Alta Verapaz

The region of Alta Verapaz is based on a gigantic mountain, Sierra de Chamá. Dinosaurs roamed the area more than 65 million years ago before it was engulfed by sea. It later emerged, covered with limestone rock, which over millions of years has left the area riddled with caves, and dotted with small hills. In the far northwest of the department are the mystical, emerald-green waters of
Laguna Lachuá
.

Santa Cruz Verapaz and around

Santa Cruz Verapaz has a fine white 16th-century church with a fiesta between 1-4 May when you can see the wonderful Danza de los Guacamayos (scarlet macaws). This
Poqomchi' Maya
village is 15 km northwest of Tactic, at the junction with the road to Uspantán. The local fiestas are 15, 20 January, 21-26 July with the
Palo Volador
. 8th of December is when the devil-burning dance can be seen. Six kilometres west towards Uspantán is
San Cristóbal Verapaz
, which has a large, white, colonial church. From the church, a 1-km long, straight, road (Calle del Calvario) slopes down and then curves upwards to a hilltop
Calvario Church
. At Easter, the whole road is carpeted in flowers that rival those on display in Antigua at this time of year. There is
Museo Katinamit
, dedicated to the preservation and learning of the Poqomchi' culture.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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