way. You can see the shoreline up Lake Atitlan and the volcano in the distance. The volcanoes are behind us, so sadly they aren’t really in view over the lake for sunsets and whatnot.
I found a little path down to the water. It’s pretty legit.. probably walking on someone’s property. But there was actually the closest thing to a beach that I’ve seen here… a few feet of small pebbles between the lake and forest. Might be a nice escape occasionally.
And this is the view back to San Pedro. Not bad for just pointing and clicks and hoping it turned out ok (way too much glare).
In the afternoon, I had a coffee and a smoothie at a place right on the water with a beautiful view. Well, I had half a coffee, because a bird shit in it. I wasn’t even mad – pretty impressive snipe on his part, and I probably wouldn’t have noticed until it was too late if I hadn’t seen it happen.
Then later I went for a coffee at this place right by the docks. The coffee wasn’t very good by Guatemalan standards, but it’s tough to beat the view (despite the clouds).
Then we walked around for a bit, stumbling on this very unique, colorful cemetery. We were a little worried about taking pictures, but there were four guys just sitting in there drinking, so I think it was fine.
Later that night we got dinner at Shanti Shanti and had some falafel/hummus and an avocado salad. She’s the kind of person who goes up and orders an avocado when the salad runs out of avocado, which is the best kind of person. She’s pleasant enough otherwise too, but mainly I appreciate that her avocado-based decision making is on point.
That’s a successful San Pedro week in the books. I’ve got a busy week of work coming up, but after that hopefully I’ll be able to do more of the local hiking and excursions.