fun things to do with kids western highlands altiplano guatemala   Travel for Kids

Western Highlands (Altiplano)

huipil solala
In the highlands, the indigenas maintain the old Maya traditions, especially textiles. Each town has different weaving and embroidery techniques. The highland villages of Guatemala are a great place for kids to shop for colorful woven goodies or wooden toys and masks to bring back home.


    Lake Atitlan (Lago de Atitlan)
    Take a boat trip on Lake Atitlan, a gorgeous lake ringed with scenic volcanoes. Boats leave from Panajachel. Ask at your hotel to arrange for horseback rides through the coffee plantations or cloud forests around the lake too.
    Atitlan Nature Reserve – This reserve has nature trails, a butterfly sanctuary (mariposario) with many different species native to Guatemala, orchids, waterfalls, ziplines, and a visitor's center.
  Artisans towns – Market days are a splash of color, as people come to town to sell their textiles and handicrafts in the highlands. In family workshops and market stalls, you'll see artisans weaving on their backstrap looms.
    Solola – Come to Solola on market day to see people in traditional costumes. Each town has its own specific pattern of weaving; when people congregate at the market, it's a sea of color.
      San Antonio Aguas Calientes – This village is noted for it's high quality huipils, blouses woven on a loom, then embroidered in bright designs of birds and flowers. The workmanship is so fine, the embroidery is the same on both sides!
      Chichicastenango – Go to the market in Chichicastenango to shop for embroidered blouses and wooden masks. Kids can look for masks of their favorite animals.
      Totonicapan – This village is famous for its wooden boxes and toys, masks, painted and glazed ceramics.
      Momostenango – The specialty of this village is blankets and ponchos. Blankets are made with traditional techniques of hand combing, spinning and weaving the wool. The blankets are washed in the natural hot springs, and hand combed to finish each blanket.
    Fuentes Georginas (Zunil) – Relax in three natural hot springs in a tranquil setting surrounded by lush forest. Each pool is a different temperature, so find one you like, soak until your fingers are wrinkled like prunes.
kids books
Abuela's Weave  
Abuela's Weave
Omar S. Castaneda, Enrique O. Sanchez

Esperanza and her grandmother weave something special with their backstrap looms, and Esperanza goes alone to sell their weavings in the market in the big city. Homey settings in the highlands towns. (Picture book)


travel for kids | guatemala | western highlands
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