thumb|300px|Pasaje Enrique in Parque Central

39 things to do

All Places Guatemala

7 Orejas Hostal

Since 2008, a quiet & friendly environment in a cozy atmosphere with rooms decorated in Guatemalan style. Located in the historic district with easy access to cafes, discotheques, bars, travel agencies, Spanish schools, et al. Facilities: Wireless Internet, Cable TV, private bathrooms, security storage (bring your own lock), linens & towels, reading light, Luggage Storage, Free continental breakfast, Free coffee, tea & drinking water all day, 24 hours reception, Parking with reservation. Restrictions: No Pets, No smoking, No drugs, No visitors in rooms. Prices: Dorm bed (8 available) - Q65/$9 pp Single room - Q150/$20 (weekly - Q840/$112, biweekly - Q1400/$187, monthly - Q2550/$340) Double room - Q230/$31 (weekly - Q1295/$173, biweekly - Q2170/$290, monthly - Q3900/$520) Triple room - Q285/$38 (weekly - Q1690/$225, biweekly - Q2800/$374, monthly - Q5100/$680)

Casa Latina

beautiful, new guesthouse, just a few minutes walk to Parque Central and bars/restaurants. Las Flores market is across the street! Casa Latina has a friendly, home-like atmosphere. 2 floors, each with 4 rooms. Both floors have bathroom, kitchen, living room & balcony. Spanish School Sol Latino is just a stone’s throw away, www.spanishschoolsollatino.com Includes wi-fi internet access, parking, bed linens, smoking area, & travel info. Available services include laundry & airport transport. Option to pay per night ($7 for 1 person or $10 for 2 people), per week ($35 for 1 person or $48 for 2 people) or per 4 weeks ($122 for 1 person or $173 for 2 people). * $30 deposit per room (returned at checkout if room in good condition)


The main market in the city is in Zona 3, covering various city blocks around the covered market, with an enormous variety of produce at cheaper prices than in formal shops (often for identical products). The covered market itself occupies the block between 15 Avenida and 16 Avenida, and 2 and 3 Calle, Zona 3. Fresh meat is sold inside the covered market, fruit and vegetables outside. Clothes, shoes, and toys are mostly sold outside. Many buses and microbuses pass the market, usually breviated to "La Demo". On the north side of the market is the attractive Parque Benito Juárez, with the San Nicolás Church on its east side.

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Hostal La Estacion

The hostel is located not far south of Mercado de Democracia and is a short walk to Parque Central. Q40 for a room with two double beds (similar to dorm style) and Q50 for a room with one bed. There is also a cheap single room on the terrace that costs about Q30 per night. If you stay for a week or a month you can get a cheaper rate. You can also buy great home cooked food for Q15 a meal. The hostel is run by a very nice woman(Doña Maria) who has years of experience hosting backpackers. It has a fully equipped kitchen, 24 hr. hot water, free bicycles that guests can borrow and a family atmosphere.

Casa Argentina

Friendly and central, very close to a small fruit and vegetable market. Home of Quetzaltrekkers, a non-profit trekking company. It has a wi-fi (or use their computer), kitchen (a bit dirty and run down), hot water (use the top one - hottest, and it's solar (?)). 25 Q for a Dorm room, 35 Q for a single room. If you are going to be in Xela by the week tell Leanora when you pay-May 2010-there is a weekly rate at least for the private room with bath. Some find this a great kicked back place, but do check your mattress for signs of bed bugs.

SLEEP   —  Diagonal 12 8-37

Casa Xelajú

Offers two-story house for rent and 10 apartments with big windows where you can see the city, mountains and volcanoes. They are completely furnished including central heated water, washing machine, , a dining room, living room, full kitchen and three bedrooms/one bedroom, two bedrooms and balconies. We are located five minutes walking distance from the Central Park, in the Historice Center of the City, Callejón 15, Diagonal 13-02, Zona 1, Quetzaltenango. Free unlimited high speed WIFI, 24/7 For more info, info(AT)cx.edu.gt

SLEEP   —  Map

Baviera Cafe

This charming cafe/restaurant offers tables, a lounge/sofa area, flat-screen TV showing sporting events. Serves wonderful teas (from Q6), locally sourced & roasted coffee drinks (from Q8), hot chocolate (from Q12), milk shakes (from Q20), juices/horchata/sodas/beers (from Q10) as well as soups (from Q20), sandwiches (from Q25), salads (from Q25), pastries (from Q20), snacks (from Q8), and breakfasts (from Q20). Free Wi-Fi internet to paying customers (passcode=11111aaaaa). There are also 3 other locations in Xela.


Friendly environment, comfortable & very clean. Meet people from all over the world. Wi-fi internet access, parking, laundry, bed linens included, accepts credit/debit cards, towels included, luggage storage, guest kitchen use, reception 24 hrs, travel information, common room, bicycle parking, no smoking, taxes included in prices, smoking area. Prices: Dorm - Q45 per person, Double Room - Q90, Triple Room - Q125. Single room w/ small bed - Q50.00 per person. Single room w/ bigger bed - Q70.00 per person.

