I wear all black, talk fast, and don't smoke weed. While I do drink kombucha, practice yoga with an assortment of crystals around me, and take a political stance left of Bernie Sanders, I don’t consider myself a hippie. You see, I’ve just visited too many hippie towns around this world where white people with dreadlocks still argue that their hair is self expression instead of cultural fucking appropriation to really feel comfortable in that atmosphere. But if you, my dear readers, associate with the hippie culture, then you do you, boo boo. Two of the crunchiest hippie towns I have ever visited were Nimbin, Australia and San Marcos, Guatemala. If you are debating between which to visit (I doubt you are, but I just learned that some dudes like being suspended from ceilings by their testicles, so anything is possible), hopefully the following information will help you make your decision.
Which Town Is More Beautiful?
San Marcos, without a doubt. San Marcos is a town located on Lake Atitlan, which is a WTF stunning lake surrounded by volcanoes.
It’s basically spring weather all year long which makes it perfect for outdoor yoga, meditation and walking around braless flawless. Nimbin, on the other hand, is a small town (and by town I mean street) in New South Wales and while there’s a good amount of greenery (see what I did there), it’s kind of eh. You want views? San Marcos all the way.
Where Is There More Weed?
Nimbin. Nimbin. Nimbin. I could smell Nimbin when I was 20 kilometers out. Nimbin has a weed mardi gras every year.
The cafes sell hemp cookies (no THC in them, but just ask a barista for a weed cookie and mama will hook you up with her private stash). While recreational marijuana is illegal in Australia, apparently (this is what Aussies have told me) the police just don’t bother with Nimbin because it’s so small and no one really causes any problems. I could smell some smoke in San Marcos, but it wasn’t as blatant as Nimbin.
Which Town Has More Alternative Offerings?
Oof, this is a tough one. San Marcos has a ton of well-being opportunities, including crystal healing, sound healing, reiki, massage, and something called flower energy therapy. You can find most of this in Nimbin as well, but you can also find the holy grail of What The Fuck in Nimbin: Yoni Mapping.
Here is a transcription of the ad:
“Yoni Mapping is a gentle, respectful and nourishing 3 hour private session which is also a ‘Guided tour’ of the most intimate and mysterious part of your body. It’s all about reconnecting with the beautiful, sacred space of the Yoni (vagina) and learning about the infinite potential all women have within us. It includes talk therapy, whole body massage, heart activation, abdominal release work and external and internal vaginal massaging and mapping, with clear communication during the session and lots of fun home-play exercises for later. We also release emotional blockages, find out how your internal sensitivity is, check your pelvic floor muscles, explore the sensation of the G-spot, A-spot, cervix and more.”
So basically, for $300 you can get a 3 hour fingerbang session. Nimbin pulls ahead with this one.
Where Are The Nicest People?
No one in Nimbin is mean, that’s for sure. Everyone is stoned off this earth and couldn’t get mad if they tried.
But I also found Nimbin to be sad. It wasn’t a town with much, um, drive to it. It also wasn’t a town with much depth. Every time we walked past two people on the sidewalk, all they were discussing was weed. Not art, not feelings, not the great curry recipe they just perfected. Just. Weed. I spent an hour there and that was plenty.
San Marcos on the other hand, does have some mean people. I was in a cafe when a girl ordered a chai latte. The barista sprinkled some nutmeg or cinnamon on top and the girl lost her U2-loving white girl shit. “Why would you sprinkle spice on top? Don’t you know I can’t have spice before I meditate? That is disrupts my third chakra?” Meanwhile, I was just sitting there like, “does this bitch know that a chai latte has more spice than that ⅛ of a teaspoon of spice on top?”
But this chick aside, most everyone in San Marcos was incredibly welcoming. Most people are there for yoga, meditation, or reiki retreats and courses, which means most people are there to better themselves. I had more strangers sit down next to me at cafes and start up conversations than anywhere else in the world. This one goes to San Marcos.