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Esquipulas

If you've had your fill of Chiquimula and would like to start making your way towards Copán try jumping on highway 10 and heading south towards the Honduran border. Follow highway 10 as it veers east into the mountains and you will find yourself in the picturesque town of Esquipulas. Named for a Mayan lord who welcomed the Spanish conquistadors into his realm, today Esquipulas is well known throughout the region for its sparkling white basilica which contains a tiny statue of Jesus called El Cristo Negro. The basilica is a popular pilgrimage site for people from all over Latin America, with thousands making their way there way every year. If you plan to visit try and make it during the week when the church will be almost deserted. Weekends are a bit hectic with the devout descending on the town in droves, spoiling the tranquil calm of the basilica with shouting and shoving. Outside the church gift shop a priest armed with a bucket of holy water stands ready to bless your knickknacks free of charge.


Activities for the non-faithful are a bit limited but the Cueva de las Minas cave complex just outside of town and the Chatun nature park on the road to Honduras might make for entertaining jaunts. The park features canopy tours and petting zoo.


But really, as beautiful and serene as it is there´s not much to keep ones attention after visiting the basilica and the adjacent market.


Being a tourist town the selection of accommodations tends to be a bit higher quality, and higher priced than in other similar sized towns like Chiquimula. Also be advised that prices rise dramatically on the weekends and holidays, especially during the devotional festival held during the week of January 15th. Cheaper rooms tend to be found in the streets immediately north of the basilica, but you are safer paying a bit more and rooming elsewhere. Gang members and illegal immigrants from Honduras have been known to frequent these places.


Population:22,300


Elevation: 953 meters


Telephone code: 943

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Other places nearby Esquipulas: Fronteras/El Relleno (Rio Dulce), Chiquimula, Estanzuela, Río Hondo, Rio Dulce, Livingston, Río Lámpara , Zacapa, Anguiatu and El Castillo De San Felipe.







25 Aug 2010

Things to do in Esquipulas

Finca El Cascajal

This coffee plantation has a growing ecotourism business which includes coffee tours, mountain biking (with international competitions), bird-watching and nature trails visiting bathing pools, ...
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Esquipulas, Guatemala

Volcán De Quetzaltepeque

141028 This little-visited volcano, probably due to not being located close to other groups of volcanoes, is an interesting climb (plenty of interesting flora on the way, such as sweet gum trees) and ...
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La Basilica

141030 The Esquipulas basilica was voted by Guatemaltecos as being the premier wonder of Guatamala (according to survey by Banco Industrial) and it certainly pulls in the crowds. As the center piece of ...
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Parque Chatun

141032 Parque Chatun is an all-round family entertainment park about 3 kms (1.9 miles) out of Esquipulas. It\'s not quite Six Flags but it\'s a fun day out. There you can go zip-lining, boating on the ...
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Esquipulas, Guatemala
Mapa
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