Fodor's Expert Review Pascual Abaj


Local shamans lead villagers in special rites at this site whose name translates as "stone of sacrifice" perched on a hilltop south of town. The shrine is dedicated to Huyup Tak'ah, the Mayan god of the earth, who receives offerings of flowers, incense, liquor, and, occasionally, slaughtered chickens. Because it's one of the most accessible of the highland shrines, Pascual Abaj often attracts travelers eager to see these rituals firsthand. Be as unobtrusive as possible, and always ask permission before taking photos. (The answer will almost always be no, though.) To see the shrine, follow 9 Calle until you see the signs for the narrow footpath up the hill. Boys hanging around the Parque Central will offer to guide you to the shrine for a small fee, and can tell you when the rituals will take place. Robberies of tourists have occurred along the route, so we recommend using the services of the official red-vested INGUAT guides instead. There is a mask factory on-site.

Quick Facts

Chichicastenango, Quiché  14006, Guatemala