Quetzaltenango (or Xela, as the locals refer to it) is Guatemala's second-largest city and capital of the highlands. It's a pretty little city and an excellent place to base yourself for exploring the the many highlights of Guatemala's highland region, such as the Santa Maria volcano, Tajamulco Volcano, Lake Atitlan, and Fuentes Georginas hot springs.
You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to Quetzaltenango hostels and cheap accommodation; all over town, you can find Quetzaltenango hostels and hotels to suit every budget and taste. The majority of hostels in Quetzaltenango are located within a few minutes' walk of the Parque Central (central park) area and close to many bars, restaurants, and shops. Accommodation in Quetzaltenango's hostels can be arranged on a nightly, weekly, or even monthly basis due to the high number of tourists that stay here to take advantage of the many Spanish language schools based in Quetzaltenango -- there are definitely some bargains to be had!
Many Quetzaltenango hostels offer a free breakfast (usually a large meal that you can choose off the menu), free Wi-Fi, and can arrange tours to neighbouring destinations and can help you choose a Spanish school if you're looking to learn or improve your Spanish skills.
There are many vibrant local markets selling everything from fresh produce to quality handcrafts such as woven bags, scarves, and accessories plus leather goods and wooden trinkets. All across town you will find these markets -- the largest is located next to Central Park, La Democracia Market is about fifteen minutes' walk from Central Park, and Minerva Market is next to the main bus terminal, about a twenty-minute walk from the centre.
If arriving by bus, you will most likely be dropped off at the Minerva Bus Terminal outside of the centre. It's roughly a twenty-minute walk to the centre or you can catch a "collectivo" minibus or a taxi. If arriving at night, take a taxi to your Quetzaltenango hostel, as the Minerva area can be slightly unsafe at night.
Quetzaltenango is a lovely city and a great introduction to Guatemala as it has friendly locals, great nightlife and restaurants, and many hostels and hotels for every budget.
Hi, I'm michael cowgill,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Quetzaltenango hostels. Welcome.