222km (137 miles) SE of Guatemala City
Esquipulas may be a relatively nondescript city along the remote eastern border of the country, but it happens to be Guatemala's most important Roman Catholic pilgrimage site. The main church in Esquipulas was upgraded to the status of basilica in 1968, and houses the city's prime treasure: El Cristo Negro (The Black Christ), a dark-skinned statue of Christ that's believed to have healing powers. The Basílica and Black Christ have been visited by Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa, and Che Guevara, among others, and it's estimated that more than one million people make the pilgrimage each year.
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