Los Amates

Los Amates on the map of Guatemala

Los Amates is a small town in eastern Guatemala. It is the administrative seat of the greater community ( municipality ) in the department of Izabal. In the 1615 km ² large municipality of about 60,000 people.


Los Amates is located south of Lake Izabal in the valley of the Río Motagua. Between the lake and the river running in a northeasterly direction the foothills of the Sierra de las Minas, nor reach the heights of about 1,000 m here. In the south the Sierra del Merendon forms the border with Honduras. The municipality covers the entire south-western part of the department of Izabal. To the north it borders on the Lake Izabal, on the east by the municipality of Morales, on the south by Honduras, on the southwest by the Department of Zacapa and on the west by the municipality of El Estor. It is divided into 9 villages ( Aldeas ) and 190 hamlets ( Caseríos ). The climate is tropical hot in general.


The area of Los Amates was systematically colonized until the end of the 19th century. The name of the place and of the Municipalities comes from the Amate - fig trees (Ficus glabrata ) that dominated the area. The municipality was officially established in 1916. The small, relatively old city on the southern shore of Lake Izabal was 1888-1896 capital of the department of Izabal. In 1944, the administrative headquarters of Municipalities has been temporarily relocated to the neighboring village a few kilometers north-east location Quiriguá Los Amates. The east of the village situated former Mayan city Quiriguá has special historical significance and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1910, the infamous American United Fruit Company bought large tracts of land there for their banana plantations. The UFC dominated the economic and social life of the Municipalities for several decades not uncontroversial manner. 1976 established an earthquake caused serious damage, 1998, Hurricane Mitch.

Economy and Transport

Los Amates is located on the highway CA 9 ( Carretera Interoceanica ) leading from Puerto Barrios on the Caribbean coast on Guatemala City to Puerto San José on the Pacific. In addition to the CA 9 extends to a currently unused railway line, which is why Los Amates also has a disused railway station. The city benefits from through traffic and also some of the nearby tourist destination Quiriguá. On the south shore of Lake Izabal, the beaches of Mariscos Playa Dorada, El Morro, Guapinol, Río Blanco and Punta Brava are also important for tourism. Among the agricultural products sector, in addition to bananas among other things, coffee, pineapple, beans, corn, okra, and various other fruits and vegetables. Play an important role in livestock rearing, the timber industry and the service sector.