Daytripper: Getaway-way to Huehue
Poor, sad, Huehuetenango. It would appear that whoever is in charge of the Huehue (pronounced way-way) tourism board has been asleep at work for the past couple of decades—how many people have you heard of that actually want to go to Huehuetenango for tourism?
I ended up going last year for the first time and was pleasantly surprised by the beautiful Parque Central, an unexpectedly lively bar scene, and the friendly folks that I met there. Clearly, these types of experiences are much easier to arrange if you happen to know someone in Huehue. I’d strongly recommend going as part of a visit to a friend. If you don’t have any friends there (and are unlikely to make any before your trip) then Couchsurfing might be a good option to manufacture a friend who can take you to some of the local hotspots. Standard caveats about making sure you are going to visit a reliable Huehueteco Couchsurfer apply.
Getting to Huehue is easy enough. The most that I’ve ever had to wait for a bus (Q20, 2 hrs.) leaving the terminal is five minutes. The bus will drop you at the terminal, but you should make sure that you get out just before the bus turns into the terminal—otherwise you will get stuck inside a labyrinth that makes Chimaltenango look like an eight-lane freeway. Instead, walk in the direction that the bus was going before it turned into the terminal and board an urban camionetaa in front of Agencias Way (Q2) that will take you to Central Park.
While the architecture may not be up to Xela standards, the parks that can be found in Huehue are generally quite nice and filled with trees and creative topiary. If you are a fan of street food there are a couple of rows of carts selling everything imaginable—just make sure to bring some Imodium with you.
If you can’t stay with a friend, then Hotel La Sexta (Q90-125) is your best bet and is close to most of the action 6 Ave 4-29. Close to La Sexta you’ll be able to find most of the Huehue action: Kaktus Disco 6 Calle 6-38 is a disco that made me think of La Rumba. Next door to Kaktus you’ll find a bar called La Biblioteca. (NOTE: When asking locals where La Biblioteca is, make sure they point you towards the bar and not the municipal library). La Biblioteca is swank, with leather couches and the fullest bar I’ve seen in the entire country. Finally, even though the annual Ferias Julias finished last month, you might still be able to find a couple of the mechanical bulls lying around at a random bar. Learn from our experience: the bulls are fun, but alcohol produces overconfidence and you’ll wake up sore the next day.