"K'iche Outpost" Nahualá by Hopkid

Nahualá Travel Guide: 0 reviews and 3 photos


Nahuala wasn't in my Lonely Planet guidebook as a destination. Luckily our friends had an outdated guidebook from when they had lived in Guatemala City back in the late 1980s. Nahuala is located on Highway 1 between Los Encuentros and Quetzaltenango (Xela). We went on a Sunday after spending most of the day at the market in Chichicastenango because it was also market day in Nahuala and it wasn't too far out of our way back to our base in Panajachel.

We arrived to this medium (for the Highlands area) sized town to find the market mostly closed down with just a few vendors still open for business. Many other vendors were packing up and there were the remnants of a successful market day strewn all over including a few tired (drunk?) souls sleeping on the ground.

Still we parked the car and got out to do a bit of exploring. Our friend's guidebook said that the K'iche here had been very resistant to having non-natives move into the town and that it was only recently that Hispanics were allowed to move in and purchase homes and land. During our visit it was evident that the majority of the population remains K'iche. We were definitely the only non-locals there at the time. The main focus of the center of town, as with many towns and villages throughout Guatemala, is the large parrish church. We were fortunate enough to be there during mass and we could look inside through the open doors. The sight was fascinating with the female parishoners wearing brightly colored textiles over their heads as a sign of respect. We felt like we were in a National Geographic photo essay.

If you're looking for an out of the way place where you're not likely to bump into hordes of tourists going to market day in Nahuala would be a good destination.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Totally native, non-tourist experience
  • Cons:Don't get there after the market ends!
  • In a nutshell:A great experience in the Guatemalan Highlands
  • Last visit to Nahualá: Jun 2007
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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