Welcome to Quetzaltenango

The city's name might be a mouthful, but locals kindly shorten ito Xela (shell-ah), an abbreviation of the original K'iche' Maya name, Xelajú.

Xela is popular with travelers with time to settle in to a place and work on their Spanish. It also functions as a base for a range of spectacular hikes through the surrounding countryside – the ascent to the summit of Volcán Tajumulco (Central America's highest point) and the three-day trek to Lago de Atitlán, to name a few.

Top experiences in Quetzaltenango

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Quetzaltenango activities

$44 Outdoor Activities

Quentzaltenango to Chicabal Volcano and Lagoon Full-Day Trek

Journey along the natural paths of the volcano and see over 40-Mayan altars that were used in ceremonial services. Learn about the Mayan calendar and its importance to this ancient culture. Wander down the paths and see the incredible and diverse variety of birds that make their home in the cloudy forests of the volcano and Laguna de Chicabal. The Laguna (lake) was formed in a crater of the volcano and has crystal blue waters. Volcán Chicabal is a well-known tourist destination in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. The volcano has a unique crater lake inside of its summit cone with a surface altitude of 8,898 feet. On clear mornings it is possible to see the major volcanoes of northwestern Guatemala as well as the Pacific coast. The crater rim and volcanic cone are covered in a lush cloud forest, and the lower slopes of the volcano are used for agricultural purposes by the locals. This easy day-hike provides a perfect mix of tranquility, culture, and natural beauty.On this 5-hour tour you will go from the base of the volcano, all the way to the top. There you will find an impressive view onto the lagoon. From the top, the guide will lead you down the stairs to the lagoon itself. Lots of times, locals will be praying when you arrive. You will get to know the 20 altars around the lagoon. After a whole tour around it, you will get up to the crater again, greeting the locals who will be going to the lagoon. After climbing up again, you will go back down to the base.

$55 Tours & Sightseeing

3-Hour Walking Tour of Xela Quetzaltenango and its Historical Center

When the day arrives, you will be picked up at your hotel in a lapse of 30 minutes before 9am or 3pm (depending on your choice) and will start a 3-hour walking tour along with a guide, through the main streets of Quetzaltenango, or as the guatemalan says to the city: Xela.In this 3-hours walking tour you will see and enjoy the historic center of the city, main streets and avenues, visiting the monuments and buildings with great history in the city, during the tour you will visit: Parque Central America, Museum of Science and History, major office, Cathedral, the cementery, the chocolate factory, the teather of the city and Market "La Democracia".If you take the morning tour you will be back at the hotel at halfday, and if you take the afternoon tour you will be back at 6pm in your hotel.Since september 10th you can fly to local airport in Quetzaltenango from La Aurora international Airport in Guatemala City. If you want to consider this option to get there.

$150 Multi-day & Extended Tours

3-Days of Trekking from Xela to Lake Atitlan

During the tour we will pass by a wide variety of exotic flora from every nook and of course its fauna. You will also share some time with local families spending the first and second nights in a local home.The tour will start from Quetzaltenango Quiche Maya and will end with Maya source lake Tzutujil with a total of 42 kilometers.

$75 Outdoor Activities

Volcan Santiaguito Crater-Real Adventure Day

This volcano is one of the most requested by hikers. The reason is, this volcano is the most active volcano in Guatemala. It's a real adventure to hike it. You will also pass by the corn field of the mayan people.Wake up early to catch a view of one of the world's most active volcanoes - Santiaguito - from this vantage point on the side of Santa Maria. Located 30-minute bus ride from Xela, it's the shortest day hike offered. On the walk, we passed through the cloud forests where we will be able to see spectacular views of Xela. This is a relatively easy walk which takes about 2-3 hours each way.

$75 Outdoor Activities

Volcano and Lagoon of Chicabal Walking Tour

Spend a day in the fabulous Volcano and Laguna de Chicabal, the most important ceremonial center of the Mam culture. Join a journey through the natural paths of the volcano where you´ll get to know 40 different mayan altars where the most important ceremonies are celebrated on memorable dates their calendar year round. Walking through the paths you’ll be a witness of the big and incredible variety of different birds that lives in the majestic cloudy forest in the Volcano and Laguna de Chicabal. You will appreciate the impressive landscapes located on the borders of the crater in Volcano and Laguna de Chicabal.

$60 Spa Tours

Fuentes Georginas Hot Springs from Quetzaltenango

The driver will pick you up from your hotel in Quetzaltenango and take you by shared van or car to Fuentes Georginas hot spring. You'll be impressed when see the steam floating and for sure you will soak you up in the pools.Visit these hot springs that emanate from the Zunil Volcano and which flow into the place known today as Fuentes Georginas, thermal sources discovered by two laborers from Zunil in the year 1902 and they changed it into communal bath, where people who lived around there or near the thermal baths took a bath when they considered it necessary.Take a relaxing bath, a little walk on its trails or just enjoy of nature at the Hot Springs Fuentes Georginas. The prettiest in Guatemala at 8 kilometers from Zunil where you also do a short visit.After this experience you go to Zunil and Almologna Village to See great culturals and Vegetable places around, getting a specific and general orientation of a local guide who leading you by this tour.