213km (132 miles) E of Guatemala City; 583km (362 miles) S of Tikal

Cobán is the most important city in the Verapaz region, and serves as the social and commercial hub for all the surrounding towns, villages, and tourist destinations. Cobán is still known as the "Ciudad Imperial," as it was dubbed by the Spanish crown when it was founded in 1538. The city sits at more than 1,300m (4,000 ft.) and enjoys a cool, yet wet, climate. (Cool mist or outright rain are common here.) Cobán is also the gateway for some of Guatemala's best eco- and adventure-tourism destinations and activities.