Quetzaltenango's enormous cemetery is a pleasant and fascinating green space for a walk. To the left of the main entrance, visit the grave of the gypsy Vanushka, spurned and shamed by her wealthy lover until she died of a broken heart. Flowers are still left at her grave by those seeking better fortune in affairs of the heart.

We recommend only visiting Friday to Sunday during the day, when there are plenty of people around.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Quetzaltenango attractions

1. Cerro el Baúl

This wooded hill is a popular weekend destination for city dwellers, for its wonderful views across Xela's broad plain and to the volcanos that fringe it…

2. Monumento a la Marimba


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

3. Arco Del Sexto Estado

0.62 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…

4. Edificio Rivera

1.03 MILES

A neoclassical structure near the northeast corner of Parque Centro América, the Edificio Rivera has been handsomely renovated (complete with fast-food…

5. Cathedral

1.03 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…

6. Municipalidad

1.03 MILES

The Municipalidad, at the northeastern end of the park, was rebuilt after the 1902 earthquake in the grandiose neoclassical style so favored as a symbol…

7. Parque Centro América

1.06 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…

8. Museo de Historia Natural

1.07 MILES

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