Welcome to Quetzaltenango

The city's name might be a mouthful, but locals kindly shorten it to 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 couple.

Top experiences in Quetzaltenango

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We've pre-picked the best hotels, hostels and bed and breakfasts to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.

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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.

$92.50 Outdoor Activities

Tour to Georgina Hot Springs from Quetzaltenango

It is by far the most relaxing place in Quetzaltenango; Enjoy the wonderful hot baths near Zunil.In addition to being a paradisiacal place to relax, it is to take into account that the thermal springs of Fuentes Georginas are also credited with healing powers. This is due to the fact that the waters coming from the volcano are sulfur-rich and, therefore, contain beneficial minerals for health. The water comes from a mountain, and you can enjoy this thermal springs in Quetzaltenango. We go for you to your Hotel and all you have to do is relax on this amazing place close to Quetzaltenango, among the mountains.

$148 Cultural & Theme Tours

Tour to colonial churches in quetzaltenango and totonicapan

Be part of this great tour, in which you'll have the opportunity to visit beautiful colonial churches of the region of Quetzaltenango and Totonicapán.Visit Salcaja to get to know the first church built in Central America called San Jacinto, San Andrés Xecul and San Cristóbal Totonicapán. Sometimes syncretism (this is the mixture of two religions on case of the mayans descents, the elements of the land with catholisism) takes part of this tour you can see here how the mayans see the catholicism, with a another point of wiew than a regular catholic see it, Enjoy of this tour and of this amazing churches that you will see arround the highlands in Guatemala.

$148 Cultural & Theme Tours

Tour to native villages around quetzaltenango

Be part of the enriching native culture of Guatemala, live the colors, flavors and enjoy the customs of this beautiful cultural experience.On this tour, you will visit the native villages of Cantel, Almolonga and Zunil. Cantel is the home of a glass factory dependent on the time for its production. Almolonga and Zunil are two colorful native villages surrounded by mountains, ancestral traditions and fertile lands that you will have the opportunity to explore. After this interesting tour, you will find peace and tranquility in the beautiful thermal springs of Georgina's fountains, while enjoying a wonderful view of the forest. Come and know this beautiful villages arround Quetzaltenango and the different cultures arround mayan descents, cultures, colors, syncrestism also all in only one tour on this tour.

$277.50 Food, Wine & Nightlife

Coffee tour in El Patrocinio Farm

Tour by the coffee plantations, one of the main products of the Guatemalan economy, and other type of plantations in the area.In this tour you will have the opportunity to learn more about this famous grain. In addition, we weill have the opportunity to visit the cocoa, macadamia and rubber plantations. Also, we will learn about the work of the people who work daily in these plantations and will be able to choose between different farms, each one with a direct focus on sustainable tourism, products and services. You will know the kind of coffee arabiga on this tour that is harvested on this farm, and come and relax with the amazing views of the farm.