An Adventure High Up in San Cristóbal El Alto
- Wednesday, March 30, 2016, 1:10
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According to history, San Cristóbal El Alto was founded in the year 1535. At that time it was called Las Milpas de Juan Pérez Dardón, named for a Spanish captain who came to the area with the Conquistador of Guatemala, Pedro de Alvarado. The captain was awarded the territory in the valley – today the aldea, or village, of San Cristóbal El Bajo – as well as the land on the mountain, now known as the village of San Cristóbal El Alto. Toward the end of the year 1600, this huge parcel of land was divided in two, to eventually become the aldeas that we know today.
A little over three years ago, the “Senderos del Alto” Rural Community Tourism Cooperative emerged in San Cristóbal El Alto, with a goal of increasing community development through the promotion of tourism in the small but picturesque village. If you enjoy nature and beautiful views, we suggest taking the guided walks and hikes that are conducted around the mountain. But if you’re looking for rest and relaxation, Casa Xicayá offers cozy accommodations that are also ecological.
You can visit and interact with local craftspeople in San Cristóbal El Alto – as well as acquire their products – just by walking through the streets of the aldea. On Sundays, in the little plaza facing the church you can find displays and sales of the villagers’ products.
During your visit, you can experience the varied cuisine that’s offered by the restaurants in the community. If you want to indulge in traditional Guatemalan food, at Los Pacayales de Doña Ángela you’ll find delicious mole de plátano as well as one of the dishes that’s recognized as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Nation: pepián. At Restaurante Cerro San Cristóbal, not only can you enjoy delicious organic food, but you can also delight in the beautiful vistas of La Antigua and the Panchoy Valley that will accompany your meal.
To reach Cerro San Cristóbal, you can take your own vehicle or use the bus service that’s organized by Nim Po’t, located almost underneath the Santa Catalina Arch in La Antigua – at 5a Avenida Norte #29.
If you want to venture into a beautiful and safe place, breathe fresh air, admire beautiful landscapes, and learn about the area’s culture and natural resources, it’s a good idea to contact the cooperative so they can tell you all about the different community tourism activities that are offered. A visit to San Cristóbal El Alto is like coming across a canvas with brushstrokes of natural and cultural richness that form a beautiful picture – one that’s located almost in the clouds.
Cooperative and information about tours and traditional food:
Facebook: search Los Pacayales de Doña Ángela Comida Típica
Written by: Gladys Claudio
Photo by: Gladys Claudio, Mario Velásquez, Raul Armas
Translation by: Kevin Cole