Iglesia San Francisco El Alto

Western Highlands

San Francisco El Alto's 18th century church is a somewhat fortress-like affair, with solid arches holding up its domes. It's worth noting for it's collection of fine icons and gilded altar as well as the remains of its original frescos. If you pay Q5 at the church (the entrance is to the right of the main doors), you can climb the narrow stairs to the roof for panoramic views of the town.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Western Highlands attractions

1. Monument to the Emigrant

3.63 MILES

This enormous statue dominates the entrance to Salcajá. It depicts a striding figure with a backpack facing north, symbolising the many sons and daughter…

2. Iglesia San Andrés Xecul

3.85 MILES

San Andrés Xecul boasts one of the most exuberantly decorated churches in the country, a fiesta almost in itself. Technicolored saints, angels, flowers…

3. El Calvario

4.01 MILES

This yellow church is uphill from the main plaza, at the top of the hill. It was built on the site of an old Maya temple – Maya ceremonies, with plenty of…

4. Iglesia de San Jacinto


Dating from 1524, the Iglesia de San Jacinto, was the first church built in Central America. It is also known as the Ermita Conquistadora De La Inmaculada…

5. Arco Del Sexto Estado

8.43 MILES

This monumental arch that greets all visitors on the road into Xela commemorates the 1897 Quetzalteca Revolution, a short-lived uprising in the city…

6. Monumento a la Marimba

8.49 MILES

The Altiplano's signature instrument is given pride of place at the center of this iconic traffic circle on the east end of town.

7. Museo del Ferrocarril de los Altos

8.73 MILES

This museum covers the ambitious rail project that connected Quetzaltenango to the Pacific coast but operated for just three years, from 1930 to 1933…