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Huehuetenango

Travel Guide Central America Guatemala Huehuetenango

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Introduction

Huehuetenango is a city in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. The last big city in Guatemala before you reach the Mexican border, or the first major settlement when arriving from. Not many tourists stay over, but it is a great city to stock up on supplies, Quetzales and other city needs.

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Sights and Activities

  • Zaculeu. Maya ruins restored by the United Fruit Company in the 1940s. This was the fortress-capital of the Mam Maya, besieged by the Spanish for months in 1525. There are food stalls outside selling chorizos, tortillas, and beef etc.
  • Chiantla. This little town on the northern outskirts of the city was the base for Spanish silver mining in the region. The church is a famous pilgrimage destination, due to its image of the Virgin Mary, known locally as the Virgen de Plata (Silver Virgin).

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Getting There

By Bus

The Central Bus station (La Terminal) is located 2.5 kilometres southwest of downtown in Zona 4 along 6a Avenida. From here a number of companies operate chicken buses, mini-buses and/or vans (colectivos) to ply the same routes to various places in the Central and Western Highlands such as: Cuatro Caminos (every 15 min, 1:30 hr, Q20); La Mesilla (Mexican border) (every 15 min, 2hr30, Q20 by Transportes Los Verdes); Quetzaltenango (Xela)(every 30 min, 3 hrs Q20); Todos Santos Cuchumatán (every 30 min, 2 hrs Q20); Soloma (every 30 min, 2 hrs Q25); Gracias a Dios (Mexican border) (every 30 min, 5 hrs Q50); Coban (7 hrs, Q40); Barillas (6 hrs, Q50); Sacapulas (2 hrs, Q20); and Santa Cruz del Quiché (2 hrs, Q20). Note that information is not posted in any coherent fashion and it is best to inquire locally around the bus station or in the adjacent market. Local city buses (Rt 11 Terminal-Centro-Calvario) into town are a block or two east at 2 Estacion de Ruta 11 while the taxi stand is on the other side of the market building, east of the bus station lot.

From Guatemala City, Antigua, Panajachel: If going to Antigua take the bus going towards Guatemala City and get off at Chimaltenango to transfer to another bus going to Antigua and Esquintla. To get to Panajachel get off at Los Encuentros and take another bus going downhill (south).

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Getting Around

The city center is small enough to get around on foot, but you can catch a local colectivo downtown to get to the bus terminal 2 kilometres out of town.

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Eat

There are lots of local eateries with deep fried food or tacos (3 for Q10) which won't hurt your wallet too much around the park.

Restaurante Las Palmeras, local and comfort food (hamburgers), good prices and a great view over the main square at sunset. Cafe Museo (mon-sat 7am-10pm, sun 2-9pm), great hangout spot with great coffees, chocolate and a wide menu on food. They offer WiFi too, which in this town is a big plus.

Near the bus terminal is a market with food and a supermarket (Despensa Familiar), further up towards the Interamericana you can find a big shopping centre named Pradera Huehuetenango, with a McDonalds, Pollo Campero and a Maxi Bodega supermarket.

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Sleep

  • Hotel del Prado, Calzada Kaibil Balam, Zona 5, Canton San Jose (Along Calzada Kaibil Balam, the road going into and out of town from main highway.), ☎ +502 7764-9251.
  • Hotel California, 3ra. Ave 4-25, Colonia Alvarado, Zona 5.
  • Hotel Mary, 2a Calle 3-52 (2 1/2 blocks east along 2a Calle from Parque Central between 2a & 3a Ave.), ☎ +502 7764-1618. Comes with light and clean rooms with ensuite bathroom.
  • Hotel Royal Park, 6a Ave 1 (A block west of Parque Central. Along 6a Ave between 3a & 2a Calles.), ☎ +502 7762-7775. Luxury hotel in the downtown area with onsite parking.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet access is widely available. Even most of the more remote areas have some type of internet access available. Many larger areas also have WiFi. All of the Camperos chicken/pizza restaurants (which are numerous) offer free WiFi, as well as many other restaurants and cafes. Some hotels may also offer computer banks with internet access. Just ask and you eventually will find some sort of free access.

If you have a smartphone such as iPhone, Google Android, you just need a local SIM card (roughly Q25) and can start enjoying the prepaid access plans, which generally come in lots of an hour, a day, or a week.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

Guatemala's emergency phone numbers include 110 (police), 120 (ambulance) and 123 (fire). Guatemala's international calling code is 502. There are no area codes. Phone numbers all have eight digits.

The phone system isn't great, but it works. Tourists can call abroad from call centers, where you pay by the minute. It is also easy to purchase a calling card to use at public pay phones. The phones there do not accept money, so to use a public phone on the street you must purchase a telephone card. Typically, the cost is around 8 quetzals for a 10-min call to North America, and slightly more to Europe. Cell phones are quite cheap and calling overseas through one can get as low as $0.08 a min. If you are planning to stay for a while and plan to use the phone, you should consider buying a cheap prepaid phone. Wireless nation-wide internet access for laptops is also available as a service from some companies. Telefónica has good coverage with their PCMCIA EV-DO cards.

Post

El Correo is the national postal company in Guatemala. It offers a wide range of services, including sending cards and packages both domestically as well as internationally. Most Guatemalan towns have a post office, although your best bet is to send mail from a large city. Service at El Correo is improving, thanks to consultation and assistance from Canada Post. Most post offices open from 8:30am to 5:30pm. Airmail letters to North America and Europe cost from Q6.50 and take a week or two to arrive. High-end hotels can usually send your mail for you, too. Expect packages you send through the Guatemalan mail system to take a very long time to arrive. They usually get there in the end, but it's worth paying extra for recorded delivery (correo registrado). Many stores can ship your purchases for you, for a cost. Valuable items are best sent with private express services. Couriers operating in Guatemala include DHL, UPS, and FedEx. Delivery within two to three business days for a 1-kg package starts at about Q500.

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This is version 2. Last edited at 9:13 on Feb 5, 18 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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