Planning on visiting San Pedro Guatemala? San Pedro was the first stop on my Guatemalan adventure. If you are planning a trip to Guatemala make sure you don’t skip a visit to Lake Atitlan, and especially San Pedro. Despite its relatively small size, there is plenty to do in San Pedro.
Solo traveling for the first time? get my new book on Amazon…
Top things to do in San Pedro Guatemala
1. Get a drink and stare out across the Lake Atitlan at Shanti Shanti
While I was in San Pedro most of my afternoons were spent here staring out across Lake Atitlan whilst sipping Mojitos and trying to work. It’s the perfect spot to chill out and plan what you are going to do next.
2. Hike San Pedro Volcano
Ok so confession time, I didn’t actually do this. I know I should have but to be honest, I was having such a nice time and I had heard so many mixed things that I decided to give it a miss. But I did do plenty of research and spoke to a lot of people who did it so here’s what you need to know if you want to do it. Leave early, I’m talking 4 am if you want to watch the sunrise or 6 am at the latest if you want to get up there before the clouds move it.
You need to pack warm clothes and plenty of snacks and water. It’s warm for the first part, once you get about halfway up it will become really cold so be prepared, I’m talking woolly hat, coat and gloves cold. You don’t need a guide don’t bother booking through a tour agent. Get a tuk-tuk and ask them to drop you off at the foot of the volcano. You will then need to pay the 100Q entrance fee and the guide will direct you to the path. Apparently, the path is very clear and its well maintained. The walk is hard and it’s all uphill. It will take between 2.5-4 hours depending on your fitness levels.
2019 UPDATE: chck with ocals about this as when I was last there in May 2019 there had been some issues and the path was closed. You may need a guide for safety reasons.
3. Hike Indian’s Nose and watch the sunrise
If like me you decide that a 2.5-4 hour grueling uphill hike isn’t for you, but you want to see a sunrise over Lake Atitlan then hiking Indian Nose is the hike for you.
It does involve a really early start and a pretty steep 45 min hike but its totally worth it. I wrote a whole post about it I loved it so much. The best thing about it is that you get a stunning view of all 8 volcanoes. The morning I went up there I was even lucky enough to catch Fuego erupting!
4. Take a dip in the Sola Pools.
You need to let them know 1 hour before you want to go in so they can make sure they are warm for you. If you have done one of the local hikes then this is the perfect way to recover and ease your tired muscles.
5. Take Spanish Lessons in San Pedro
This should probably be the number one thing to do as learning Spanish is what brings most people to San Pedro in the first place. There are so many Spanish schools in San Pedro dotted around the village you can take your pick! If you can make sure you book ahead though as all of the schools were fully booked the week I was there! I studied at The Cooperativa school and you can read all about my experience here and also about
the things you need to consider before booking an intensive Spanish course here.
6. Learn traditional Guatemalan weaving with a local woman
The best place to learn to weave, or learn about weaving in the traditional Mayan way is at one of the many women’s weaving cooperatives in San Juan. They will show you around their working environment, give you a demonstration and you will get to have a try yourself. If you want to make something yourself be warned it will take many hours! I did want to make something and I opted to take a class with Isobel at Solar Pools. It took me the best part of 2 days to make a scarf, it is my most treasured possession right now and has given me a whole new appreciation for weaving and just want goes into hand making all of the goods tourists are haggling over at the markets!
7. Take a cooking class in San Pedro
I love to learn to cook the traditional dishes from each country I visit. I think it’s a great way to learn more about a culture. There is a great cooking school in San Pedro offering day and week-long courses that teach you to cook traditional Guatemalan dishes in the traditional way.
8. Explore the villages around Lake Atitlan
If you are basing yourself in San Pedro for a while then make sure you take some day trips to the other villages around the lake. Or alternatively, work your way around the lake stopping for a night or two at each village. The ones I would recommend are:
San Marcos Lake Atitlan
You can’t visit Lake Atitlan without stopping off at this hippy mecca. If it’s spiritual healing you are after you are in the right place. Choose from Yoga, Reiki, massage, flower healing and chanting to name but a few. Or if you are feeling like getting the real San Marcos experience at 12:30 every day there is a Caco ceremony at a guy called Keith’s house. It lasts for 6 hours! But if you are interested in energy healing or fancy trying something different then this is for you. Cost is 200Q if it’s your first time. To find Keith’s house just ask a local and they will direct you. Read my full post on San Marcos here.
