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The department of Sacatequez and specially Antigua Guatemala, constitute one of the most important tourist places of the country. From the cultural point of view, it is important to mention the most attractive tourist places: archeological sites (mainly the colonial monuments) and all the places referring to the colonial popular traditions. Also, during Holy Week thousands and thousands of people, natives and tourists, come to Antigua Guatemala to observe the beautiful processions which during the entire week go out through Antigua’s roads carried out by hundreds of men and women, and at the same time can enjoy the marvelous colorful dust-wood carpets specially made for the processions to come on the streets. These processions are considered one of the most beautiful processions of the world together with the ones in Guatemala City during the same time.
Regarding the Pre-Columbian archeological sites, we can mention the following: in Antigua Guatemala: El Portal, the various colonial ruins, the Cathedral, and other churches located around the city like La Merced, San Francisco, El Calvario, Belen, Escuela de Cristo, and many others; in Ciudad Vieja: Pompeya; in Pastores: La Cruz farm and the Nanayaca Cave; in Santiago Sacatepequez: the Cerro Alux; en Santiago Sacatepequez: Chacaya, los Pinos, and Santa Maria Cauque; en Sumpango: Los Pinos.
En Antigua Guatemala there are many colonial monuments like the Merced Convent, Recoleccion, San Jeronimo, La Compañia de Jesus, La Candelaria, Santa Clara, San Francisco Capuchinas, San Joseph Cathedral, San Sebastian, the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, and the City Hall Palace.
There are many museums, among we can mention the Santiago Museum, the Art Museum (which used to be the heardquarters for the San Carlos de Guatemala University), the San Francisco Museum, and Casa Popenoe.
In Antigua Guatemala, there are many interesting places to visit which keep images or exhibitions of the popular cultural traditions. Among them we can mention Cerro Mirador de la Cruz, Capeuleu Farm, San Felipe de Jesus, Santa Catarina Bobadilla, Jocotenango, Florencia Ecological Park, Pastores, Santa Ana, San Bartolomé Becerra, Ciudad Vieja, San Antonio Aguas Calientes, San Cristóbal El Bajo, San Juan del Obispo, and Santa Maria de Jesús.
Sacatepéquez is one of the richest departments regarding popular cultural traditions (folklore). It is important to point out that folklore is the result of a mixture of the mestiza culture which joins elements of the prehispanic culture, the Spaniard culture, and the African culture. Due to the fact that Antigua Guatemala used to be Guatemala's main city for many years, it still keeps many traditions from the colonial time. Among them there are many ceramic industries; iron is worked in many of its towns, as well as gold, silver, and jade.
Also, in Antigua Guatemala, Aliening, Sumpango, Santa Catarina Barahora, Ciudad Vieja, and other places, fine wood furniture is made.
Destiny wanted that this territory be located at the middle of the Volcanic Mountains, looking toward the Pacific Ocean. For this reason, it is exposed to the winds coming from the Pacific, but without too much humidity, and since they have came a crossed all the shore place lands, they bring a pleasant warm. The conjunction of these factors, makes the department to keep a very pleasant weather.
The three main volcanoes are Acatenango, Fuego, and Agua. The first to be closed to each other, the third one is a solitaire one, unmarking its power by its own. Between the volcanoes and the mountains an almost circular valley is located, surrounded by not too high mountains, where Antigua Guatemala is located, giving this place an amazing surrounding and beautiful views.
Places to visit in Sacatepequez
A classic visit for those who love to climb but are not really experts in climbing. It is the sixth highest volcano of the country but it has an easy access. There is a rustic place at the top to overnight. It has beautiful forests and valleys. The top is pleasantly cold.
Acatenango and Fuego Volcanoes
They are located together but the second one is in constant activity. Acatenango is the third highest volcano of the country. It is recommended for those that are experts in climbing. It is an unforgettable visit.
Florencia Ecological Park
It is a small mountain farm which was reaccomodated to be a park. It is located close to Santa Lucia Milpas Altas right at a paved road. It has many forests, places for cooking, children games, and resting areas. Its weather is fresh and pleasant.
The Guacalate river is located right at the road that joins Antigua Guatemala with the city of Escuintla. It goes through volcanoes, coffee plantations and pleasant landscapes. It is recommended as an alternative road to go to Sacatepequez.
Cerro de la Cruz
It is the closes walking place to go in Antigua Guatemala. It is a part of Santo Domingo Mountain. It is a very good place for taking pictures since it has a complete view of the city and the valley. It is ideal for walking, photography, resting, and meditation.
Jocotenango Butterfly Site
It is located in Jocotenango, a neighboring town close to Antigua Guatemala, where there is a large exhibition of living butterflies which is imprescindible to see. It is a private place but it is opened to the public. In is only required to pay an entrance fee.
The department of Sacatepequez has a good road system to communicate with many places. Do not hesitate; you will enjoy the most marvelous trip of your life.
Antigua Guatemala, July 25; Ciudad Vieja, December 8; Jocotenango, August 15; Magdalena Milpas Altas, July 22; Pastores, October 9; San Antonio Aguas Calientes, January 20; San Bartolome Milpas Altas, August 24; San Juan Alotenango, July 24; San Juan Sacatepequez, June 24; San Miguel Dueñas, September 29; San Pedro Sacatepequez, June 29; Santa Catarina Barahona, January 25; Santa Lucia Milpas Altas, December 13; Santa Maria de Jesús, January 2; Santo Domingo Xenacoj, August 4; Santiago Sacatepequez, July 25.
Panoramic View of La Merced Church, Antigua Guatemala
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