From the Paquix Junction, the spectacularly scenic road heads north to several mountain towns in the heart of the Cuchumatanes. Along the road are some exquisite pastures, which have been grazed since colonial times. Large, gray boulders are also strewn about and the frigid mountain scenery is at once beautiful and inhospitable.
At the edge of the plateau, the road begins its steep descent shortly after passing a local limestone outcropping in the shape of two pointy teeth known as the Piedras de Captzín. The stones are sacred to the local Q’anjob’al.
San Juan Ixcoy is the first village you’ll come across as you begin the descent from the plateau. Its women wear long, white huipiles with embroidery at the collar.
In the vicinity of town are the Los Jolotes waterfalls, which got their name from a corruption of the Spanish word tecolotes, meaning “owls,” which are said to be abundant in the surrounding forests. The waterfalls are part of the Río San Juan, a tributary of the Río Ixcán, which eventually flows into the mighty Río Usumacinta.