Chimaltenango, Guatemala

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Chimaltenango, Guatemala

Region: Chimaltenango is located in the Chimaltenango department

Geographic Coordinates: 14.662200, -90.820800
Temperature Range: 10.0°C to 25.0°C (50°F to 77°F)
Population: 116642
Language: Spanish

Chimaltenango, A small city in the central highlands of Guatemala, Is approximately 50 kilometers west of Guatemala City. The city sits at an altitude of 1, 800 meters above sea level and has a population of around 80, 000 people. Chimaltenango is renowned for its rich cultural heritage and natural beauty, Making it an attractive destination for tourists. The Parque Central is one of the main attractions in Chimaltenango and serves as the heart of the city. The park boasts lush greenery and beautiful fountains that provide a serene ambiance to visitors.

Tourists can also enjoy local cuisine or purchase souvenirs from the many shops and restaurants surrounding the park. Another popular attraction in Chimaltenango is the Iglesia de Santo Tomas Apóstol – a beautiful church built during colonial times with well-preserved intricate baroque architecture. Visitors can explore inside to see stunning religious artwork and decorations. For those interested in local culture, Several museums are worth visiting in Chimaltenango. The Museo de Arte Indígena Contemporáneo showcases contemporary indigenous art from across Guatemala while providing insight into traditional Mayan culture through exhibits on textiles and pottery.

Nature lovers will find plenty to explore near Chimaltenango as Lake Atitlán lies just outside town – one of Central America’s most picturesque lakes surrounded by towering volcanoes that offer breathtaking views from their peaks. foodies will appreciate all that Chimaltenango has to offer when it comes to cuisine! Local specialties include tamales (stuffed corn dough wrapped in banana leaves), Chuchitos (similar but smaller than tamales), Atol de elote (a sweet corn-based drink), Pepián (a spicy meat stew) among others!

Overall, Whether you’re interested in history, Culture, Nature or food – there’s something for everyone at Chimaltenango with its rich cultural heritage and natural beauty – it’s no wonder why this small city is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination in Guatemala.

Important Landmarks

  1. Iglesia de San Andrés Xecul: A colorful church with intricate designs on its façade.
  2. Parque Nacional Chimaltenango: A national park known for its hiking trails and scenic views.
  3. Laguna Chicabal: A crater lake located in a cloud forest that is considered sacred by the Mayan people.
  4. Cerro Tecpán: A mountain that offers panoramic views of the surrounding area.
  5. Museo Regional de Occidente: A museum that showcases the history and culture of the region.
  6. Ruinas de Mixco Viejo: Ancient ruins of a Mayan city-state that date back to 1200 AD.
  7. Mercado Municipal de Chimaltenango: A bustling market where you can find local handicrafts and traditional foods.
  8. Finca Santa Anita: An organic coffee plantation where you can learn about coffee production and sample freshly roasted beans.

Primary Industries

  • The primary industries and businesses in Chimaltenango, Guatemala are:
    1. Agriculture
    2. Tourism
    3. Textiles
    4. Clothing manufacturing
  • The region is renowned for its production of:
    • Coffee
    • Corn
    • Beans
    • Vegetables
    • Fruits
  • Numerous tourists visit the area to:
    • Witness the Mayan ruins at Iximché
    • Engage in outdoor activities like hiking and mountain biking
  • Furthermore, there are several textile factories that manufacture clothing for export.

  • Noteable History

    1. The Mayan civilization: Chimaltenango is situated in the heart of the ancient Mayan world, housing numerous Mayan cities and settlements.
    2. The Spanish conquest: In the 16th century, Spanish conquistadors led by Pedro de Alvarado conquered Chimaltenango.
    3. The Guatemalan Civil War: During Guatemala’s civil war from 1960 to 1996, Chimaltenango was a site of intense violence in the 1980s.
    4. Rigoberta Menchú Tum: Nobel Peace Prize laureate Rigoberta Menchú Tum grew up in Chimaltenango and became an activist for indigenous rights and social justice.
    5. Miguel Ángel Asturias: Guatemalan writer Miguel Ángel Asturias won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1967 for his work chronicling indigenous life, including his novel El Señor Presidente.
    6. Juan José Arévalo Bermejo: President of Guatemala from 1945 to 1951, Juan José Arévalo Bermejo implemented progressive reforms to improve education and social welfare.
    7. Carlos Mérida: Guatemalan artist Carlos Mérida played a significant role in Mexico’s muralist movement during the early twentieth century.
    8. Francisco Marroquín University: Located just outside of Chimaltenango in Antigua Guatemala, Francisco Marroquín University is one of Central America’s most prestigious universities with strong programs ranging from law to architecture and engineering among others.

