Centro Cultural la Azotea
Jocotenango lies just 3.5 kilometers northwest of Antigua. A pretty, pink stucco church adorns the main square. In colonial times, the town served as the official entry point into neighboring Antigua.
The town’s main attraction is La Azotea Cultural Center (Calle del Cementerio, Final, 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 8:30 a.m.–2 p.m. Sat., $4 adults, $0.85 children), which functions as a three-in-one coffee, costume, and music museum.
The music museum, Casa K’ojom (www.kojom.org) features a wonderful assortment of traditional Mayan musical instruments, including marimbas, drums, a diatomic harp, and flutes in addition to masks and paintings collected by its dedicated administrator, Samuel Franco. There is also an audiovisual room where you can watch a video on traditional music as it would be played in Mayan villages. Traditional costumes and crafts of the Antigua Valley are exhibited in a separate room dedicated to Sacatepéquez department.
The adjoining Museo del Café covers the history and evolution of coffee cultivation and is available as a self-guided or guided tour. You can see coffee beans in varying stages of production from recently harvested to fully roasted. The well-illustrated displays include information on wet and dry mills, some old roasters, and machinery. You can then tour an actual plantation on-site. There is also a shop where you can buy CDs, DVDs, handicrafts, and of course, coffee.
Also found here is the Establo La Ronda (tel. 7831-1120, www.centroazotea.com), where you can ride around the grounds on horseback for an hour in the mornings ($3). Call ahead.
Getting to Centro Cultural la Azotea
You can get to Jocotenango by taking any Chimaltenango-bound bus leaving from Antigua’s bus terminal. Buses leave every 20 minutes; you can also take a tuk-tuk or taxi.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com