A few kilometers beyond Almolonga  is the spectacularly set town of Zunil. You’ll see the white Iglesia de Santa Catarina gleaming from a distance as it towers above the tiled- and tin-roofed houses around it. Lovely mountains flank its surroundings.
Zunil is one of a handful of towns in Guatemala where there is still strong adherence to the worship of the Maximón idol, as in Santiago Atitlán . The idol’s location is rotated yearly, but it’s easy to find out its whereabouts from any local resident, assuming the local children don’t first intercept you and offer their guiding services for a small tip.
It’s known locally as San Simón and, unlike elsewhere, visitors here can actually pour liquor offerings down the effigy’s throat. You’ll probably be charged around $1 to see it, more if you want to take photographs.
Zunil’s annual fiesta takes place on November 25.
About half a kilometer south of town is Las Cumbres Eco-Sauna (tel. 5399-0029, 7 a.m.–7 p.m. daily), a superb establishment harboring steam baths, beautiful accommodations housed in quaint red-tiled-roof cottages with mountain views, and a restaurant (all meals daily) serving mostly Guatemalan dishes but also sandwiches and wine. Thermal pools were in the planning stages and may be up and running by the time you read this.
Its 11 rooms range $33–47 d and have nice wooden furnishings with warm wool blankets, private bathrooms, cable TV, CD player, and plenty of rustic charm. Some have their own in-room hot tubs. If you don’t want to stay but just want a steam bath, you can have a private sauna for $3.50. Room rates include sauna access. Thereare also a squash court, pool table, and a small gym.