Quetzaltenango Journals

Xela in December- brrr

A December 2000 trip to Quetzaltenango by robecita

Quote: Xela was the farthest into the Guatemalan Highlands that we got- and the coldest.

Xela in December- brrr

Overview

Quote:
One of the neatest things we saw in Xela was a bunch of Mayan women dressed in their traditional embroidered huipiles eating in the McDonalds on the plaza.

Quick Tips:

Xela is the common abbreviation of Quetzaltenango - it seems counterintuitive but you pick it up pretty quickly. Definitely do your sightseeing when the sun's up - it gets really cold at night. A lot of people take Spanish classes here, and it seems to have a pretty good reputation among people I've talked to.

Best Way To Get Around:

Casa Kaehler

Hotel

Quote:
Casa Kaeler is only two blocks from the central plaza in Xela. You have to knock on the door to get in, and along with the key to your room you get a key to the outside door. Inside the old colonial era house is built around a sunny courtyard and consists of the owner''s house on the lower level and rooms upstairs. We climbed the rickety steps up to our spacious room. There were chairs outside and room to hang clothes, and shared bathrooms - the showers often had hot water. The woman who runs the place was very nice - she brought us extra blankets, stayed to talk, and helped us find what we needed in the city.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 2, 2001

Casa Kaehler
13 Av. 3-33
Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
761-2091

Cafe Baviera

Restaurant

Quote:
The cafe is popular among language students in Xela, and a lot of the tables were occupied by people studying or one-on-one Spanish classes. We went there several times for breakfast - there was a good selection of traditional Guatemalan breakfasts and more American or European choices, like granola and pancakes. There were also baked goods and good coffee - a good place to warm up. The decor is interesting - old photos and documents from area history.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 2, 2001

Cafe Baviera
Quetzaltenango
Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

Quote:
The Natural History Museum is crammed full of the most random odds and ends - from Mayan pottery to mirrors that had been struck by lightning to dried plants to animal fetuses in bottles to costumes from the colonial era. It was interesting to look through the fairly jumbled and musty collection, but the museum was definitely not a trove of information - more like a collection of oddities.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on August 2, 2001

Museo de Historia Natural
Parque Central
Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

Fuentes Georginas

Attraction

Quote:
We found out from our hotel how to get to Fuentes Georginas, which are hot springs on a mountain outside Xela. It involved taking a bus to a small town, then contracting a pickup driver to take us up the mountain. We should have gone earlier in the day, since mist was already starting to settle over the slopes as we went in early afternoon, but the hot springs themselves were very relaxing. On on side is a sheer cliff hanging with greenery, on the other side the valley drops off in the distance. There's a little cafeteria and changing rooms. Fuentes seems to be popular with the local people as well as the tourists there were a lot of kids, teenagers, and old people there relaxing in the almost-too-hot...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 2, 2001

Fuentes Georginas
outside of Quetzaltenango
Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

Zacaleu

Attraction

Quote:
From Xela we went to Huehuetenango (about 3-4 hours) to see the pyramids at Zacaleu, though if you wanted you could stay in Huehue rather than making a day trip. They were working on the road outside Huehue that led to the pyramids, so we had to walk on new blacktop past contruction workers to get there, but the pyramids themselves were gorgeous. They'd been reconstructed since the Mam Maya used them as their last defense against the Spanish conquistadores, so they actually look like big white pyramids rather than grass-covered ruins. You can climb them and walk all over the grounds, and there's a small museum that interprets the site a bit. All in all, there's some impressive scenery and it's easier ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 2, 2001

Zacaleu
Outside Huehuetenango
Quetzaltenango, Guatemala