The ancient city of Zaculeu, 4 km (2 mi) from Huehuetenango, was built around AD 600 by the Mam people. The site was chosen for its strategic location, as it has natural barriers on three sides. The defenses worked all too well against the Spanish. Realizing they could not take the Zaculeu people by force, the Spaniards chose instead to starve them out. Within two months they surrendered. Today the ruins consist of a few pyramids, a ball court, and a two-room museum that
gives a few insights into the world of the Mam. The site's restoration is said to be the worst in all of Guatemala, as the original archaeologists simply covered the pyramids with concrete, which was not a common building material in pre-Colombian Central America. Admission is Q25.
5 km. (3 mi) west of Huehuetenango,, Huehuetenango, Guatemala