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.
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.
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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