If you came to San Pedro via Panajachel then you might have already visited. If not I’d recommend an overnight stay there so you can see the sunset. Panajachel is the ideal place to see the sun setting on the lake as you have views across the water of the volcanos. It also has a great market and some really nice places to eat. If you go there make sure you pop into Crossroads Cafe for a coffee with Mike. If you want to go to Chichicastenango Market this is the best place to leave from. I wrote a post about that here.
9. Go Kayaking on Lake Atitlan
This was possibly one of my favorite things to do in San Pedro (after Hiking to Indian Nose). Make sure you go in the morning as in the afternoon the wind can make the water pretty choppy.
10. Eat the best Falafel outside of Israel (well the best falafal in Guatemala anyway)
I know this sounds crazy BUT San Pedro Guatemala has the best falafel outside of Israel. There is a place called Ha-Falafel and if you are in San Pedro you really need to eat there. The staff are great and it will set you back 25Q.
11. Admire the Street Art around San Perdro
San Pedro and a few of the other villages around the lake have some of the most incredible street art I have ever seen. So get lost in its windy streets and don’t forget your camera!
The only company I recommend for booking transport and tours in Guatemala (other than the individuals and companies I have named) is GuateGo. They are a Guatemala owned company who have painstakingly brought together all of the transport and tour options in one easy to use website. You can book transport in Guatemala with them here and Guatemalan tours with them here.
Planning a Trip to Guatemala? You might be interested in these articles:
Are You Traveling soon?
Be sure to check Skyscanner for the best flight deals.
I never travel anywhere without Travel Insurance. If you are looking for insurance be sure to check World Nomads first.
This post was proofread by Grammarly
Book your trip now
Are you ready to book your trip? To help you get the best deals and service here are the companies that I personally use to book all of my travel online. I always shop around before booking anything, but these are my tried and tested starting places.
- Skyscanner – I’m a bit fan of Skyscanner, it is who I use to book all of my flights. I often will check other like Google Flights or Momodo, but I always go here first and it is who I book 99% of my flights with.
- Booking.com – I LOVE booking.com especially when I can book and cancel free up until a certain point, mostly because my plans are forever changing. It’s easy to use and has one of the widest selections.
- Airbnb – I’m not a huge user of Airbnb, but sometimes I do like to use it, and I ALWAYS check it before I book anything else. You can get some really cool places to stay here, and it is especially good in places like Cuba. If you don’t have an account and you click on this link then you will get $36 off your first booking.
- Hostelworld – If you are looking for hostels then this is a great place to check first. They often have additional places that you won’t find on Bookin.com.
- Agoda – Although I don’t use it as much as booking.com, Agonda is especially good if you are traveling in Asia as they really do dominate there.
- Workpackers – If you want to travel on the cheap and save money on accommodation then you need Workpackers in your life. You can read more about it here. If you click this link to sign up and use the code CLAIRESITCHYFEET then you can get a 40% discount on your membership!
- 12Go – If you are traveling in Asia and want to pre-book your transportation then 12Go is a fantastic site to do so. They have buses, trains, and air travel.
- RentalCars – Looking to rent a. car while you are away? I always book through Rental Cars as they do a search of all of the big sites and find the best deals.
- Welcome Pickups – Very occasionally getting from the airport to my accommodation is a total pain in the butt, or I’m traveling in a group and it makes sense to arrange a pickup. When I do I use Welcome pickups.
- World Nomads – If you are looking for flexible travel insurance then it’s World Nomads all the way. I wrote all about insurance here if you want a more thorough review.
- SafetyWing – AsI’m a Digital Nomad and not moving around quite so much anymore I personally use SafetyWing now for my health insurance. I wrote a full review here.
- Viatour – Sometimes it can be a little expensive, but I like Viatour for somethings, especially if you can get a discount code! It’s also great for inspiration.
- Klook – If you are traveling in Asia, then Klook is great! You can book all kinds of tours, activities, and train tickets, plus they even have sim cards and WiFi.