Posts Tagged ‘Departamentos’

Gastronomy from Petén

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Las Mesitas Festival Gastronomico

Las Mesitas Festival Gastronomico

Allow me to show you something that got me very excited today!
I found a small note on a gastronomic festival in Petén, Guatemala’s largest province and with the largest remaining forests.

I’ll sum it up for you

In the spring of 1525, Hernan Cortes (one of the Conquistadors) army en route to Honduras crossed the Petén region, where they were fed by the surrounding jungle; they ate Zapotes. In Tayazal, capitol city of the Itza they were invited by King Canek to a banquet where they ate palmito soup, coshan asado, empanadas de siquinche, tamales, bollitos de chaya, caldo de chayuco, tortillas de ramon mixed with majunches, deer meat, tepezquintle, armadillo, iguana, pizote, mapache, wild boar and different birds meat and local fish and of course frijoles (beans) to finish the meal with a local tobacco cigar.
In 1847, as a result of a war in the Yucatan Peninsula, there was a migration to the Petén lands from the Yucatan, and this came to influence Petén’s gastronomy: Stomach (cow’s) bouillon, gallina en col, gandinga, estofado, salpicon, escabeche de costilla de cerdo (pig’s rib), tepezcuintle en pibil (barbecue), atole de macal, biscotela, longaniza, etc.

This 7 December, in the towns of Flores, and San Francisco, Petén, there is a gastronomic festival called Las Mesitas, where you can find all kinds of these regional dishes and drinks.

From Guatemala’s news paper Prensa Libre.

The only thing I have to regret is not having known about this gastronomic festival last December I was in Petén.
For sure I will not miss this one. Who’s coming!?

Tecuamburro Volcano

Monday, February 24th, 2014

This volcano is located in the province of Santa Rosa, South/East of Guatemala City, roughly an hour and a half drive.
The summit is covered by large trees, which obstruct most of the view. This, as many other important Guatemalan volcanoes, is inside a private property, surrounded by coffee trees. This month (February) is great for visiting the area. Coffee grains are ripe, and you should try picking them on your way and eating them. They are incredibly sweet and chewing the seed becomes addictive. There is a sulfur lagoon short from the summit of the volcano. This is great to exfoliate your skin, of course, if you don’t mind the smell of rotten eggs. And the lagoon is accessible by car, a few steps on the side of the road. Oh, one more thing; avocado trees are abundant in the area and they give a very delicious fruit. I spent some time collecting a few of them, which where great. Just bring salt, limes and a few tortillas and you’ll have a exquisite snack on your road up the volcano.

San Antonio Aguas Calientes

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Let me share a couple of images from San Antonio Aguas Calientes, Sacatepéquez, a very small and peaceful town no more than 10 minutes drive from La Antigua Guatemala. This is a municipality worth exploring. I myself ended up at a lagoon not known by many Guatemalans who live not a far drive from the area and surprisingly I was able to observe some bird species I thought only to be found on the few wild life sanctuaries of the country. And they have this free entry small Mayan Costumes museum very conveniently located next to the town’s plaza.

Laguna San Antonio Aguas Calientes, Sacatepequez

Laguna San Antonio Aguas Calientes, Sacatepequez

A day at La Reunion Golf Resort in Alotenango

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

First I have to clarify: people who recommended me this location for breakfast told me it was in La Antigua Guatemala. No! It is not in La Antigua Guatemala, is on the neighboring municipality; Alotenango.
Breakfast is nothing that would blow out your taste buds, it is just another “Pastiche” Guatemalan Breakfast.
And it is way overpriced. But, but, the view, the location makes it worth the price. Shhh, or you can just go in and don’t consume anything and enjoy the installations, they will not notice.

