Dec 04

TECPAN – Live History

TECPAN – Live History


It is located in the central highlands of Guatemala in the department of Chimaltenango, at an altitude of 7,500 feet above the sea level.


Via land or air from the capital and other departments, marinas and cruise terminals at Puerto Quetzal.


from Guatemala City to the departmental city Chimaltenango : 55 kms. 34.38 miles from the capital to Tecpan 88 km./55 miles.

Estimated travel time:

One hour via land, 15 minutes via air, ordinary buses may drive up to one hour and 30 minutes.


201 square kilometers


the climate is temperate but at this attitude the forests and mountains can be cold.


Inhabitants aprox. 60,000
Ethnicity: 90% Maya Kackchiquel, and 10% Spanish.


Spanish and Maya Kackchiquel


Tecpan signifying “palace” in the Nahuatl language, was the name given to this town by the Spanish conquerors. It is also the location where the Mayan Kackchiquel city of Iximche was founded.

It is here that green mountains and leafy forests stood testaments to the most important historical events in Central America. Today they still welcome the visitors to this area. The warmth and hospitality of the people who live in this area, which was the first capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala, is evident as you immerse yourself in the history of the country by visiting the Kackchiquel city of Iximche and in fact, to this day important Mayan ceremonies are still held there.


Types of tourism: cultural, ecological, cuisine, photography, mountain adventure, wellness and archeological.

Tourist attractions: Iximché its name means “palace of the sacred trees of corn” belongs to the late post-classic Mayan Civilization. This city is strategically situated in an area where the topography of the land protects the area with natural earth walls and deep ravines.


In the fourteenth century the Tzutujiles, the K´ìches and the Kackchiqueles aligned to establish the largest empire ever attained in the history of the Mayas. Their land stretched from the lowlands to the north (Quiché) to the Pacific coast. After a period of prosperity, the three groups separated in the fifteenth century, and thus began a struggle for control of both territories and commercial routes. The Kackchiqueles, a warlike group, separated from the K´iches during this century to establish their own city Iximché.

The Kackchiqueles, without knowing that later they would be the ones conquered, aligned themselves with the Spanish, who had recently arrived. The Spanish helped them defeat the K´iches. After the triump over the K´iches, the Spanish subjugated the Kackchiqueles, and at the same time established the first capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala: Tecpán Guatemala.

In Tecpan you can admire the first cathedral San Francisco de Asis, where you can see exquisite altarpieces and original image.

It is also worth mentioning that here you can also see the last market in Guatemala where people barter for goods instead of using cash. You won´t want to miss it.

Along the highway to Tecpan you will find excellent restaurants and cafes which offer delicious, high quality traditional Guatemalan food, fresh from the farm.

In addition, Tecpan is a place which is coveted by nature lovers, with eco-hotels, nature parks, reserves, and forests, all of which provide the perfect scene for open-air sports.

Also, visit the contemporary Mayan Art Galleries and take home an art investment. The Kumatzin Jay Community Museum displays archeological findings form a genuine Mayan point of view. Don´t miss any of these in downtown Tecpan.

Best time to visit:

All year. From October to February the temperature is cooler.
From March to June the weather is beautiful.
July, August and September is rainy season and it rains almost every afternoon.

Recommended to stay:

2 to 3 days.


In Tecpan you can expect the warmest hospitality. There are eco-hotels, bungalows with fireplaces, family hotels-all of which offer excellent service.

For more information please visit Tecpan  at:

Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish

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