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San Carlos Sija , Guatemala

San Carlos Sija

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Day Trips Near Xela

Agua Caliente

If you would like to experience a relaxing thermal bath in the midst of a beautiful forest setting, go to Agua Caliente, so-named for the natural hot water spring that surfaces there.  You can enjoy the spring in a sparkling pool or a private bath in the new bath house.  This clean, remote area is perfect way to escape from a hectic day of traveling and enjoy a rejuvenating fresh water bath.  You can find Agua Caliente off of the Interamerican Highway on the route to Huehuetenango, kilometer 230.  Take a left and follow the dirt road for 15 minutes.  On the way enjoy the landscape which makes this area a popular destination for locals.

Market Day

Every Sunday is market day in the main plaza of San Carlos Sija, beginning at 6 in the morning until 2 in the afternoon.  In the market you can find fruit, vegetables, furniture, and the famous Sija cheese.  People come from the surrounding area to purchase goods and enjoy the bustling environment.   

San Carlos Sija, GuatemalaTower of Sija

The famous Sija tower stands in the center of San Carlos Sija, a cultural monument constructed in 1902.  The tower was reconstructed in 1913 after an earthquake.  It now overlooks a modern style park where you can relax, chat with locals, buy snacks and play basketball.

Mountain Mano de Leon and Colojites

Great for a one day hike to see nature and views of the surrounding areas, these mountains that border the town of San Carlos Sija are famous for their wildlife, shape and size.  Many species of plants and animals can be found here, and the walk to the top is an easy 40 minute hike.  Both mountains are favorite local hangouts and frequent destinations of holiday expeditions.  Once in the town’s center climb the road with the mormon church on the right and when you reach the Church of God (Iglesia de Dios) at the top, turn left and follow the trail.

Fair to Celebrate Virgen de Concepción

The biggest and most widely celebrated fair in San Carlos Sija runs from the 7th to 15th of December, in honor of the Virgen de Concepción. During the fair there are traditional dances with colorful costumes, an Argentinian Horse race, basketball and soccer competitions, fair rides and games, and many concerts with various types of music.  At night in the Municipal Hall there are dances with various artists, competitions, and theme nights in which everyone dresses as cowboys or in formal wear. 

How to Get to
San Carlos SijaSan Carlos Sija, Guatemala

The easiest way to arrive to San Carlos Sija (Sija) is by local bus, which can be found in the Xela terminal.  There are many buses that go to Sija, look for one that says Sija on the front.  The ride is 45 minutes and is about Q6 per person.  The bus passes through Olintepeque and continues up a mountain for a spectacular view of Xela.  It then continues straight, passing a left hand turn for San Francisco La Union until it arrives in the town, where there is a sign saying Bienvenidos a Sija.  It is about a 30 minute drive by car.  Once in the urban area continue straight till you see the Ferreteria Reyes (a hardware store) on your right, and turn left to reach the Municipal Park and town center.  There are several hotels and comodors if you wish to eat or stay the night


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