- 4 hours (Approx.)
- Hotel pickup offered
- Mobile ticket
Visit this folk saint venerated in various forms by Maya people in the highlands of Western Guatemala. You will visit the shrine, and most days will see local priests asking for favors. Drinking alcohol and smoking with Maximon is part of the ritual. This is truly a unique cultural experience. You are welcome to have a drink and a smoke and be a part of the experience.
- Informative, friendly and professional guide
- Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience
- Professional guide
- Hotel pickup and drop-off (selected Panajachel hotels only)
- Food and drinks
- Alcoholic drinks (available to purchase)
Your centrally located Panajachel hotel
Returns to original departure point
Depending on who you ask, Maximón is Satan, a Catholic saint, or a relic of the pre-colonial Mayan religion. Everyone can agree on what he looks like, at least: He’s a dapper, mustachioed gentleman in a black suit and sombrero. You'll never mistake him because he's always smoking a cigarette or large cigar, and his houses of worship are filled with burning candles, bottles of rum or Quetzalteca grain alcohol, and other offerings from his supplicants.
Santiago Atitlan is where the worship of Maximón (pronounced Ma-shi-mon in Mayan dialects) takes its most ancient and indigenous form.
Since Maximón is both a remnant of an old faith and a figure venerated by many Catholics, his altars are crowded with all kinds of conflicting imagery—icons of the Virgin Mary, but also taxidermied animals hanging from the low ceiling. The priests who speak to him in the Tz'utujil Maya dialect remain constantly drunk off of Quetzalteca (a necessary part of the process), and the air is choked with cigar and cigarette smoke.
The origins of his cult are not very well understood by outsiders to the different Mayan religions, but Maximón is believed to be a form of the pre-Columbian Maya god Mam, blended with influences from Spanish Catholicism. It has been suggested that the name Maximón is a combination of Simón and Max, the Mam word for tobacco.
Hotel pick-up is offered for this tour. Note: if you are booking within 24 hours of the tour/activity departure time, we cannot guarantee hotel pick-up. Once your purchase is complete, we will send you complete contact information (phone number, email address, etc.) for our local operator to organize pick-up arrangements.
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- A minimum of 02 people per booking is required
- Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
- Children must be accompanied by an adult
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.