San Juan La Laguna and San Pedro La Laguna

The villages of San Juan La Laguna and San Pedro La Laguna are located on the western shore of Lake Atitlán and on the base of San Pedro volcano. Both villages are easily accessible by boat from other villages around the lake.

San Pedro volcano
San Pedro volcano.

San Pedro La Laguna maintains a footpath to the top of San Pedro volcano. By tuctuc taxi it is a short ride from the village at 1600 m (5250 ft) to the park entrance at 1800 m (5900 ft), where the foot path to the top of volcano at 3020 m (9900 ft) starts. The trail is located on the northwestern slope, which is relatively dry compared to the southern slope. The first part of the trail leads through dry scrub, habitat of Belted Flycatcher, and through corn fields, habitat of Ocellated Quail.

Agriculture has pushed the edge of old-growth forest to 2100 m, with the highest milpa at 2300 m. Common birds in the cloud forest are Yellow-throated and Chestnut-capped Brush-Finch, Golden-browed Warbler, and Slate-throated Redstart. Tennessee Warblers, Baltimore Orioles, and Western Tanagers are common wintering migratory birds. With some good luck you may see Black-throated Jay, Pink-headed Warbler, Wine-throated Hummingbird, Fulvous Owl, and Horned Guan.

San Juan La Laguna offers birding trails around the village, where Belted Flycatcher and Slender Sheartail can be seen. The trail up to the viewpoint of the Rostro Maya hill (this mountain is called Maya Face, because the skyline of the hill seen from both villages is similar to the profile of a human face looking into the sky) is steep but offers, beside of good birding, a rewarding view over Lake Atitlán.

Access and accommodation: San Juan La Laguna an San Pedro La Laguna offer a variety of hotels and restaurants. Birding hikes are led by locally authorized guides.

When is the best time for a visit to San Juan La Laguna and San Pedro La Laguna? Any time of the year.

How do you support conservation and development in San Juan La Laguna and San Pedro La Laguna? With your entrance and guide fees you support the conservation of the forest at San Pedro volcano. The surroundings of both villages are part of the Atitlan Important Bird Area (IBA GT015), designated by BirdLife International. The identification of IBAs in Guatemala was coordinated by Knut Eisermann and Claudia Avendaño of CAYAYA BIRDING.

Horned Guan
Horned Guan at San Pedro volcano.
Pink-headed Warbler
Molting Pink-headed Warbler at San Pedro volcano.
Cloud forest at San Pedro volcano
Cloud forest at San Pedro volcano.

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