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San Pedro La Laguna, Gautemala. A secret stoner hideaway holiday.

Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
San Pedro La Laguna, Gautemala
The magical village on Lake Atitlan

A fantastic small pueblo on the beautiful lake Atitlan in the Guatemalan western highlands. This is the perfect place for tokers, but also offers a lot of activities and traditional indigenous experiences.

Lago Atitlan in Guatemala's highlands is one of the most magical places in Central America and a major tourist attraction in Guatemala. It's surrounded by 3 volcanoes, several more mountains, and several villages are scattered around its shores. Alongside the touristy Panajachel, the spiritual San Marcos, the busy market village Santiago Atitlan, you'll find the traditional, peaceful village of San Pedro, or by its full name - San Pedro La Laguna.

Like other villages in this region, San Pedro is a traditional indigenous village with a traditional lifestyle. The first language here isn't Spanish, but a local Mayan dialect called Tzutujil, there is a traditional market held twice a week, and you can still see local women washing clothes on rocks at the lake-shore. San Pedro itself has earned a reputation as a "hippie" village, in a good way of course. The laid-back atmosphere, the beautiful lake scenery and location at the foot of the San Pedro volcano, the abundance of restaurants, pubs, very cheap hotels and hostels (some at $2-5 a night), and easy access to weed, make it a perfect place for potheads.

This doesn't mean that non-tokers have no business here. On the contrary: San Pedro offers many activities such as kayaking in the lake, horseback riding in the area, hiking up the volcano, and you can always take a boat across the lake for a day-trip in one of the other villages. The village market is in the village center up the hill and is a great place to visit and shop for fruit & other foods, local handcraft, cheap merchandise and fake CDs. There are loads of great cheap restaurants, and some good bars to go out at night (though some close early).

For those among us who feel tired just reading the last few lines, The perfect way to start your morning is lighting up a joint and taking a quick plunge into the cool lake (or vice versa); the rest of the day can be spent just staring at the beautiful lake and mountains around, and eating every now and then.

As for the weed situation, San Pedro is known as a drug haven, and weed (among other things) is accessible and cheap. For obvious reasons, sources will not be specified here, but you can ask around at your hotel, or talk with other tourists to find out. Space cookies are also available in some restaurants. There is some police presence, so don't walk around the village toking, nor on the beach; as long as you smoke within the premises of your hotel, it's ok. If you are stupid or unlucky enough to get caught, a "fine" of $30-50 will usually solve any problem.

Munchies are well taken care of too. In addition to the many good restaurants all around the village serving all kinds of great food, there are local women walking around or sitting on street corners who sell amazing cakes and pastries, and sometimes fruit or other things that when you see them you just say: "This is exactly what I needed right now!".

Learning Spanish: San Pedro has several spanish schools for tourists, offering courses starting from one week to 4 months or more. For those who are interested, the school can arrange accommodation, either with a local family (for some extra practice and a unique experience) or in one of the hotels.

Access: By boat from Panajachel (the major village on the lake accessible by bus from many locations). The boatride costs about $2 per person. It's recommended to take it during the morning; in the afternoon the ride is a bit rough.

Season: May-November is the rainy season, when it's cloudy and rains quite hard every single afternoon for a couple of hours; not recommended but not terrible. Temperatures are great all year round.

One final piece of advice: San Pedro is addictive! The serenity, beauty, cheap prices, and the distance from... anywhere really, is known to make people fall in love with the place and stay for much longer than they planned. Some stay here for a week, some for a month or two, and there are some who have never left (and probably never will). Don't say you haven't been warned - and have fun!
 
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