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QuetzaltenangoGuatemala

With a strong Mayan heritage, colonial architecture and huge volcanoes rising in the distance, this archetypal Guatemalan town enthralls and educates.

Quetzaltenango (or Xela) is a charming town in the heart of the Sierra Madres mountains in Guatemala’s Western Highlands. First inhabited by Mayan people, the city fell under both Spanish and German influence before becoming an important coffee-trading center. Today, Quetzaltenango’s attractive center presents an interesting insight into its colorful past. Use the town as a starting point for hiking adventures to active volcanoes.

Xela’s focal point is its pretty main square, Parque Centro América (aka Quetzaltenango Central Park). Admire the collection of colonial buildings, including the Iglesia Catedral del Espíritu Santo (Quetzaltenango Cathedral), originally built in 1534. See items from Mayan artifacts to a taxidermy display at the Museum of Natural History. Take a break at one of the cafés lining the elegant Pasaje Enríquez.

Get an in-depth insight into the weaving industry of the Western Highlands at Trama Textiles. Shop for fresh produce, clothing and textiles at La Democracia Market. Watch a concert or play at the Municipal Theater. Enjoy sweeping city views and have fun on a 4-lane slide at Cerro El Baúl park atop a lava dome.

Find museums, dance studios and art galleries at the Centro Intercultural de Quetzaltenango. Learn about Mayan weaving traditions and see examples of regional costumes at the Ixkik Museum. Browse work by leading national artists at the Museo de Arte. Los Altos Railroad Museum documents the short-lived train service that ran between the city and Guatemala’s Pacific coast.

Experience the spectacular landscapes of the Western Highlands on hiking trips to Santa María Volcano and Tajumulco Volcano, which is Central America’s tallest point. Marvel at the tranquility of Chicabal Lake, a site considered sacred by the Mayas, and embark on a 3-day trek to Lake Atitlán. Revitalize your body at Fuentes Georginas Hot Springs.

Reach Quetzaltenango by flying to La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City and catching a bus from there. Buses stop at Terminal Minerva, near Quetzaltenango’s city center. Find accommodations at the hotels and guesthouses located a short walk from the main square.

Top Hotels in Quetzaltenango

HOTEL LAS AMERICAS
HOTEL LAS AMERICAS
3 out of 5
Avenida Las Americas 5-96A, Zona 9, Quetzaltenango
The price is NT$1,745 per night from Oct 27 to Oct 28

Situated in Quetzaltenango, this hotel is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Los Altos Railroad Museum and 2.1 mi (3.3 km) from Quetzaltenango Central Park. La Democracia ...

4.2/5Very Good! (10 reviews)
I give it 7 pillows instead of 5 stars

"Good breakfast and very comfortable bed. Close to walk to the downtown marmet"…"

Reviewed on 2019/9/9

HOTEL LAS AMERICAS
Hotel Hamilton
Hotel Hamilton
2 out of 5
1a. Calle 16-58, Zona 1, Quetzaltenango
The price is NT$658 per night from Oct 27 to Oct 28

Situated in Quetzaltenango, this hostal is within a 15-minute walk of La Democracia Market and Quetzaltenango Central Park. Los Altos Railroad Museum and Municipal ...

3.8/5Good! (12 reviews)
nice hotel for low budget travelers

"stay in Hotel was ok for rest when you travel, rooms are small but confortable, room have tv and private bathroom and hot water, if you are traveling with car the park is in the front of your room and the main door is closed at night so your car will is in a safe parking lot, staff were friendly. ..."…"

Reviewed on 2018/1/29

Hotel Hamilton
Hotel Pensión Bonifaz
Hotel Pensión Bonifaz
3 out of 5
4ta. Calle 10-50 Zona 1, Quetzaltenango
The price is NT$1,957 per night from Oct 27 to Oct 28

Situated in Quetzaltenango, this hotel is steps from Quetzaltenango Central Park and Quetzaltenango Cathedral. La Democracia Market and Monumento a la Marimba ...

