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San Juan Cotzal

Making up the Ixil Triangle’s southeastern point, San Juan Cotzal is an appealing little town, relaxed and happy with its place beneath the towering Cuchumatanes. Nothing much happens here and the pace of life is slow. The locals, when not out tending their fields, pass the time of day in the pretty town square, keeping out of the shade on benches under flowery trellises, shooting the breeze.Wednesdays and Saturdays are good days to visit, as the town awakes with the arrival of the market.

Of interest is the community tourism group Tejidos Cotzal which supports local back-strap weavers. Guided tours are offered to see the weavers at work. You can find their office on a corner of the square to the left of the church. URL: www.tejidoscotzal.org.

The Banrural on the square is open Monday to Friday 8a.m. – 4p.m. and 8a.m. – 12p.m. on Saturdays. However there is no ATM so plan accordingly or change money during bank hours.

Hotel Maguey is the only place to stay in town. What it lacks in luxury it makes up for with its homey and welcoming appeal; the family owners are proud of the business they have built. All rooms are doubles with shared hot-water bathrooms and cable T.V. for $5.40. There is a roof terrace with hammocks. There is no wheel chair access as the rooms are up a narrow staircases on two floors. This is a budget hotel so there is no heating for those cold, misty nights, but just ask and you’ll receive lots of extra blankets. The owners don’t like alcohol on the premises.

The Maguey hotel also has an unpretentious comedor on its ground floor offering typical breakfasts, churrasco, menu del dia, soft drinks and coffee. It is basic but clean and cared for and definitely offers the travellers an authentic, family-orientated dining experience. Being the only hotel/restaurant in the village if there are any other travelers in town you would most certainly bump into them here.

To get to Cotzal you can take one of the many mini buses that run from Nebaj all day from early till about 7p.m. The journey takes about 30 minutes.

Neighborhoods in San Juan Cotzal: Santa Avelina,

Other places nearby San Juan Cotzal: Tecpán, Santa Cruz Del Quiche, Sacapulas, Panajachel, San Juan Acul, Chimaltenango , Chajul, Santa Catarina Palopó, San Juan Comalapa and Santa Cruz La Laguna.







By Joanne Sykes

Born and raised in Yorkshire, England, Jo is currently working as a freelance travel writer in Latin America. With degrees in...

04 May 2010

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Santa Avelina

136969The village of Santa Avelina, about 10 kilometers (6 m) from San Juan Cotzal, rests at approximately 1,310 meters (4,300 ft) above sea level and its 2000-strong population is of predominantly Maya ...
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Santa Avelina, San Juan Cotzal, Guatemala
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