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MIXCO VIEJO

The real name of this site is Jilotepeque Viejo. It is located where the departments of El Quiche, Chimaltenango and Guatemala come together. It was one of the few centers which were inhabited and in operation at the time of Spanish conquest. The knowledge that we have of the site appears for the first time in the work by Captain Fuentes y Guzman entitled “Recodacion Florida “who describes it as a military and religious citadel. The culture of this site begins more or less around the centuries XII or XIII. It is possible that, in the beginning the site may have served to control the economic life of the valley, because the Motagua river crosses the region and during the pre-Hispanic era the river was a route to move trade to Zacapa and Chiquimula. The site is reached through the highway to Las Verapaces, through San Juan Sacatepequez. You reach Montufar, a small village, and you keep on until you reach the bridge over the Pixaya River to finally reach Mixco Viejo. It is 60 Km away from Guatemala City.

 

LAKE AMATITLAN

The lake is 87 km away from Guatemala City. It is around 15 square kilometers in surface. It represents one of the favorite destinations of the people who live in Guatemala City. It is widely visited during the weekends. Guatemalan candy from Lake Amatitlan is famous , among them, Marzipan, pepitoria Candy, milk candy and others. Boats are rented and boat tours around the lake are offered. The festivity of the Patron Saint, “The Child of Atocha” take place in May. It has a cable railway that will take you from “Las Ninfas Park” to the “United Nations Park”. The latter has recreational areas, forests and panoramic view. In addition, replicas of architectural monuments of Guatemala are displayed there.

 

PACAYA VOLCANO

The Pacaya Volcano is located between the departments of Guatemala and Escuintla and for over 30 years it has been expelling pyroclastic material, typical of strombolian eruption. It is 2,500 meters high and it also has a secondary conduct called the McKenney Peak. In addition to this eruption center it has three peaks that are locally known as Cerro Chino, Cerro Grande and Cerro Chiquito (The Chinese, the Big and The Small Peaks, respectively). To reach the volcano take the highway CA-9 to the south and upon reaching Km 37 you take a left to San Vicente Pacaya. This part is a secondary road which is passable year round but during the rainy season (May to October), the use of 4-Wheel Drive vehicle is recommended. After passing the San Vicente Pacaya sign, go to San Francisco de Sales (15 Km). This is where you leave your vehicle. The blue color marks the route for ascent an the green color marks the descent, The average time to reach the “plateau” is approximately one hour and 45 minutes. The descent time is one hour. Caution is recommended because at times, the volcano expels toxic gases.

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