Region: Alta Verapaz
Geographic Coordinates: 15.483300, -90.366700
Temperature Range: 15.0°C to 25.0°C (59°F to 77°F)
Climate: Tropical climate with rainy season from May to October and dry season from November to April.
Cobán is a beautiful city located in the central highlands of Guatemala. Known as the City of Eternal Spring, It has a mild climate year-round with temperatures ranging from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The city is surrounded by lush green mountains and dense forests, Making it an ideal destination for nature lovers. One of the main attractions in Cobán is its stunning natural beauty. Visitors can explore several picturesque waterfalls like El Salto de Chilascó and Las Victorias, Which are popular spots for hiking and swimming. They can also visit nearby caves such as Candelaria or Lanquin Cave Systems.
Another must-see attraction in Cobán is the Parque Nacional Las Victorias, Covering over 8, 000 acres of diverse flora and fauna including orchids, Bromeliads, Monkeys, Jaguars and more than 200 species of birds. For those interested in learning about local culture and history, Cobán offers several museums worth visiting. The Museo del Principe Maya showcases artifacts from ancient Mayan civilizations while Museum La Merced displays colonial-era art pieces.
Cobán also has a rich culinary scene with traditional Guatemalan dishes such as Pepián (chicken stew), Kak’ik (turkey soup), Tamales de Elote (corn tamales) among others being served up at various restaurants around town. Finally, Coban celebrates Semana Santa or Holy Week where processions take place throughout town with colorful floats depicting biblical scenes while locals dress up in traditional costumes to celebrate their faith. In conclusion, Cobán offers visitors an unforgettable blend of natural beauty, Culture, And history that makes it one-of-a-kind destination for travelers looking to experience something unique when visiting Guatemala.’
- Semuc Champey is a famous tourist attraction in Cobán, Guatemala, featuring a series of turquoise pools filled with crystal clear water.
- The Lanquin Caves are located near Semuc Champey and are popular among adventure seekers who want to explore underground rivers and chambers.
- Biotopo del Quetzal is a nature reserve dedicated to the preservation of the endangered quetzal bird and home to lush forests and hiking trails.
- El Calvario Church is a historic church located in central Cobán that dates back to the 16th century and features beautiful colonial architecture.
- Los Siete Altares Waterfalls are situated on the Rio Cahabón river, comprising seven cascading waterfalls that make for an impressive sight.
- La Poza Verde is a natural swimming pool outside of Cobán surrounded by lush greenery, providing an excellent spot to cool off on hot days.
- The Candelaria Caves are another popular cave system near Cobán known for their stunning rock formations and underground streams that can be explored on guided tours.
- Parque Nacional Las Victorias is a national park just outside of Cobán featuring hiking trails through dense forests as well as picnic areas and camping facilities.
- Agriculture (coffee, cardamom, and fruits)
- Retail trade
- Transportation services
- Small-scale manufacturing industries (textiles and handicrafts)
- Service-based businesses (banking and healthcare facilities)
- The founding of Cobán: Cobán was founded in 1538 by Spanish conquistador Pedro de Alvarado.
- The arrival of the Dominicans: In 1547, the Dominican order arrived in Cobán and established a mission there.
- The construction of the Cathedral: In 1549, construction began on the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista which still stands today.
- The rebellion against Spanish rule: In 1820, a rebellion broke out in Cobán against Spanish rule led by Rafael Carrera.
- The establishment of coffee plantations: In the late 19th century, coffee plantations were established around Cobán and became an important part of its economy.
- Gregorio Chay Chinchilla: A prominent Maya leader who fought for indigenous rights and land reform in Guatemala during the mid-20th century was born in Cobán.
- Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis): Pope Francis visited Cobán in February 2016 as part of his visit to Central America.
- Semana Santa celebrations: Every year during Holy Week (the week leading up to Easter), elaborate processions are held throughout Cobán that draw thousands of visitors from all over Guatemala and beyond.
- Museo del Príncipe Maya: This museum showcases the history and culture of the Maya people, with exhibits on their art, music, language, and daily life.
- Parque Nacional Las Victorias: This national park is located just outside Cobán and offers beautiful hiking trails through lush forests and waterfalls.
- Catedral de San Juan Bautista: The main cathedral in Cobán is a beautiful example of colonial architecture with intricate carvings and stained glass windows.
