Alux Mountain

San Lucas is a small town near the capital of Guatemala known as a crossroad, a transit city. Coming from Guatemala City, in San Lucas you can continue to the Guatemalan plateau or turn left towards Antigua Guatemala. As soon as you step out of the valley of the metropolis called The Valley of Ermita, San Lucas - a town where life is always alive and moody, a place of live trade and traffic - is at the top of the upswing. Uninteresting. But if you look more closely at what is being offered there, you’ll discover the Alux Mountain.

Alux Mountain | Guatexplorer

And there, on the very top, is a small natural park that is simply delightful.

In the Mayan language, it means the place where there are trolls (elves). In fact, these are the little beings called "duende" in Spanish, the little lively bullfights allegedly owned by each house. It is interesting that in Iceland they really believe in these elves, and they even protected them by law. The Spaniards, coming to the New World, brought similar beliefs with them.

It is not strange to me that the troll legends live here in San Lucas. It is one of the oldest inhabited colonies in Guatemala. Numerous Catholic friars also came with the soldiers who won the new country. They were usually entrusted with the task of organizing civilian life, establishing and managing settlements. Thus San Lucas was founded by the friars Dominicans. During the first century of the existence of this town they decided on everything independently, even though some central government was already founded, but the Friars gained independence in their work.

Therefore, it is not surprising that the place is marked by the Catholic faith: St. Luke, the famous evangelist, is the patron of this town, and his celebration is held on October 18th every year. Residents of San Lucas are proud of their cultural manifestations, and they use the benefits of being close to the capital since there are regular concerts of the National Philharmonic, the National Ballet, the Asturias Quartet and the National Orchestra of Marimba, to name just a few.

The Alux Mountain, whose peak is just over 2,200 meters above sea level, is the pride of the town and its municipal administration. And indeed with a reason. Namely, Guatemala has a big problem if you want to go somewhere and hike; most of the terrain is privately owned, there are almost no public trails and sites. Guatemala is parceled and you can often see fences where it would be really nice for citizens to stay in nature. Sources of water, waterfalls, natural beauties of every kind are - private property. Clearly, apart from the part of public and national parks, which are still scarce.

Alux belongs to the small town of San Lucas, and to enter this park one must pay a modest fee. Adults 10 quetzals, and children only 5. This money is used for a park maintenance, a custody service, and there are many volunteers coming, mostly the students of several surrounding schools. This is a good solution: walking in the park I did not even see the paper on the floor, there are plenty of resting places with beautiful flowers, benches, and tables, and there is also a large barbecue area with about 18 gourmet booths. Everything as impeccably as you are in Switzerland or in New Zealand, countries known for their appreciation of nature.

Along with these features, scary high-rise swings can be used here (over 10 meters long ropes, swings rocking over deep pits), you can enjoy sports grounds and playgrounds, but mostly wander along paths through the picturesque forest. The park resembles a botanical garden because there are numerous types of plants, some marked with their Latin names. Bird species are also represented: from owls to nightingales, from woodpeckers to white pigeons. And then small mammals: from gray foxes and various rodents to armadillos and possums. And then, to make you a little discouraged, a dozen types of snakes, of which luckily only one is poisonous. The Info panels inform you about everything while you go on the trails.

The beauty of the park is that only the tracks are arranged, while the rest of the forest is left to nature. No one comes with a machinery to "beautify" the work of nature. Only resting places and gazeboes have a human hand, but in essence, 90% of the surface is pure nature. The park also has its own police officers who are all educated for fire protection. All in all, this place gives the visitor a meeting with the Guatemalan forest in the best way. The park's presentation is neat but unobtrusive.

In recent years in Guatemala, there are more and more nature parks. Some are created by making private property transformed into the park opened for the public. Yet, it is still not enough: I am convinced that there are a lot of people among the five million inhabitants of our huge urban agglomeration who would like to recharge their batteries on a weekend by going to nature.

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Alux Mountain


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