It took around 5h to get from Coban to the little mountain village of Santa Maria Nebaj. The journey was incredibly picturesque along narrow streets through mountains and valleys, over rivers, through forests and even through clouds! At one point you weren`t able to see anything going through a fairly big cloud. No idea how the driver managed to stay on the road … The curves made us sleepy and besides enjoying the landscape we took a little nap from time to time.
Upon arrival at Nebaj, the first thing I noticed, were the busy streets around the bus terminal. Buses stop and leave from close to the central park were the market is located, too. Nebaj is famous for its Thursday and Saturday market days! Vendors from all over Guatemala head towards the little village in order to take part.
The central park is a relaxed green plaza in the middle of the village. Ice cream vendors and jewellery makers gather here and it`s the spot to hang out for both, locals and travellers. However, we didn`t see many tourists or backpackers around town. Only few make it to this remote part of the country.
Next time I was to go back, I would definitely go on a 6 day hiking adventure with Quetzaltrekkers from Santa Maria Nebaj to Todos Santos Cuchumatan – I loved the nature surrounding Nebaj and am a big fan of the NGO Quetzaltrekkers. Their guides are all volunteers and all money raised goes into local communities and supports schools. Click here to find out more. We were lucky enough to get to hike with them once, but for more on that click here. Next time in Guatemala though, I will definitely do the 6 day hike – I promised.
We enjoyed our 2-day stay in the mountains and especially loved our hotel – it has a lush rooftop terrace (pretty unofficial though) which offers great views!
I`m planning a big blogpost on all the accommodation we used and the route we took for later this year.
After 2 days of fresh mountain breeze, we headed to the big city of Quetzaltenango – known as Xela. Microbuses from near the market area leave when full and head to the busy town of Santa Cruz del Quichè where locals will eagerly try to help you and put you and your luggage on the right bus to the destination desired.
After 6 hours, one bus change, a traffic jam and a wee on a local toilet in the middle of a cornfield (there actually was a toilet!) we made it to Xela. Pretty exhausted and ready for a shower, we took a taxi from the main road for around 3 Euros to our hostel.
Click here for more info on our stay in Xela. (coming soon)
Have you been to Guatemala before and explored some of the numerous traditional villages? Share your experience and pictures using my hashtag #jotravelholic
Love, Jo ♥