    Museums and Things To See

    1. Museo Regional de Chimaltenango: This museum displays the history and culture of the region, showcasing Mayan artifacts and colonial-era art exhibits.
    2. Iglesia de Santo Tomás Chichicastenango: A beautiful colonial-era church located in nearby Chichicastenango, known for its intricate architecture and vibrant religious festivals.
    3. Ruinas de Iximché: An ancient Mayan archaeological site located just outside of Chimaltenango, featuring well-preserved pyramids, temples, and other structures.
    4. Centro Cultural Casa K’ojom: An art center dedicated to preserving traditional Guatemalan music and dance through concerts, workshops, and exhibitions.
    5. Monumento al Maíz: A striking sculpture dedicated to the importance of maize (corn) in Guatemalan culture located in the town square of Chimaltenango.
    6. Mercado Municipal de Chimaltenango: A bustling market where visitors can sample local foods like tamales and chuchitos (corn-based snacks), as well as shop for handmade crafts and textiles.
    7. Parque Nacional Volcán Acatenango: A stunning national park featuring hiking trails that lead up to the summit of Acatenango volcano for breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

    Sports Teams

    1. Deportivo Chimaltenango: This soccer team was founded in 1959 and competes in the Guatemalan third division. They have achieved some success over the years, including earning promotion to the second division in 2012.
    2. Club Social y Deportivo Sacachispas: This soccer team was founded in 1996 and also competes in the Guatemalan third division. They are recognized for their enthusiastic fans and have been a fixture of Chimaltenango’s sporting scene for over two decades.
    3. Club Deportivo Santa Ana: This basketball team was founded in 2007 and participates in various local leagues throughout Chimaltenango. Their focus on nurturing young talent and promoting basketball throughout the region is well-known.
    4. Club de Golf La Reunión: This golf club is situated just outside of Chimaltenango and features an impressive 18-hole championship course designed by renowned architect Pete Dye. It has hosted numerous professional tournaments over time, including events on both the PGA Tour Latinoamérica and Tour.

    Overall, sports play a vital role in Chimaltenango’s culture, with many residents participating as athletes or fans at all levels of competition from amateur to professional leagues.

    Cultural Events

    1. Fiesta de San Miguel Arcángel – This festival is held in September to honor the patron saint of Chimaltenango. It includes processions, traditional dances, and music.
    2. Feria del Maíz – The Corn Fair is held in August to celebrate the importance of corn in Mayan culture. It features food stalls, music, dance performances, and a beauty pageant.
    3. Semana Santa – Holy Week celebrations occur throughout Guatemala including Chimaltenango with processions depicting the Passion of Christ.
    4. Día de los Muertos – Day of the Dead is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd with altars honoring deceased loved ones adorned with flowers, candles, and offerings.
    5. Festival del Atol de Elote – The Corn Pudding Festival takes place in December featuring traditional dishes made from corn such as atol (a hot drink) and tamales (a savory snack).
    6. Carnaval de Chimaltenango – A carnival-like celebration that takes place during Lent featuring parades, costumes, music bands playing marimba tunes among others to celebrate before Ash Wednesday when Lent begins.
    7. Feria Patronal de Patzún – Held annually on February 10th to honor its patron saint “San Blas”. People enjoy food stalls selling typical dishes like tamales or chuchitos along with live music concerts all day long!


    • Pepián de Pollo: a traditional chicken stew made with a blend of spices and served with rice and tortillas. You can try this dish at Restaurante La Casona.
    • Tamalitos de Elote: small corn tamales filled with cheese or meat, wrapped in corn husks and steamed. You can find them at Tienda y Comedor Doña Tere.
    • Churrasco: grilled beef served with rice, beans, salad, and plantains. This dish is available at Restaurante El Rancho.
    • Caldo de Res: a hearty beef soup made with vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, cabbage, and yucca root. You can try it at Comedor Doña Licha.
    • Rellenitos de Plátano: mashed ripe plantains stuffed with sweetened black beans or chocolate filling then deep-fried until golden brown. You can find them at Panadería San Antonio.
    • Antojitos Guatemaltecos: a variety of small dishes like chuchitos (small tamales), tostadas (crispy tortillas topped with beans), empanadas (fried dough stuffed with meat or vegetables), pupusas (thick tortillas filled with cheese or pork) that you can sample at Mercado Municipal Chimaltenango.
    • Pollo Campero- A popular fast-food chain known for its fried chicken is also present in Chimaltenango if you are looking for something quick to eat on the go!

    • Parks and Recreation

      1. Parque Central de Chimaltenango is a central park that features green spaces, playgrounds, and a fountain.
      2. Parque Ecologico Los Aposentos is an ecological park with hiking trails, camping areas, and picnic spots.
      3. Parque Recreativo La Cumbre is a recreational park that offers swimming pools, water slides, and sports fields.
      4. Mirador El Calvario provides panoramic views of Chimaltenango and the surrounding mountains.
      5. Museo Regional de Chimaltenango showcases the history and culture of the region in a museum setting.
      6. Iglesia de Santo Tomas Apóstol dates back to colonial times and is an historic church worth visiting.
      7. Feria del Maíz y el Güipil is an annual fair that celebrates traditional Mayan culture through food, music, dance, and crafts.
      8. Río Nahualate Adventure Park offers exciting activities such as zip lining, ATV tours, horseback riding along the Nahualate River for adventure seekers to enjoy!


      Leave Footprints In The Sand.

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