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Museo Cultura Cotzumalguapa - Museum Santa Lucía Cotzumalguapa - Guatemala

In the mid to late 1800’s, land was cleared to make way for a coffee plantation that later became a sugarcane plantation. Many stelae, ceramics and artifacts were discovered; in fact much of the area was the site of a great colony, probably during the classic period, somewhere between 500 and 900AD. However, there is evidence of multiple settlers as early as the preclassic period. Around the grounds, there were three causeways or paved roads that linked Bilbao to other important centers.

The copy of Monument 21 is superb. The original rock had been artificially flattened before the carving began and it depicts a central figure in a headdress, a shaman (to the left) with a hand puppet and a god (to the right). All around the monument are carvings of vines, birds (9 in total) and cacao beans, as a symbol of wealth. The original is part of the Bilbao stones just outside of town.

Other hi-lights of the museum include a sacrificial altar inspired by the crocodile and a carved skeleton. Rubbings of many of the carvings are hung on the walls and make it considerably easier to decipher the often intricate and faded detail than looking at the stones themselves. The photos are of monuments sent to Germany. Apart from the larger carvings, there is also a collection of ceramics, obsidian and smaller sculptures as well. Some fragments of the yoke that the ball players wore can be seen here and a fantastic diagram illustrating how the game would have been played. The giant stone mushrooms are actually giant stone mushrooms.

Augusto Fernandez is the museums’ custodian. He is usually happy to show you around and give explanations in Spanish with the odd word of English, provided that you don’t turn up in his lunch hour (1 to 2 p.m.). If he is not to be found at the office, ask for him at the tienda almost directly opposite the church.

To reach Finca Las Illusiones, turn at the sign off the Pacific Highway, 2 km east of town, then carry on up the track and over the crossroads.

Opening hours from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. (except for lunch), Mondays to Fridays and 7 to 11 a.m. on Saturdays.

Santa Lucía Cotzumalguapa, Guatemala


Getting There
It's a half hour walk from town but the roads are busy so it is safe enough. Easier by taxi though.

Price Description: $3. Payment in quetzals only.

Relative price: Budget

Open Hours from:7 a.m.

Open Hours to:4 p.m.

Days Closed:Sunday

Here are other activities in and around Santa Lucía Cotzumalguapa that may be of interest: Museo El Baúl,

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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