As I say all the time: Do talk to the locals. I spend some time talking to a local landscaper and he offered a ride on his “mule”, a landscaping vehicle. He tells me about the local fauna around the resort. We’ve seen skunks, armadillos, coaties, wild boar, deer, etc.
And have you seen Quetzals? I asked.
Yes, we have seen Quetzals in the area he replies. Quetzal are very rare and usually you have to go a a reservation to see them, if you are lucky.
Hector even invited me to go hunting with him sometime. He lives very close to the resort, in the neighboring village.
Overpriced Breakfast

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Driving the ball

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The golf course

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A thatch roof

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Thatch Roof
Today let me repost something by GDP contributor Arturo Godoy, now showing a beautiful image of a Thatch Roof at the hotel I was staying for my honeymoon.

Thatch roofs are very nice and in the hottest of days, they do help in providing a very refreshing shelter. The ancient Maya of Petén of the lowlands (Petén, Belize and Southern Mexico) used the Guano palm (Sabal morrisliana) a lot for roofs and possibly for other stuff. It is still used today by plenty of people.

But if you end up living in Petén and if you want your Guano thatch roof make sure that the person/entity you are buying it from has the proper harvest and transportation licenses. These kinds of licenses are only given by CONAP (Consejo Nacional de Áreas Protegidas – National Council for Protected Areas)

And, just fyi, make sure that the people building the thatch roof do know how to build it properly, because there are specific angles to consider as well as some other details. Should you not hire the right people, then the roof can rot in less than a year! You really want such an investment to last as much as possible, right?

“Pan de Xela”

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

Xelajú, Guatemala’s second largest urban center, known as “Xela” by most Guatemalans who refuse to pronounce the entire name “Xelajú” is famous for its delicious “Pan” (bread).
A friend of mine came from Xelajú tonight and he brought me some “Pan de Xela”. I was supposed to save it for tomorrow’s breakfast but Eli could not wait.
Here we feature “Shecas” (the flying saucer looking one) with anise seeds, “Bolas de Berlin” (round ones stuffed with Manjar), and last we have “Pan de Manzana” (apple marmalade stuffed bread, the long ones).
Oh, I so wish I had a cup of Antigua’s coffee and I’ll be in Nirvana.
Xelajú's Bread

Honeymooning in Guatemala: All inclusive-ing

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

I only know of two other All Inclusive resorts, besides this one, here in Guatemala.
You can’t go wrong with them. After consuming half my body weight in four days and drinking more than 100 “grown up” drinks I think I got my money’s worth. The view is free, and temperatures don’t go below 80s (F). Can you ask for more for $85 per night? Your Dollars or Euros go a long way here…

Honeymooning in Guatemala: The Fishermen

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Whenever you come to the country; do talk to locals. They are incredibly friendly and in this case,they certainly will let you accompany them on their fishing trips. Be nice and you’ll share great moments with them.

Honeymooning in Guatemala: Parlamas

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

Olive Ridley sea turtles are among the many extinction endangered species here in Guatemala. Some minor efforts are under way to save them from extinction. These hatcheries are common on the southern beaches of Guatemala and I found this single one -I did walk ALL the beach; about 6 miles- where I was not expecting any. Usually, a group of volunteers comes to the beaches at night and finds the turtles nests, they gather the eggs and they have them incubate inside these protected hatcheries.
Olive Ridley hatchery

Olive Ridley hatchery

Honeymooning in Guatemala: Days and Nights

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Five of these at no lower than 86F.

And four of these no lower than 70F.

just showing off to those of you with lower 20s temps…

Highway Food

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

When traveling here in Guatemala, it is very rare to find decent/elegant independently owned restaurants. You won’t have trouble finding chain restaurants or “comedores“.
Highway Restaurant
Here is one of those rare independent restaurants offering great food.
By the way, our two full meals and drinks where less than $17, including tip. We also got two bowls of soup of the day and a cup of coffee not in the photographs, all for the stated price.

Highway food: Michelada

Saturday, November 16th, 2013

This is a Michelada. Ill have a gallery tomorrow when I get back home. tchin tchin….