Iximche is located 3 km south of Tecpan in Chimaltenango Guatemala. This adventure to visit Iximche began along the shores of Lake Atitlan at Panajachel. After spending a month at Panajachel I was ready to see some history and culture in Guatemala. My friend Wade joined me on the day trip and our pal Allen provided some information regarding transportation options. Chicken buses are a popular means of transportation in Guatemala.
We met early on a Tuesday morning to catch a chicken bus to Solola. The process was simple. We would ask each arriving bus if it was going to Solola. The third bus was heading to Solola. So we boarded and and found seat in a nearly empty bus. The ride was not long but had some great views of the lake. This first leg of the trip only cost $3.50 q or about 44 cents usd. This first bus to Solola drop us off at the main square. We quickly found the next bus bound to Los Encuentros. This leg of the trip cost $5 q or about 63 cents. This was a longer ride than the first. We got dropped off in town on the highway at a major intersection. Use care here if you need to cross the road.
We quickly and easily found the next bus headed towards Tecpan. This was the most expensive leg of the trip and cost $25 q or about $3.17 usd. This was a more exciting ride through the mountains. You actually need to hold on. The bus attendant alerted us of our stop for Tecpan at an intersection along the highway. Here we took a break for coffee at Alblergues de Tecpan and relaxed before beginning a walk to the city of Tecpan. It would take about one hour to walk from this location to Iximche. The walk to town was short and we found a moto taxi within about 15 or 20 minutes.
The tuk-tuk ride to the Iximche was uneventful but took a while due to a funeral along the way. The moto taxi ride cost $10 q or about $1.26 usd. So all together one way the transportation costs was $43.50 q or about $5.52 usd. This was an easy trip and even those with very limited Spanish should be able to arrange this trip. Taking a tour instead would cost $100 usd for the transportation alone. We could have used a private driver for a cost of $60 usd.
The entrance ticket to Iximche cost $50 q or about $6.30 usd. The museum was small but had interesting exhibits and a model of the former glory of Iximche. The layout of the city in the model was impressive. The museum help add context to the visit of the ruins. The Maya-Kaqchikel settled Iximche around 1470 as the capital of a kingdom that managed to control a wide territory. Iximche was a defensive fortified city. Access to the city was possible only through a bridge that crossed an 8 meter (25ft) deep artificial ditch. The surrounding cliffs naturally defended the rest of the plateau. Research has discovered about 170 building within the monumental core of the city.
These buildings include temples, pyramids, altars, palaces, houses among others. I walk the complex for a couple of hours exploring the ruins and enjoying the nice weather and climate. There were other people there and at least one organized tour group. Towards the rear of the complex practitioners of Maya spirituality were performing ceremonies at an altar. However the entire complex is considered sacred because it is the resting place of ancestors.
After visiting Iximche and along the walk back toward Tecpan a local mentioned local moonshine made from corn was available. Of course just like any self respecting hillbilly I had to try a sample. The local shine was mighty fine. The reverse of the trip back to Panajachel was uneventful although the buses did get really packed as rush hour approached. The total price of this adventure was $17.34 usd. I will further update this description soon. Currently my website is migrating to a new server so updates have been suspended at the moment.
I primarily travel solo but you don't have to to enjoy this channel. Working as a river guide during summers in North America I don't earn a lot of money and live close to the federal poverty level. In spite of this I live a rich life on a frugal budget. If you would like to learn more about traveling in Latin America or maybe frugal travel tips visit https://fastfreds.com/travel and if you would like to come rafting with me check out https://fastfreds.com/raft for details.