SLEEP   —  77631000 —  6 calle 15-12 zona 1

Loc Chocoyos Casa Siguan

2-3 beds per room, private bathroom, hot water, wi-fi internet included, breakfast included, restaurant & bar adjacent, laundry, bed linens included, towels included, luggage storage, guest kitchen use, reception 24 hrs, common room, no smoking, taxes included, pets accepted. Its cultural center (meeting room) often hosts music events, theater, poetry, art exhibits, photography, etc. Sister bar "Ojala" offers a smaller venue. Prices: Private rooms Q70 per person, Dorm bed Q60 per person.

SLEEP   —  77616497 —  7 calle 15-20 zona 1

Hostel Nim Sut

Excellent location & service, with a terrace & panoramic view. Nice rooms decorated in a warm style. Offers delicious breakfasts, snacks, lunches (lunch specials every day just Q25), dinners, and a variety of coffee, cappuccino, espresso, latte, etc. Private rooms with private bath are Q 200 for 1 person Dorm beds are Q70 All accommodations include breakfast & wi-fi internet access. *WARNING: The owners live in the hostel and currently have a screaming ill-behaved 2 year old.

Casa Doña Mercedes

is off to the southeast corner of central parque at the corner of 6a Calle and 14 Av. The rooms run $11/night for the shared room, $70/week for a private room (both with shared bath), and $110/week for a private room/bath. The private baths have REAL hot water (coming from a water heater). There is a sun room, kitchen, TV in the rooms, and the staff cleans your room every day. Also, they will do your laundry for 30Q/load.

SLEEP   —  (+502)5687-3305 —  Map

Baviera Cafe

This charming cafe/restaurant offers tables, a lounge/sofa area, flat-screen TV showing sporting events. Serves wonderful teas (from Q6), locally sourced & roasted coffee drinks (from Q8), hot chocolate (from Q12), milk shakes (from Q20), juices/horchata/sodas/beers (from Q10) as well as food (see "Eat" section). Free Wi-Fi internet to paying customers (passcode=11111aaaaa). There are also 3 other locations in Xela.

Chill Out

Bars in Xela need to close by law shortly after midnight. Chill Out defies this rule and provides the after party on most nights. The place can get packed with local students on weekends. The music is danceable but relatively low volume and most people just come here to chat with their friends. If you show up early (before they officially open) you might be able to get a voucher to get in for free later.

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Guesthouse El Puente

Located in the rear part of the main Celas Maya Spanish school building/facility, a small hostel used primarily for student residency. 4 ample sized rooms, 1 with private bathroom (Q65/day or Q1650/month) & the other 3 with a shared full service bathroom (Q50/day or Q1350/month). Each room accommodates 1-3 guests. Kitchen is shared and fully equipped. Beautiful private sunny garden.

SLEEP   —  7761-4342 —  6a Calle 14-55 Zona 1


Clean and comfortable. Internet wasn't working when we were there (but just go across the street to Cuartido for some of the fastest internet in Xela) -- you may be able to get a discount if you stay a while. The location is unbeatable -- just two blocks from Parque Central. Hot showers with good pressure and televisions in the room with both Espanol and English channels.

Cafe Nim Sut

Excellent location & service, with a terrace & panoramic view. Offers delicious breakfasts, snacks, lunches, & dinners. Lunch specials every day just Q25. Also offers a variety of coffee, cappuccino, espresso, latte and more. Can plan/host events & gatherings. Also a hostel with nice rooms decorated in a warm style. Offers wi-fi internet access to customers.

Panorama Restaurante y Mirador

Amazing view overlooking central Xela (beside Iglesia Monte Sinai). Sit outside on the lawn as you gaze across the Quetzaltenango valley at the mountains all around. Excellent for celebrating an occasion or impressing that special someone. Specializing in Swiss cuisine and serving delicious fondues, raclette, sandwiches, pizzas, hamburgers & more.

Hotel Casa Mañen

Casa Mañen is a wonderful bed and breakfast located just two blocks from Parque Central. The service is first class, the staff dedicated to helping visitors. Whether short or longer stay, this hotel is only blocks from many schools, attractions and the night life of Xela. The rooms are comfortable, each with its own character.

Casa San Bartolomé, B&B

A quiet, clean and comfortable bed & breakfast with very nice gardens. The hotel has six bedrooms and two equipped and furnished apartments, all with private bathrooms and enough hot water. Rates include full breakfasts to select from a six options menu. Special rates for longer stays. Free Wi-Fi.

Study Spanish

Quetzaltenango is well known for its Spanish schools, with a great many available, concentrated in the historic centre of the city. Classes are given on a 1:1 basis, usually with study in the morning and tourist activities in the afternoon, and accommodation provided with a local family.

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Located at the central park, based on the European hotel tradition. Nice, spacious rooms. Great for business travel. Prices: Single Room - $24 (Q190) Double Room - $34 (Q270) Triple Room - $40 (Q325) Extra person - $4.50 (Q35) Additional bed - $10 (Q80) Breakfast - $3.00 p.p. (Q25)

SLEEP   —  7761-2326 —  12 av. 3-61 Zona 1

Hotel Casa del Viajero

Well-known colonial style traveler's home located in the historic center, a few blocks from Central Park. Offers: Rooms with private bath, hot water, Cable TV, Wi-Fi, Breakfast and dinner, parking, Event room. Prices start at Q75 per person in single, double or triple rooms.

