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Photos and Captions by Barry Rodriguez

1. San Pedro La Laguna sits at the feet of Volcán San Pedro, one of three stunning mountains ringing the lake.

1. San Pedro La Laguna sits at the feet of Volcán San Pedro, one of three stunning mountains ringing the lake.

2. With cheap lodging, great food, and many Spanish immersion schools, San Pedro has become a hub for backpackers from all around the world. In two days, I saw tourists from at least 10 different countries. And that was at low season!

2. With cheap lodging, great food, and many Spanish immersion schools, San Pedro has become a hub for backpackers from all around the world. In two days, I saw tourists from at least 10 different countries. And that was at low season!

3. Great-tailed grackles can be seen (and heard) all over San Pedro. Their call, which is undeniably fascinating, can also be ear-splitting and raucous.

3. Great-tailed grackles can be seen (and heard) all over San Pedro. Their call, which is undeniably fascinating, can also be ear-splitting and raucous.

Click here to see a video of a grackle call.

4. There were lots of hand-made goods and jewelry on display. Too bad I stopped buying souvenirs years ago!

4. There were lots of hand-made goods and jewelry on display. Too bad I stopped buying souvenirs years ago!

5. The San Pedro docks welcome ships arriving from other towns on the lake.

5. The San Pedro docks welcome ships arriving from other towns on the lake.

6. Lake Atitlán is notable for its constantly changing waterline. Many unwitting restaurant and hotel owners have set up shop on “prime” waterfront property, only to watch their businesses be consumed by rising waters a couple of years later.

6. Lake Atitlán is notable for its constantly changing waterline. Many unwitting restaurant and hotel owners have set up shop on “prime” waterfront property, only to watch their businesses be consumed by rising waters a couple of years later.

7. San Pedro is home to a large indigenous population. Every morning hundreds of wives, mothers, and housekeepers line the shore to do laundry. Sorry, ladies, I didn’t see any men washing clothes.

7. San Pedro is home to a large indigenous population. Every morning hundreds of wives, mothers, and housekeepers line the shore to do laundry. Sorry, ladies, I didn’t see any men washing clothes.

8. A fisherman prepares to catch breakfast at sunrise.

8. A fisherman prepares to catch breakfast at sunrise.

9. Speedboat taxis are the most common method of transportation between different lakeside villages. If you’re taking one, just be sure to go earlier in the day. When the lake is whipped up by afternoon winds, it can be a very bumpy ride.

9. Speedboat taxis are the most common method of transportation between different lakeside villages. If you’re taking one, just be sure to go earlier in the day. When the lake is whipped up by afternoon winds, it can be a very bumpy ride.

10. The color of Lake Atitlán’s water is stunning. It’s absolutely worth a visit the next time you find yourself in Guatemala!

10. The color of Lake Atitlán’s water is stunning. It’s absolutely worth a visit the next time you find yourself in Guatemala!