Mayan Ruins accessible by day trip from Quetzaltenango
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Oct 12, 2012 3:06 PM Last Post By: cubisssism_021
Oct 10, 2012 6:04 PM
Mayan Ruins accessible by day trip from QuetzaltenangoHey! I´ve been staying In Quetzaltenango for about a month now doing volunteer work, and my mom and sister aer coming down in about three weeks to visit me for ten days. I want to visit some mayan ruins with them, and was wondering if anyone had any suggestion for any that are closer ( really just dont have time to go all the way up to tikal!). Im trying to balance travel time with what we would enjoy most/which are most impressive! Zaculeu seems to be the best option so far - just wondering if HueHue is a possible day trip and how accessible it is? I have no issue with chicken bussing it but my mom would probably be more comfortable pullman or shuttle. If anyone could give me any advice about travelling to Zaculeu as a day trip, anything to see in Huehue or any villages along the way, or any other nice ruins that are closeish, it would be much appreciated! Really would prefer to avoid spending the night anywhere other than Xela, but will consider if there are some great sights/volcanoes/small villages to explore! For reference they are here for ten days and I want to spend two three days in both antigua and lago atitlan, with fourish days in Xela showing them around, going to the fuentes, maybe hiking Santa Maria or Tajumulco. Since they are here for Nov 1-2, probably go to Todos Santos for the festival!
Oct 10, 2012 10:52 PM
1While Zaculeu is... nifty, it's also underwhelming in many ways. I guess it would make an OK trip, but you're really in the wrong part of the country for great ruins. Like #1 says, visiting living Maya is a much more viable option in that area. Aguacatan is one of my very favorite towns – though very basic, you can also find good accommodation there for an overnight stay. That's a bit up there though.
Another great easy day trip is Chicabal in nearby San Martin. The Mam people in the village are quite friendly as well, though the town itself isn't especially attractive it's worth a visit.
Oct 11, 2012 5:23 AM
Oct 11, 2012 6:32 AM
3Iximche is a nice ruin and easy to fit into your plans. It is just off the Pan American on your way from Antigua to Quetzaltenango.
Oct 11, 2012 6:46 AM
4Takalik Abaj are by far the most impressive ruins near Quetzaltenango, way better than Zaculeu imo. They're no Tikal, but excavations are ongoing which is interesting to see - the last time I was there they were reconstructing one of the calzadas, or main roads that connected the different parts of the settlement. The coast will probably be a nice change of pace weather-wise, too, although as you will have noticed, it rains in the afternoon most days, and when it rains on the coast it really, really rains.
Oct 11, 2012 10:12 AM
Oct 11, 2012 10:45 AM
6I love Chicabal! Already done it once myself, probably do it again soon just to get out of Xela and into the forest. Thanks guys! Sounds like Zaculeu is not such a good idea... Iximche or Takalik Abaj sound like good options. Iximche looks like it would be accessible as a day trip from Lago, or along the way from Antigua to Lago? Looks like there are tours to Takalik Abaj from Xela ( which I will shell out for, as my mother is paying for this hahah) so thats perfect! Ok, will avoid Todos Santos - Im sure Xela will be doing it up anyway. Any other day trip favorites that both me, my teenage sister, and my middle aged mother might enjoy? We are all very active and while I am the most adventurous my Mom would probably love cultural excursions or native medicine or something ( she's very into alternative medicine, was a naturopath, almost became a midwife, etc.)
Oct 11, 2012 11:09 AM
Oct 11, 2012 1:33 PM
8Yes, it's too bad because the festival in Todos IS an amazing event, especially but it's probably not the right mom vibe. Note that it's definitely not just the men who get stumble drunk and dance till dawn; the women do it too, in full regalia (which they then sometimes proceed to pass out in on some part of the dance floor). There won't be anything similar going on in Xela, because this is the yearly festival of that particular town – almost every one in the country goes nuts once or maybe twice per year.There are also events like the crowing of the festival queen which occur a bit before the fiesta itself and are worth visiting.
That area around Huehue in general is really great for the variety of Mayan sub-groups there and the amount of their naturopathic/trad. medicine knowledge.
Oct 12, 2012 3:06 PM
9You posted that, “will consider if there are some great sights/volcanoes/small villages to explore!”
I suggest to go @ a trek in Quetzaltenango as I did, to the two important volcanoes out of 33 Guatemalan's volcanoes around the plains of the country, named Santa Maria and Santiaguito; you can also visit a place with springs in the small town called Almolonga, "La Georgina Springs", in Xela (Quezaltenango), in order to try its natural and medicinal hot waters.
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