- Centro Cultural La Azotea: This cultural center features exhibits on traditional Guatemalan crafts like weaving, pottery, and coffee production.
- Mercado Central de Cobán: The central market in Cobán is a bustling hub of activity where visitors can sample local foods like tamales or buy handmade souvenirs.
- Monumento Natural Semuc Champey: A stunning natural monument consisting of turquoise pools cascading down limestone terraces amid lush jungle vegetation near Lanquin (about 45 minutes from Coban).
- Grutas de Lanquín (Lanquín Caves): A series of underground caves filled with stalactites and stalagmites that are illuminated by colorful lights to create a surreal experience for visitors (also near Lanquin).
- El Calvario Church & Cerro El Calvario viewpoint – A small church perched atop a hill overlooking the town offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountainside.
- Parque Ecologico Hun Nal Ye’: A nature reserve located approximately 12km from downtown Coban that offers hiking trails through primary forest as well as birdwatching opportunities.
- One of the most popular sports teams in Cobán, Guatemala is Deportivo Cobán Imperial.
- The team was founded in 1924.
- They have a long history of success.
- They won the Guatemalan National Football Championship in 2004 and 2018.
- Another notable sports team in Cobán is Club Social y Deportivo Carchá.
- The team was founded in 1956.
- They have also had success in national competitions.
- Additionally, there are several local basketball teams such as:
- Los Halcones de Cobán
- Los Jaguares de la Universidad Rafael Landívar
- Rabin Ajau Festival is a significant cultural event in Cobán that happens annually in late July or early August. It honors the indigenous Mayan culture and features traditional music, dance, food, and crafts.
- Feria de Todos Santos is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd to commemorate All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. It involves a large market where you can buy traditional foods, flowers, candles, and other items used for offerings to the deceased.
- Semana Santa (Holy Week) is celebrated throughout Guatemala with processions and other religious events. In Cobán, several processions take place during this week.
- Festival de la Primavera (Spring Festival) occurs every March or April to celebrate the arrival of spring with parades, dances, concerts, and more.
- Feria Nacional del Café (National Coffee Fair) is an annual celebration of coffee production held in late February or early March featuring coffee tastings as well as cultural performances from local musicians.
- Carnaval de Cobán takes place during the first week of Lent with colorful parades featuring dancers dressed in vibrant costumes performing traditional dances such as La Culebra (the snake).
- Feria del Queso y el Vino (Cheese & Wine Fair) is a culinary event showcasing some of Guatemala’s finest cheeses paired with wines from around the world.
- Festival Cultural Maya K’iche’ celebrates Mayan traditions through music, dance, and art exhibitions held every October showcasing different aspects of Mayan culture including language, cuisine, fashion, and arts.
- Pepián – a traditional Guatemalan stew made with chicken or beef, vegetables, and spices.
- Chiles Rellenos – stuffed peppers with meat or cheese filling.
- Kak’ik – a turkey soup made with spices and vegetables.
- El Bodegón de Doña Victoria – known for its traditional Guatemalan dishes such as pepián and chiles rellenos.
- La Posada de Don Antonio – serves a variety of local dishes including kak’ik and tamales.
- Restaurante El Portalito – offers a mix of international and local cuisine, including seafood dishes and grilled meats.
- Parque Nacional Las Victorias is a national park that boasts hiking trails, waterfalls, and camping areas.
- Parque Central is a central park located in the heart of Cobán. Visitors can enjoy benches, fountains, and vendors selling delicious street food.
- El Calvario Park is situated on a hilltop and provides panoramic views of the city and surrounding mountains.
- Finca Santa Margarita offers visitors an eco-tourism experience with hiking trails, birdwatching tours, and coffee plantation tours.
- Laguna Lachua National Park is a protected area where visitors can swim or kayak in crystal-clear waters.
- Semuc Champey Natural Monument features turquoise pools connected by cascading waterfalls that are perfect for swimming or relaxing.
- Biotopo del Quetzal is a nature reserve where visitors can spot the elusive quetzal bird in its natural habitat.
- Candelaria Caves National Park offers guided tours through an underground cave system.
- Kayaking/canoeing/paddleboarding/rafting (depending on location)
- Exploring caves or underground rivers (with guided tours)
- Visiting coffee plantations or eco-tourism destinations to learn about sustainable agriculture practices or local flora/fauna conservation efforts.
Some popular restaurants in Cobán include:
Recreational activities available include: