Quebec - Patagonia 2017-2019

(North and Central America)
unknown length - solo travel - Suzuki DR650 moto

Verapaz Department

November 11, 2018  —  Guatemala 2
Rió Chixoy - Guatemala

Alta Verpapaz et Baja Verapax are two mountainous departments in the centre of the country. This region is populated by the Rabinal Maya, a group known for its warlike abilities. When the Spanish arrived, they had a lot of difficulties in defeating these people. In fact, they didn't succeed.

It's the friar Bartolomé de las Casas who convinced the Spanish to accept a 5 years' truce with the Mayans. During that time, the friar and its brethren converted and pacified the Mayans. The region was renamed Verapaz, meaning True Peace. The Mayans of the area are still very traditional.

Rió Chixoy - Guatemala
Rió Chixoy - Guatemala
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San Cristóbal Verapaz

San Cristobal Verapaz - Guatemala

It's not a touristy town, but it's an excellent place to stop and relax for a while. Built on the shore of Lake Chichoj, it's a wonderful opportunity to sit in the central plaza and chat with a local, or walk to some nice viewpoints over the town.

San Cristobal Verapaz - Guatemala
Central Plaza.
San Cristobal Verapaz - Guatemala
San Cristobal Verapaz - Guatemala
El Calvario.

El Calvario is a church at the top of a hill where the views on the town are very nice.

San Cristobal Verapaz - Guatemala
El Calvario.
San Cristobal Verapaz - Guatemala
El Calvario.
San Cristobal Verapaz - Guatemala
San Cristobal Verapaz - Guatemala
San Cristobal Verapaz - Guatemala
Public park on the lake shore.
San Cristobal Verapaz - Guatemala
Early in the morning.
San Cristobal Verapaz - Guatemala
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Biotopo del Quetzal

This park protects, among others, the habitat of the quetzal. It's the national bird of Guatemala, and it is considered as an icon of freedom. The quetzal was revered by the Mayans.

The site only has one trail through a cloud forest, leading to a nice viewpoint and to a small waterfall. I didn't see any quetzal in the park. They are very rare in the region, and I was not in the best season to see it.

Biotopo del Quetzal - Verapaz - Guatemala
Biotopo del Quetzal - Verapaz - Guatemala
Biotopo del Quetzal - Verapaz - Guatemala
Biotopo del Quetzal - Verapaz - Guatemala
Biotopo del Quetzal - Verapaz - Guatemala
Biotopo del Quetzal - Verapaz - Guatemala
Biotopo del Quetzal - Verapaz - Guatemala
Biotopo del Quetzal - Verapaz - Guatemala
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Salto de Chilascó

Salo de Chilascó - Verapaz - Guatemala

Apparently, it's the highest waterfall in Central America with its 130 metres. Well hidden in the forest, the cascade is impressive.

Salo de Chilascó - Verapaz - Guatemala
Salo de Chilascó - Verapaz - Guatemala
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El Trapíche

San Jeronimo - Verapaz - Guatemala

A trapiche is a traditional mill used to extract juice from sugar cane. The word also applies to the whole installation.

It's still possible to see canalizations that was bringing the water to the mill.

San Jeronimo - Verapaz - Guatemala
San Jeronimo - Verapaz - Guatemala
San Jeronimo - Verapaz - Guatemala
San Jeronimo - Verapaz - Guatemala
San Jeronimo - Verapaz - Guatemala
San Jeronimo - Verapaz - Guatemala
San Jeronimo - Verapaz - Guatemala
San Jeronimo - Verapaz - Guatemala
San Jeronimo - Verapaz - Guatemala
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Divers

San Jeronimo - Verapaz - Guatemala
San Jeronimo, the town with the mill El Trapíche
Salamá - Verapaz - Guatemala
The capital of Baja Verapaz.
Verapaz - Guatemala
Verapaz - Guatemala
They are many of these magnificent trees in bloom.