Between diminutives, nicknames, similar names and even names that are exactly like others, remembering the names of the more than 300 municipalities throughout Guatemala is quite challenging-ish... In this case, Retalhuleu is the name of the Department and its capital city; to differentiate one from another, locals call Retalhuleu's capital: Reu. And to enter Reu we are going to pass through a nice long boulevard flanked by tall coconut palms that make us realize how close to the Pacific Ocean we are.
We could say that Reu is by far the most gorgeous city in the Southern Coast region. Urbanistically speaking, it was well planned and designed and locals are so proud of what they have accomplished, that their efforts can be appreciated almost wherever you go.
Reu and its people have that exuberant personality so typical in the tropical close-to-the-beaches towns: from good mood, joyful expressions, loud music, to a sense of laid-back attitude.
Since it is hot outside, I propose a visit to the Archeology and Ethnology Museum where we will admire many of the ancient and invaluable pieces recovered from the excavations in Tak'alik Ab'aj and the surroundings.
In addition to the historic treasures, in the second floor of this museum we will find an extraordinary collection of photographs that show the different development stages of Retalhuleu throughout the years.
A visit to the Saint Anthony Church is worthy as well. The architecture is beautiful and even though the original retablo is not there anymore, the place is well preserved. The best part is that we can go upstairs to the bell tower from where we will contemplate magnificent views of the city and in the horizon, the Pacific Ocean.At the end of the evening, when the sun is descending and the fresh coastal breeze can be felt, we will see how the streets seem to be busier and cheerful, as a prelude to our trip to the beach tomorrow...