San Pedro and the rest of the lake is filled with travelers from Guatemala as well as from around the world, all here to celebrate Semana Santa. Look for parades, bands and “flower carpets” in the main part of town, such as el centro (up the hill) in San Pedro.
Across the lake, Circus Bar, Cafe Atlantis and Restaurante Casablanca have Semana Santa specials, with live entertainment at Circus Bar and Atlantis.
Parties, Bands, DJs in San Pedro
Lots of parties, too. Tonight there’s live music at Zoola and Alegre Pub. El Barrio Bar’s “Fiesta Latina” kicks off with a band tonight and features live music or a DJ through the rest of the week. Lots of action at the new Paul’s Gaff, too.
In the zona viva, people are partying in the street from noon until late. For something different, grab a liter of draft Gallo beer in front of Johanna’s Mini-Mercado.
If you are here for Easter Sunday, head over to Smokin’ Joes’ BBQ at the pool on the way to the Santiago dock.
It’s hard to run into trouble here. Most parts of the lake are safe most of the time. But like anywhere else, it’s when you let your guard down that they get you. And read our Safety and Security FAQ, at the end of the page.
#LakeAtitlanHotels like Hotel Mikaso, Casa Atitlan (formerly Hostel Jarachik), Hostel Zoola and Maya Moon Lodge are some of the top hotels in Guatemala, thanks to their location on beautiful Lake Atitlan.
Hotel Mikaso at Lake Atilan is the classiest hotel in San Pedro la Laguna.
There’s only one restaurant I know of that serves authentic Mexican food: Spanglish in Panajachel. Recipes come from a family in Michoacan. They include tasty choices like the Carnitas de Michoacan, lean chopped pork that is some of the best in Guatemala. My favorite is the Cochinita Pibil, a pork dish that riginated in Yucatan and has spread across Mexico. The Cochinita Pibil at Spanglish tastes better than the expensive Los Cebollitas in Antigua and the capital. And the portions are huge. You get a pound of several entrees, which also include chicken dishes such as Tinga, for Q65. That’s enough to feed three people. Spanglish owner Axel just introduced a barbecue sandwich made with pulled pork and a sweet sauce. Spanglish also sells gourmet salsas, olive oil, spices and wine. It’s on Calle Arboles just past Circus Bar.
Dr. Louis Dr Pena Rosenwinkel just announced that free medicine and medical services for those who cannot afford them will be available at the new Health Clinic in Panajachel this month. The big party to celebrate is on March 6 at the Hotel Porta del Lago. Funds raised by ticket sales will help cover medicine for the young and old.
New Health Clinic in Panajachel
The fiesta starts at 4 PM and lasts until 10 PM. Tickets cost Q200. Donations also accepted.
Green, green, green from one side of Lake Atitlan to the other, this St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), when the top place to party in San Pedro la Laguna will be The Clover Restaurant on 7th Avenue. The Clover is the only Irish tavern at the lake, so arrive early and party late.
On the way, get warmed up for the festivities at El Barrio Bar, Naked Sushi, Hostel Zoola, Hotel Mikaso and Casa Atitlan on the East Side, and Alegre Pub, Bar Fe and Fifth Dimension in the zona viva. Early birds: best daytime bar action will be at The Deep End Bar and Pool, The Blue Parrot Bar and Grill and Alegre Pub.
In Panajachel, celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Circus Bar and Cafe Atlantis. Like most places, they will have live music or DJs. IslaVerde — “green island” — is the place to go in Santa Cruz, while the folks in Santiago will be at Cafe Quila’s and Posada de Santiago.
There’s a New Year’s Eve dinner from 6-9 PM at Cafe la Puerta, with choice of three gourmet entrees for Q65. A few steps down Seventh Avenue from this restaurant, El Barrio’s bash has an open bar (with wrist band) from 9 PM to midnight, with live music and drink specials.
In the zona viva, Alegre Pub’s New Year celebrates the ringing of Big Ben at 6 PM, with live video from London. Live music from 6:30-8 PM, and the official New Year’s Eve party at 9 PM with DJ Freddy.
Ven Aca will have food and drink specials, drink specials, musical entertainment. Open microphone night.
Gourment dinner at Hotel Isla Verde.
Parties at Chapiteau Disco and Circus Bar.
Posada de Santiago
Dinner at 7 PM with seven small courses accompanied by three wine. Vegetarian options available. The Ravioli filled with Lobster and Bleu Cheese on a Fresh Tomato-Herb Sauce and Covered with a Creamy Garlic-Parmesan Sauce sounds incredible! Also Beef Tenderloin with Chipotle Béarnaise and amazing side dishes and desserts. Plus a boat ride at 11:30 to view fireworks. Q350, or Q50 just for boat ride.