Back on Highway CA-14 northbound, the next town over is Tactic, 32 kilometers south of Cobán. The turnoff into town is at Km. 183. The town’s best-known attraction is the so-called Pozo Vivo (Living Well), named as such because its muddy waters supposedly bubble up when there are people nearby.
It has unfortunately become very polluted, as it’s a popular destination for locals, who aren’t always environmentally conscious. It also may be dry depending on the time of year. It’s just off the highway directly opposite Gasolinera Tactic, at Km. 184, should you want to take a gander.
A far more interesting attraction is the Chi-ixim church, which overlooks the town from a high hill reached by a steep staircase. The main attraction for pilgrims here is a visit to the black saint of Chi-ixim, also known as El Dios del Maíz (Maize God), to give thanks for ascribed miracles.
On the town plaza, the Cooperativa de Tejedores sells its wares and demonstrates weaving techniques. The plaza’s ornate colonial-era church is decorated on its facade with jaguars and mermaids.
Accommodations and Food
For a place to stay, you could do far worse than Chi’ixim Eco Hotel (Km. 182.5 on Highway CA-14, tel. 7953-9198, $20 d), where there are eight cozy bungalows complete with fireplace, dining room, and private hot-water bath. There’s a good restaurant at the lodge serving sandwiches and local dishes.
Delicious food is also served at the log cabin–style Café La Granja, at Km. 187. Among the menu options you’ll find salads, sandwiches, and Guatemalan specialties.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com