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Sololá, high above Lake Atitlan and often lost in the clouds, is a wonderful place to visit on market days being one of the most impressive in Central America. The Friday market (Tuesday’s is smaller) is a flurry of color and tradition with people coming from all over the highlands. This is the only town with congruent Mayan and Ladino municipal governments. The men adhere fiercely to their fashion routes and you will see them in riotously patterned pants, brown felt skirts (worn over the pants), bright cow-boy shirts and cow-boy hats. On Sundays the Kaqchikel town elders walk through the streets on their way to church in full regalia and silver-tipped walking sticks.

Services and Eating

Running south along 7a Avenida from the pastel yellow church you will find:

Café Internet charging Q6/hour and open 8a.m. – 7p.m.

There is a dentist surgery and a Banrural with an ATM (open Monday – Thursday 8.30am. – 5p.m.; Friday 7.30a.m. – 5p.m.; Saturday 9a.m. – 12p.m.) and next door the Mexican tacos joint Chileros Taqueria cooks up chicken, chorizo, adobado and al pastor tacos 3 for Q15 ($2). They accpet credit catrds and do home delivery too. Tel: 502-7762-5222.

Opposite there is the Comedor y Cafeteria Santa Ana and next door bakery Rapi-pan with tasty ham and cheese croissants. Further down the road there is a BAM bank branch with an ATM and Western Union.

Along 6a Avenida there is also a Despensar Familiar supermarket, a Holandesa cake shop and a Que Dely fast-food joint.


Hotel Cacique Ralon is a large, clean and well decorated hotel with WiFi, cable T.V., spacious private hot-water bathrooms and big comfy beds. Rooms cost Q125 ($15) per person. Tel: 502-7762-3138/502-7762-4657. Hotel Angel is another option nearby, Tel: 502-7762-3292. On the road down to Panajachel there is Hotel Vista Hermosa, just after the blue hospital, with views over the impressive steep-sided cliffs that plunge into the lake.

Getting To and Away from Sololá

To get to Sololá, take a bus going west on the Carretera Interamericana towards Panajachel and get off as the bus passes through Sololá. If you are coming from Chichicastenango get off in Los Encuentros and take a bus towards Panajachel. From Quetzaltenango you can get off on the highway at the turn off for the lake, before Los Encuentros, and catch another mini bus. In Sololá there is a bus-park at 8a Avenida and 9a Calle, when you’re ready to continue on your journey, with buses running every 20 minutes to Panajachel and Los Encuentros.


Other places nearby Sololá: San Lucas Tolimán, San Antonio Papoló, Uspantán, Sacapulas, San Pedro La Laguna, Santa Cruz La Laguna, Santiago Atitlan, Tzununá, San Juan Comalapa and Chichicastenango.

By Joanne Sykes

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

28 Feb 2010

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