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City of Cobán

The City of Cobán was founded by the Spaniards in the X.V.I century, more precisely on August 4th, 1543. It is located in the Cahabón river basin. Along an irregular landscape combination of hills and plains. It has a comfortable temperate climate of around an average of 19 degrees Celsius.

This city is mixture of colonial architecture with some German influence. Its main handicraft is silver jewelry. This large town has several interesting landmarks to visit. These include:

Places to visit:

The church of el Calvario:
Located stop a hill 5blocks away from the central park, it is beautiful mirador with a nice view to the city, to which you can gain access by a 1355-step staircase. It was built nearly 150 years ago by the indigenous community under supervision of the Casique Francisco Pop. Next to the church leis a cementery that was finally closed due to its proximity to the city. The Cristo del Calvario is worshiped at this church, effigy sculpted by Quirio Cataño. Every Sunday you will be able to hear Mas both in Kekchí tongue and Spanish.

The Catedral:
Built in 1543 when the Verapaces bishopric was formed. It has beautiful carvings, and to the right on the altar, inside a glass showcase, is a display of the silver jewels sent from Spain right after the city was founded. There are also chandeliers, Mass books and other religious articles.

Vero Verapaces (orchid nursry)
This is a peculiar complete collection, consisting of more than 60,000 specimens from 750 different varieties which includes 200 miniature orchids. There is also a forest formed by giant ferns called “Shut”. Flower post are made out of this root-like bark which are later used to plant the orchids, and also provides shadow. There is also a collection of “Licopodius “ and bonsai trees. It is open to the public from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. the most convenient time to visit the nursery is between October and February, months when the orchids bud. It is located from Cobán.

Its main fair is selebrated from July 31 to Augusto 6th honoring its patron saintas Santo Domingo de Guzmân several activities take place, such as social, religious, cultural and sporting events where the most notable one is the Folkloric Festival Cobân

San Cristobal Verapaz
It is located 20 minutes from Cobân. It was during the colonial period as San Cristóbal cacoj. This villajge is located next to the chichoj lagoon. The curch of San Cristóbal was built in 1652. Its facade is well ornamentd with lobe arches with a Mudéjar influence, and it still has its valuable silver carvings.
The local fair is celebrated from July 21 the 26th, and honors Santiago Apóstol, with several social, religious, cultural and sporting events, as well, as well as the staging of folkloric dances such as Moros, Diablos, Venados, samakety and coxol.

Lachua National Park
This park is located on the northwest region de altverapaz . It has an overall area of 10, 0000 hectares. It's ecosystem is considered to be the best-kept in thy country and therefore, its vegetation is vast and varied, to the point that it contains species that have notyet been documented by botanists.
The lagoon resembles an almost-rounded mirror, with a surface area of 5sq. kilometers and depths that reach 220 meters; its waters are warm and sulphurous, which are comfortable for bathers.

Currently, the park houses almost 6 kilometers of informative trails. Its visitor center has sanitary booths, a circular shelter hut that can house up to 25 people and a cooking place. It also has a park- keeper house and a small parking area. The Lachuâ National Park is located 3hours from Chisec. To reach the park, take the highway that leads to Chisec and playa Grande from Cobân. Entrance to the park is in Villa San Marcos, 414 kilometers from Guatemala city.

Semuc Champey
Located in the Lank municipal district, along the Cahabón river. Semuc Champey is formed by what is known as a natural land bridge 500 meters long. The Cahabón river runs under the rock mass, also know as a siguân. On the top surface of the rock formation, several 1-3-meter-deep pools are formed within a small canyon-like formation made of sedimentary and limestone rock, which is native to the Polochic valley highlands. Its warm very- humid sub-tropical forest characteristics favor a wide variety of vegetation and tree canopies. The most common wildlife are birds, mammals, insects and crustaceans, with a variety of no less than 20 sub-species in each genus.

Access this site is as follows: from Guatemala City of Cobán, then take the road that leads to Lankín (65 kilometers ) through a good-condition unpaved road ( 8 kilometers ) in a 4X4 vehicle or by foot.

Candelare Caves
This place has no equal. Inside these caves, you will fin river that flows through deep into the cave, as well as many small streams and some navigable ones. There are also some pre-Hispanic remains inside, and a wide range of cave wildlife. This place is and ideal one for both cave explores and adventures.

Map of Altaverapaz Department - Coban

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