Guatemala City, by Yuliza Muñoz -AGN-. The Guatemalan Tourism Institute -Inguat- nominated San José, Petén, as a picturesque town. The purpose is to preserve the culture and traditions of this place. The authorities chose the municipality as the next town to be recognized with this distinction.
The project coordinated with local authorities and the community to join forces and restore the area’s tourist attractions.
The initiative aims to promote the conservation of the cultural and natural heritage of the villages and improve the place’s urban image. The distinction is given to places that meet specific criteria for their conservation and restoration, historical sites, and towns with natural and cultural characteristics.
According to Inguat, there are currently five sites with this recognition:
- Estanzuela, Zacapa
- Flores Island, Petén
- San Juan Obispo, Sacatepéquez
- Santa Catarina Palopó, Sololá
- Quetzaltenango City
Inguat emphasized that the Picturesque Towns program represents a solution to the deterioration of the urban image of some destinations due to the overload of tourism and the loss of vernacular architecture caused by the lack of territorial planning.
On November 18, 2022, Estanzuela, Zacapa, was the first place to become a picturesque town. The Municipality of Estanzuela and Inguat worked together to ensure the place complied with the requirements.
The tourism institution announced that to consider a place as a picturesque town, it must meet a series of requirements:
- landscaping of green areas
- tourist safety program
- creation or updating of sign regulations and their implementation
- reorganization of road traffic