Central America, Food, Guatemala

Where to eat in San Pedro la Laguna

August 26, 2011

San Pedro la Laguna, Guatemala

After my trek with Quetzaltrekkers from Xela to Lake Atitlan, I was more than ready for some R&R.

And the lakeside town of San Pedro la Laguna was the perfect place to do just that.

But I’ll be honest with you. The lakefront is most definitely a tourist ghetto and is completely set up for backpackers.

Every cafe is wired and serves a (cheap!) international menu, tour agencies abound (and so, unfortunately, do drugs and some…strange…expats)

But I don’t mind the odd tourist ghetto and can ignore the freaks, particularly when I manage to score a clean, sunny, private room with ensuite and super fast wifi for about $5 a night.

Not even in Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal’s backpacker district, will you find that kind of bargain. 

So since I had a few long and empty days stretching out before me in San Pedro, I thought I should give my time there some structure. And how did I do that?

By eating at as many different places as possible. 


Right at the Pana dock, Nick’s serves some pretty decent pizza and nachos and all the other usual fare. It’s got a great view of the lake, and, like everywhere else, has wifi.


I stayed at Jarachik, so I ate here a few times. The breakfasts were huge and tasty, as was the pizza. I think I just about tried anything that mentioned it came con queso when I discovered the queso they use is incredibly gooey, beautifully melted mozzarella.

I’d avoid the meat though, because the chicken in my burrito was mostly…I don’t know what it was but it didn’t taste or look like or have the texture of chicken.

Speedy wifi.

Fata Morgana

Around the corner from the Pana dock heading towards the bulk of the guesthouses and restaurants, Fata Morgana is open early and does great coffee and gigantic smoothies.

Their breakfasts are good value and they even have Real Brown Bread. I get very excited when I find a place that has Real Brown Bread.

Le Jardin, San Pedro, Guatemala

Le Jardin

Near Jarachik and Clovers is Le Jardin. In a beautiful garden setting with speedy wifi and music that made me feel like I was back in Kathmandu (think: chanting monks), this place was recommended to me by Ant from Positive World Travel.

I didn’t eat here (it smelled a little like sewage, but hey, so do most places in San Pedro) but they do a nice rosa de jamaica (hibiscus tea).


Above Nik’s at the Pana dock, D’Noz is an old San Pedro favourite. Fast wifi and cheap drinks.

Cafe La Puerta, San Pedro, Guatemala

Cafe La Puerta

Adjacent to the San Pedro Spanish school, Cafe La Puerta does a tasty museli/granola with fruit, although the yoghurt was watery. Also open early for the Spanish school set.

Yoghurt, granola and hot chocolate at Cafe La Puerta, San Pedro

Buddha Bar

Like D’Noz, Buddha Bar is another San Pedro classic. A popular bar, they also do decent Asian food. My kung pao chicken was huge and cost about $3. They skimp on the peanuts though – and that’s the best part!

Getting to San Pedro la Laguna

I hiked from the highland town of Xela to Lake Atitlan with Quetzaltrekkers, which took three challenging days. You can also take a tourist shuttle from Xela or from Antigua.

Booking shuttles in San Pedro is much cheaper than anywhere else – it only cost me 40Q ($5) to get back to Antigua, about half the price of the opposite direction.

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  • Reply Kyle August 26, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Five dollars a night! Holy moses, that is insane!

    What I love most about all these pictures of the food and of the city, is that it’s so colorful!

  • Reply Alice August 27, 2011 at 6:33 am

    ^ Was just about to make the same comment. Those are some gorgeous colors especially in your last picture! Makes me want to go find some fruit to eat. =)

  • Reply Heather August 29, 2011 at 6:15 am

    $5 a night sounds lovely 🙂 Never been somewhere where a hostel stay is even close to that.

    Sounds like you had more misses than hits, but of course I love a food post. Helps me know to stay away from the suspect chicken 😉

  • Reply Elise September 5, 2011 at 2:45 am

    Great round of places!! We didn’t even eat at as many places as you did and we were there for 3 weeks!! I guess we were just sticking to what we liked!!
    We didn’t mind Clovers either-I really enjoyed their Irish Stew served on a Sunday. Ventana Blue (think that is what it was called) did a blend of Chinese/Guatemalan (how’s that for strange!) but it was big meals and pretty tasty!

    • Reply MeganRTW September 5, 2011 at 4:09 am

      I must have missed the Chinese/Guatemalan…it does sound pretty weird but so does Indian/Irish and I know for a fact there’s one of those in Alice Springs!!

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