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El Baúl Hilltop - Ruin Santa Lucía Cotzumalguapa - Guatemala

This site with a glorious half-buried giant head and a clearly preserved monument is popular with descendents of the Pipil who come to honor their ancestors and their Gods in the old ways. At the weekend, it is possible to see a ceremony taking place but it is more common to find the remnants of a smoking fire, melted candles, the head and monument scattered with flower petals and the butt of a broad cigar on the ground. The location is beautiful, surrounded by fields and forests while volcanoes Aqua and Fuego hold sway in the background.

It is not easy to find these carvings. On the road from Santa Lucía to El Baúl, take the signposted right fork to Los Tarros (the left fork leads to Finca El Baúl). After a few minutes of driving turn onto the last dirt road to the right before the line of houses finishes. Just down this road, a paved road heads to the left. Park at the end of this road and the carvings are in the fields beyond.

After leaving the dirt track, instead of turning left to return to the fork, a pleasant addition to this part of the tour is to carry on up the road until reaching San Juan Perdida, an old church now stunningly reclaimed by nature. This is the cemetery for the Colonia Maya and the tombs are strewn with colorful streamers and decorations as if in preparation for a fiesta. Amongst the tombs are some simple mounds of dirt with trees or flowers growing from them. This seems, in many ways, to be a far more fitting tribute to life and death than a concrete box and an appropriate reminder of the importance of living in harmony with mother earth.

Santa Lucía Cotzumalguapa, Guatemala


Travel Tips: If going by yourself, then be prepared to ask for directions - lots of them.

Relative price: Free

Travel Skills: None

You Need to Bring: Anything you might want, there are not many shops out here.

Here are other activities in and around Santa Lucía Cotzumalguapa that may be of interest: Bilbao Stones,

By Kathryn
Independent and optimistic, I believe in following your dreams and have been doing just that, traveling the world for the last 9 years. British by...
09 Feb 2010

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