San Pedro Soloma, about half way between Huehue and San Mateo IxtatĂˇn, is a small village that will appeal to visitors looking for a glimpse into the local indigenous culture and access to some incredible hiking. The town, which dates back to pre-colombian times, occupies a flat valley once a large lake known as El Valle del Ensueno.
Most the community's residents are engaged in farming maize, coffee and beans as well as raising cattle. Traditional textiles are woven and sold locally as well as exported to Mexico along with other produce, a trade which has halted the trend of locals moving to work in farms in the south.
Many people still wear typical dress. Men wear the white cotton capixay (knee-length pants and long tunic), with a belt round the wait and beige palm-leaf hat. Only the townâ€™s mayor can add a black overcoat to the ensemble. Women typically wore red huipiles but now often wear shorter blouses in various colors.
The townâ€™s fest day is celebrated between July 24th and 30th in honor of Saint Peter. For more information on Soloma visit the townâ€™s website www.sanpedrosoloma.com where, amongst other information, youâ€™ll find a link to a site with poems about Soloma and also a Flickr page full of photos written and complied by the patriotic Zacarias brothers. The people of the local Canjobal culture are very friendly and welcoming to foreign travelers.
There are a number of hotels in town and being only three hours from Huehuetenango it is a good place to break your journey if you plan to continue up past San Mateo IxtatĂˇn. There are a few places to eat as well as Internet cafes and a Banrural with ATM. Buses leave hourly from Huehue on the route north towards Barillas until around 5p.m.
Hiking in and around San Pedro Soloma
Hiking in this remote corner of Guatemala is a great opportunity to take in the wild and intensely beautiful landscape of the Cuchumatanes mountains and the panoramic scenery. You can set out yourself to walk between the towns but you should make sure you are prepared with warm clothes and good directions before you do. Or you can also take advantage of local knowledge and tour agenciesâ€™ itineraries. Adrenaline Tours offers some great tours in this region with buses, food and accommodation taken care of so all you need to do is walk and take in the beauty of Guatemalaâ€™s natural world. They offer a one-day tour from Huehuetenango leaving at 8a.m. and visiting San Juan Ixcoy, San Pedro Soloma and Santa Eulalia. They go to the Aldea Chuzcap look-out point which has some awesome views of the surrounding mountains and the Bacau Mayan alter built above a hidden Mayan temple. Here local religious men perform shamanic rituals every Thursday. Nearby the Bacau is the Pajaj waterfall, an hourâ€™s walk from Soloma. While beautiful and worth visiting it is not as impressive at the PepajaĂş waterfalls two hours south of Soloma. The route follows a mountain path crossing river bridges and at times is quite a difficult trek. See also Qutezal Trekers www.quetzaltrekkers.com for more info on organized tours.
Born and raised in Yorkshire, England, Jo is currently working as a freelance travel writer in Latin America. With degrees in...