Questions and Answers About Living in San Pedro La Laguna Guatemala

I added an “Ask a Question Section” to the sidebar of this blog. MaryJo from Denver Colorado has asked two and here are some answers for you MaryJo.

San Pedro La Laguna from Lake Atitlan Guatemala

Coming into San Pedro La Laguna from Panajachel. About half an hour to cross Lake Atitlan by boat.

1. “We are really interested in the school project at San Antonio. I even have a hair-brained idea about being able to raise money for it here in Denver. But we’re interested in living in San Pedro.
So how far is it from San Pedro to San Antonio—can you get there by road (once the road is opened from the mud slide) from San Pedro or only by going back to Pana? Does it make sense to live in San Pedro and my husband to do volunteer building work on the school in San Antonio?”

San Antonio Palopo is on the other side of Lake Atitlan from San Pedro La Laguna. There really isn’t a way to drive there for commuting purposes, going straight across Lake Atitlan to Panajachel on a launcha(ferry boat) then changing to one for San Antonio Palopo is most likely the best way to get there. The launchas run all over the lake from just after sunrise to about 5:30 or so, then usually one later at 7ish. All these times are subject to random and unpredictable change, or not, depende. The launchas cost about 25 Quetzales for the ride and leave every 12 people, more or less. No time schedule really, just depends on when the boat gets full and then you go. The ride from Panajachel on a direct launcha takes about half an hour. They also have ones that leave Panajachel and stop at all the little towns on the way to San Pedro, that can be fun if you have the time. The guys at the dock will try and offer you a private boat, “privado”, for about 200 Quetzales. Unless you have a lot of money to spend, there is no need for a privado, just ask for the “launcha publico” and they will point you in the right direction. I think the commute might be time consuming, but it is a beautiful ride on the boat if you can afford the fees and have the time.

2. “My next question is about housing in San Pedro La Laguna at Lake Atitlan. How easy is it to find an inexpensive, modest house to rent with a stove and fridge, and basic furniture, with indoor plumbing, hot water, and hopefully 2 bedrooms and definitely away from the docks so it’s quiet? How much can we expect to pay for such?”

San Pedro La Laguna rental house, Lake Atitlan Guatemala

San Pedro's first giant yard sale at my rental house on Lake Atitlan. I lived there twice over the years. The rent is around $200ish dollars per month with 4 rooms. An outdoor, but under cover, suicide shower and no appliances other than a gas cooktop. It came with 3 beds, 2 plastic chairs, and a dining table and chairs.

Ahhh….the million dollar question. There are very few houses in San Pedro that fit your description. Most houses for rent are very basic and have bathrooms that often require walking outside to get to. The majority of all hot showers are lovingly referred to as suicide showers because they are ungrounded 2-wire heaters mounted on the shower head. Homes with on demand hot water or a hot water heater at all, are very very few. I have a friend with a more modern style house for rent in San Pedro La Laguna on Lake Atitlan with a website at Might be worth checking out. I lived in several houses over the years there and only had an indoor shower at one of them. The rents for a nice house, by San Pedro standards, is about $200 – $600 per month. Less for more rustic. There is seldom a lease and many landlords don’t really understand the concept of privacy. They often like to come in and garden or check on things in the yard at their convenience. It’s much easier renting a place while staying there. That way you can meet the landlord and get the lowdown on the house from the local expats. Dave at Bistro Nuevo Sol, Daniel at La Piscina, Mike at Buddha and Dean or Monique at D’noz are all longtime residents with great info and very nice businesses. For the price of a drink or a meal they will be more than happy to give you some good tips. San Pedro is always changing and someone is always moving out or in, great rentals pop up, then disappear quickly there.


Questions and Answers About Living in San Pedro La Laguna Guatemala — 5 Comments

  1. I lived in Guatemala from 96 to 2000 and many months in San Pedro la laguna. I’m trying to locate someone by the name of David Brockie. This person could be located by someone contacting Nick at Nicks restaurant. If Nick is curious who is asking you can tell him my name and also to refresh his memory that I was photographing the country. Also there is Kurt who owns or owned the Blue Lagoon to ask.
    David Lee

  2. im arriving in san pedro lalaguna on dec.1 or 2 wondering where to stay for ease of getting around for first month while i get to know the town.itwould be nice to be near some english speakers for first little while…….thanks

    • Rhys, in San Pedro it will be almost impossible not to be around English speaking people. If you are staying for a while then i recommend you get a hotel that looks nice and clean, there are many, and then start talking to some of the business owners about renting a house and find out if they have any leads. Starting from the dock for Panajachel some businesses to check out, all provide great service and have English speaking owners, are; D’noz Restaurant -great food, Clover restaurant- more great food, Buddha Bar – great food often live music pool table and roof bar, The Barrio- good newly refurbished bar, La Piscina – it’s a swimming pool/bar/restaurant and adult playground. There are tons of other places but all of those places have knowledgeable owners full of good information.

      There are a ton of Hotel/Hostels but if you are into a more lively, younger crowd then check out Yo Mommas Place, if you are in the $30usd a night upper price budget range check out Hotel Sak kari.

  3. Driving directions from Panajachel to San Pedro la Laguna in an automobile July 2010?

    Too much personal medical crap to haul along to take a water taxi.

  4. Thanks so much, Dennis, for this good information. Your thoughtfulness is much appreciated. It helps a ton to kinda know stuff before we go even though it doesn’t take the place of being there in person. Sounds like we might end up with a bit more rustic than we’d anticipated which is fine. We’re not fussy folks. And we’re familiar with suicide showers from our first trip. I must say that first shower was a bit of a shock–pardon the pun. But you get used to it quickly.

    Must say, the more information I gather, the more I want to be there NOW. But patience is in order for a few months.


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