4.2/5Very Good! (58 reviews)
Beautiful but didn´t get comfortable sleeping time

"The hotel is very nice; I stayed at a secod floor room with a nice view to the central park of Quetzaltenango. My dislike comes from the noise that came into the room from the cars honking, and also from the inside of the hotel from parkeets and other loud birds that are caged a couple of meters ..."…"

Reviewed on 2020/1/2

Hotel Pensión Bonifaz
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Vacation Rentals in Quetzaltenango

El Suspiro
El Suspiro
4 out of 5
Santa Cruz la Laguna, Santa Cruz La Laguna

Situated in Santa Cruz La Laguna, this vacation home is within 12 mi (20 km) of San Jorge Lookout, Azul Maya Archaeological Museum, and Church of Saint Francis. ...

El Suspiro
Eagle's Nest
Eagle's Nest
3 out of 5
Top of Barrio II, San Marcos La Laguna, Lake Atitlán

Situated in the mountains, this cabin is 0.6 mi (1 km) from Cerro Tzankujil and within 6 mi (10 km) of CHIYA Art Gallery and Church of Saint Peter. San Pedro ...

3.3/5 (6 reviews)

"Awesome views - very pleasing attendant. Very hard to get to, very dangerous path full of mud - not for the physically impaired - I wished they would have mentioned that anywhere on the website"…"

Reviewed on 2019/8/25

Eagle's Nest
Arcadia Cabañas Vacacionales
Arcadia Cabañas Vacacionales
3 out of 5
A 3 min de Irtra, San Martín Zapotitlán, Retalhuleu

Situated in San Martín Zapotitlán, this cabin is within 3 mi (5 km) of Xetulul Park, Parque de Aventura Xejuyup, and Dino Park. San Antonio de Padua Church and ...

4/5Very Good! (2 reviews)

"Muy bonito lugar, bastante accesible y a 5min del IRTRA. Mi única recomendación es que coloquen espejo jeje."…"

Reviewed on 2019/7/8

Arcadia Cabañas Vacacionales
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Quetzaltenango

Quetzaltenango Central Park
Image for Quetzaltenango Central Park

Quetzaltenango Central Park

4/5(20 reviews)

Relax by tree-shaded gardens, shop at artisan markets and see striking colonial-era landmarks at this lively park set in Quetzaltenango’s historic center.

Quetzaltenango Cathedral
Image for Quetzaltenango Cathedral

Quetzaltenango Cathedral

4.5/5(8 reviews)

Admire the preserved colonial architecture and elegant altars of this 16th-century church, which overlooks the vibrant Quetzaltenango Central Park.

San Pedro Volcano
Image for San Pedro Volcano

San Pedro Volcano

4.5/5(27 reviews)

Hike through coffee plantations and thick orchards to the summit of this dormant volcano, which towers above the western shores of Lake Atitlán.

Reviews of Quetzaltenango

4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
13
5 - Excellent 54.166666666666664%
4 - Good
4
4 - Good 16.666666666666668%
3 - Okay
4
3 - Okay 16.666666666666668%
2 - Disappointing
1
2 - Disappointing 4.166666666666667%
1 - Terrible
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1 - Terrible 8.333333333333334%

2/5 - Disappointing

Verified traveler

Mar 4, 2020

We were there on a Sunday so everything for “sightseeing” was closed. Unlike Antigua, it feels like a real place, but there’s not much to do other than sit in the zocalo and watch locals at leisure.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Sep 17, 2019

People around very friendly

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Sep 4, 2019

More places to visit

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Aug 19, 2019

The scenery is spectacular. Worth a visit for that alone.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

May 14, 2019

Muy lindo lugar

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

Feb 19, 2019

Gritty and authentic. Good base for visiting outlying villages such as Almolonga, Zunil and San Andres Xecul. People extremely kind and friendly to tourists but the city itself is not very nice. The big market by the bus terminal is wonderful.