Departing from Coban (pictured above), and up until the small market town of Santa Cruz Verapaz, the road remains in good condition. At this junction in the road, those heading straight to Guatemala City would carry on along the C-14 which would have them back in the capital in another 5 to 6 hours.
For those heading to the Nebaj Triangle, Chichicastenango and / or Quetzaltenango, it’s a case of turning right which is pretty much when road conditions take a turn for the worse. For the next 90 minutes or so it’s a bumpy journey along an unmade road, the only saving grace being the beautiful scenery which, at the slow speeds you will be going, you certainly won’t miss. Then, without any warning, the juddering stops, the tarmac returns and life is good again.
Approximately 3 hours after leaving Coban one reaches Sacapulas. From here, a road leads due south towards Lake Atitlan and, en-route, the famous market town of Chichicastenango which can be reached in approximately 2 hours from the turning. Please note however that the market only place on a Thursday & Sunday.
However, returning to our drive to our original plan, instead of heading south, turning off the main road and heading north takes one high into the Guatemalan Highlands and the famous Nebaj Triangle, an area known for its traditional, indigenous culture and stunning mountain scenery. At the heart of this region is the town of Nebaj itself, an approximate hour plus drive from the aforementioned turn-off.
However, the best accommodation in the area isn’t in Nebaj itself but in nearby Acul, a further 30-minute drive, where a beautiful Alp-like valley is home to a couple of working farms that also provide visitor accommodation. Of the 2, our recommendation would be the delightful Mil Amores.
Next up, we look at the onward journey from Acul to Guatemala City. For details of Stage 1, from Flores to Coban, please click here.
Travel Beyond The Ordinary