Hotel Pension Bonifáz

One of Xela's top hotels since 1935. Convenient location; offers parking for those who came with a car. On the pricey side for Quetzaltenango. Even if you decide to stay somewhere cheaper, you may wish to stop by the fashionable bar and restaurant for a meal or a cocktail.


3 blocks from Central Park with 24-hr reception. Rooms have hot water, cable, wi-fi internet & free parking. Towels & bed linens included. Prices from Q130 per person, breakfast included. Children under 5 are free. Visa cards accepted.

Posada San Andres

Located next to Bab's Home, 5 blocks from the park, 7 huge rooms surround a colonial courtyard. Guests share a kitchen and two bathrooms with hot water. Wi-fi internet also available. Perfect for more long term guests. Q700 a month.

Escuela de Español Utatlan

Highly recommended school by the city's central park, with a friendly atmosphere and very reasonable class rates. Discounts for longer stay and opportunities to teach English in the school to local students.

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Hotel Villa Real Plaza

The Villa Real Plaza sits on the same block as Quetzaltenango's wonderful Central Park. It is a lively area with lots of restaurants and nightlife. Nice rooms, hot showers with Cable TV in every room.

El Nahual Community Center

Offers volunteer teaching opportunities in schools around Xela. All are welcome at the weekly organizational meeting held Monday at 5:30PM at the Blue Angel Café.

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La Pradera

Shopping mall with multi-screen cinema that screens the latest Hollywood releases, usually dubbed in Spanish, but occasionally subtitled.

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Dos Lobos Panaderia y Cafe

A cute cafe owned by a lovely pair of American expats. The bagels are fresh and home made and very delicious. Definitely worth a visit.


Hosts a database of local opportunities, accessible for free. Additional services, including housing, are available with a donation.

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Hotel Modelo

Owned and operated by the same family for over 100 year the Hotel Modelo offers old world charm in the heart of Quetzaltenango.

Itzamna Xela Homestay

is a service placing travelers with a family for a homestay. They can accommodate stays of a few days to months.

SLEEP   —  Map

Casas Luna De Xelaju

Nice two storey house with 3 beds, 2.5 baths with garage and apartments 2 beds, 1 bath.

SLEEP   —  Map

La Pedrera Community Project

Offers volunteer work and internships with an indigenous community.

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Hotel Real Virginia

More quiet than many of the hotels right in the heart of downtown

SLEEP   —  11 Avenida 8-11, Zona 1

About Quetzaltenango

The city of Quetzaltenango, the capital and largest city of the department of the same name, is situated on an extensive plain and surrounded by hills and volcanoes. The city of Quetzaltenango conserves the old K'iche' Maya traditions and the colonial past, while maintaining the dynamism of modern life. The city's roots go back to the Pre-Columbian Maya era. The Mam authority, called ''Kulahá'', reached its most important expansion. The K'iche' lords later conquered the area, and founded the city of Xelajú here, moving it from a previous location at the base of the volcano Santa Maria. The city was already some 300 years old when Spanish Conquistadors came to conquer Guatemala in the early 1500s. Their native allies the Nahuas from Central Mexico called the city "Quetzaltenango", meaning "the place of the Quetzal bird" in the Nahua language. The Spanish took the name from the Nahuas. It's still the city's official name, but locals are more apt to casually call it "Xela" from the ancient name of Xelajú. It was the administrative capital of the Western Highland region in the Spanish Colonial period. With Central American independence from Spain in the 1820s it was part of the Central American Federation. Conflicts between the interests of Quetzaltenango and Guatemala City led to the creation of "Los Altos", the "Sixth State of the Central American Confederation", consisting of Western Guatemala (and a slice of what is now part of Chiapas Mexico) with Quetzaltenango as its capital. When the Central American Federation fell apart in 1839-1840, Los Altos was briefly a de-facto independent state, until the army of Guatemalan dictator Carrera brutally conquered the city and hung its leaders. The city enjoyed prosperity with the boom in coffee production in the late 19th and start of the 20th century, when many of the city's "Belle Époque" style landmarks still seen were built. Plans for a railway to Quetzaltenango dated back to the 1890s, and construction was started in the 1920s and finally completed in 1930. The "Ferrocarril de los Altos" was proclaimed the engineering marvel of the age -- until it was destroyed by landslides in 1933. The fabled railroad is still remembered in local song and story, and there's a museum dedicated to it in town. Quetzaltenango's prosperity declined from the Great Depression through the Guatemalan Civil War in the later 20th century, and for a time much of the city looked on the scruffy side. With the new millennium, however, better times are back. The old landmarks have been refurbished and new ones added, and the city is more beautiful and vibrant than ever. Quetzaltecos are proud of their city, its distinct regional culture, and its rich heritage.

Source: wikivoyage