It’s been quite a while since we had something new to talk about in Guatemala, so I’m happy to announce the posting of a new tour story from there. One of our writers was experiencing the country with Culture Xplorers, and excellent tour company that deftly balances attentive service with close-to-the-ground experiences.
This three-day Guatemala tour was limited in the ground it could cover, so the focus was on Lake Atitlan and the Quema del Diablo (Burning of the Devil) event in Antigua. It’s a unique festival that ushers in the Christmas season on the feast day of the Virgin de Concepción.
In Lake Atitlan, the tour visited areas preparing for a big feast day, the key people dressed up in clothing they only pull out once a year. Then it was a visit to Maximon, but not the one most tourists see on a standard tour. Rather one removed from the daily bustle, just a saint in a small chapel surrounded by booze, cigars, and cash.
Back in Antigua, the devil was ready and so were the crowds as gasoline doused Diablo and he went up in flames. Families cheered and drunkards shouted as the devil got his due. A festival is just icing on the cake in Antigua, however, one of the most enchanting colonial cities in the Americas. Founded in 1543, the UNESCO World Heritage site draws in visitors with gorgeous buildings that have been restored, as well as shells of some that gave up after one too many earthquakes.
This is a great city for food and drink, in a country that produces chocolate and coffee on top all the tropical fruits and excellent rum. If you let the right tour company be your guide, you’ll get much more insight into it all and visit the purveyors trying their best to do it right.
See the full story here: Inside Guatemala with Culture Xplorers.