Lago De Atitlan
Panajachel Travel Blog› entry 1 of 2 › view all entries
Lake Atitlan is a beautiful dirty lake. Take heed to my warning, do not swim in the lake. As pretty as it looks, do not jump in. I say this not as a kill joy but, from a friendly place. There is massive sewage, yes shit, and other waste that goes into this lake. Since it is landlocked, all that shit stays in there. No matter if this lake is as deep and massive as they say. This lake is secluded from other pipelines of water. Meaning, everything stays in the lake!
Ok for the regular mambo jambo...
Double pricing for tourists is definely in full effect here. If you paid more than 20Q's for a boat ride to San Pedro...You paid too much......The boat owner/captain? gave me a pretty good explanation to the pricing differences....(I somewhat agree).....He told me that locals pay 5Q's because they go back and forth this lake almost on a daily basis and they are relatively poor in nature. Thus, should get a break. But, us being visitors and will merely travel a few times, should pay more. Keep in mind that tourism is the bread and butter of these towns. I somewhat agree because if you think about it, you would try to squeeze a couple dollars too to outsiders too if you were starving...right?
People are poor in general. Everyone sells the same shit. You will soon get sick of necklaces, mayan masks, bracelets, and table runners.
Drugs are heavily available in this town and surrounding villages. Marijuana and Cocaine flourish here like the sewage in the lake. Many Guatemalan City youth party goers come to San Pedro to party like its 1999. San Pedro is a hippie town. I don't understand why some people will come all the way here to do drugs. Couldn't you do it at home? It gives the place a bad image.
Most restaurants we ate at are foreign-owned...(Expatriates)...There is heavy presence of European, Israeli, and Americans here. My guess is that there will be a lot of growth here in the future. This place has yet experienced a real "Real Estate" boom yet. Nowhere close to what Costa Rica has seen.
Be careful of intelligent street kids. Yes there are the poor and starving ones. But, there are also the hustler ones. There will be a lot of price switching and offerings of tours and stuff....be careful. Don't talk too much or you might draw too much attention to yourself. You don't want to be the target nor the sucker.