The Pacific Slope

Retalhuleu's church occupies pride of place in the middle of the plaza, and is a useful landmark to orient yourself by.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Pacific Slope attractions

1. Museo de Arqueología y Etnología

0.04 MILES

Retalhuleu has a small museum of archaeological relics from local Mayan sites, as well as an interesting collection of historic photos showing the town in…

2. Abandoned Train Station

0.16 MILES

In the early 20th century, Retalhuleu was an important way station for cotton, coffee and sugar exports to the port at Champerico. The trains have long…

3. Parque Arqueológico Takalik Abaj

7.79 MILES

This 6.5-sq-km archaeological site spreads over nine natural terraces. The rainforest-like grounds boast temple mounds, ball courts and flights of steps…

4. Iglesia Zunil

21.4 MILES

Zunil has a particularly striking old church. Its ornate yellow facade, with eight pairs of serpentine columns, is echoed inside by a richly carved gilt…

5. Iglesia El Calvario


The church that lends its name to the neighborhood west of the center was built four centuries ago on a rise to avoid Xela's periodic flooding. Check out…

6. Museo de Historia Natural

23.04 MILES

The natural history museum holds a hodgepodge of Maya artifacts, vintage photos, dried leaves, old coins, marimbas, sports trophies, stuffed mammals and…

7. Cathedral

23.08 MILES

The ornately carved facade of the Iglesia del Espíritu Santo marks the site of the original 1532 construction, which was pulverized by the quakes of 1853…

8. Parque Centro América

23.1 MILES

Most of Xela's sights crowd in and around the broad central plaza. It's a great place for a stroll or to sit and people-watch. It was originally two…