Tuesday, November 19, 2019


Xela is the Cultural-Hub and Adventure-Gateway to the Guatemalan Highlands and beyond …. The following images were taken on school sponsored trips by Minerva Spanish School students….

Volcán Santa María
Santa Maria is the highest volcano in the Xela area, reaching a height of 3772m. You can reach the summit in about 4 hours. “The climb up was not easy, and we were covered in clouds the entire time, but the top was amazing. We could see all the way to coast, and had an amazing view of Xela. But the definite highlight was eating lunch while we watched
Santa Aguito erupt.” — Lonely Planet, 2001. View Panorama
Fuentes Georginas
“This is the prettiest natural spa in Guatemala. Here, pools
of varying temperatures are fed by hot sulfur springs and framed by a high wall of tropical vines, ferns and flowers”. “Though the setting is intensely tropical, the mountain air currents keep it deliciously cool through the day”. “Trails here lead to two nearby volcanos: Volcán Zunil (3 hours one way) and Volcán Santo Thomas (5 hours one way)”. “Bring a bathing suit, which is required”. — Lonely Planet, 2001.
This village is set in a pretty mountain valley along a pretty mountain valley road. Famous as a center for making “charmarras”, or thick, heavy woolen blankets. The student trip to Momostenango offers the chance to see a truly indigenous pueblo and their lively market. After visiting the pueblo students visit “Los Riscos”, to see the unique sand-stone rock formations, located just outside of Momostenango.
Laguna Chikabal
“This magical lake is nestled in a crater of the Chikabal Volcano (2712m). The center of Maya-Mam cosmo vision. Laguna Chikabal is an intensely sacred place and a hotbed for Mayan ceremonies.” There are 2 active Mayan alters on its sandy shore and Mayan priests and worshippers come from far and wide to perform ceremonies and make offerings at this sacred place. Fresh cut flowers are among the offerings.
If you want to visit a laid-back pretty Guatemalan highland town with few other tourists in site, San Miguel Totonicapan is the place to go. Totos main plaza has the requisite large colonial church as well as a wonderful municipal theatre, built in 1924 in the neoclassical style and recently restored. Market days are Tuesday and Saturday.
Cerro Quemado
Hike the volcanic rock formations of Cerro Quemado, where one can view the dormant mouth of this ancient volcano, and enjoy panoramic views of Quetzaltenango and the agricultural valley of Almolonga.
Chichicastenango – Lago Atitlán
Both are popular gathering places for tourists. Weekend tour begins with a stop-over at the market in Chichicastenango on Saturday and then on to Panajachel and Lago Atitlán.
Includes boat ride around the lake and visits to local indigenous pueblos along the lake.
Abaj Takalik
Located South-West of Quetzaltenango, was an ancient trading city of the Olmec, Maya, and Monte Alto cultures. Abaj Takalik predates Tikal and was prominent in the Middle Pre-classic period (800-300 BC). Large “Olmecoid” stone heads have been discovered along with many other objects.
The site has yet to be restored. However, if you’re fascinated with archaeology and want to witness the discovery as it unfolds, its deffinitely worth the visit.