This cemetery was one of our favorite things we did in Xela. And it was free! Only a few blocks off the main plaza is a beautiful cemetery. The front is filled with impressive marble tombs and if you walk to the back, you'll reach the predominantly Mayan section where the gravestones are painted bright colors. On Sundays, flower vendors sit outside...more
Support fair trade in Guatemala! Many of the typical artisan shops and markets actually sell mass-produced products and the handmade artisan products they sell often give very little of that money to the artisans who actually make their products. For that reason, its important to support cooperatives and stores that are fair trade, like Y'abal...more
Founded in 1989, Centro Bilingüe Amerindia is one of the oldest language schools in Xela. Its university-trained instructors teach classes in Spanish as well as Mayan languages in a family environment. School profits go to various development projects. Over the years the school has started a few sucessful devlopment projects and is currently...more
Right outside of town you'll find this natural spa right over a volcano's "vain". Getting there can be a bit tricky, it's walking distance from downtown (just about 3 KM) ... but the way up the hill doesn't have many signs and there are a few loops and crossroads where you'll have to make a choice! My advice, take always the road that gets higher...more
Zunil is a smaller town about 45 to 60 minutes away ... once you get off at the bus' last stop, you can catch a pick-up for Q$ 40 to get up the hill (those are very steep 10 KM or so) and enjoy amazing views and great sulfur(y) hot springs.If you feel like walking, just pay the cab only one way and hike your way down. You'll be amazed with the...more
While I was in Xela, I did a 5 day trek with Quetzaltrekkers from Nebaj to Todo Santos. It was a great experience, but knackering. Quetzal trekkers were very profesional and helpful, the food and accomodation was very basic, but it's only for 5 day's!.The villages that you go to are so remote not even a chicken bus goes there, really interesting...more
I CLIMBED SANTA MARIA WITH THE INTENTIONS OF VIEWING THE ACTIVE SANTIAGUITO LAVA DOME FROM THE SUMMIT, IT TOOK US ABOUT 8 HOURS TO GET UP THERE AND ALL I SAW WAS CLOUDS, THAT WAS WORTH IT! NAH IT WAS UNFORTUNATE THAT IT WAS A CLOUDY DAY WHILE GOING UP THERE.THIS HAS TO BE THE TOUGHEST VOLCANO CLIMB I EVER DID (WAS 3772M ABOVE SEA LEVEL)...IF YOU'VE...more
during my stay in quetzaltenango i climbed a big vulcano nect to town.we climbed it at night to get the sunrise in the morning from the top.i went with an organisation called quetzaltrekkers.they were very good and the profit that the group makes goes to a shelter for homeless kids.more
"The Cathedral of the Sacred Spirit" is one of Xela's most interesting sites. This church has two exterior designs. The first of them was constructed in the year 1535 and the second was built in the Neoclassicist style of 1899. The first one, is very ornamenal, and latter, of neo-classical style, forms part of a structure made of several domes....more
Loved this restaurant, the way it’s set up… with all the Uruguayan artifacts, dozens and dozens of pictures showing the locals what Uruguay is like.It’s one of the only high-end options I’ve seen in Xela… a perfect place to dine out with your couple.You should start with some home-made ‘chorizo’ (sausage) and the Uruguayan cantina-styled ‘medio y...more
WE CAME TO A THAI RESTAURANT AFTER A HARD DAY'S CLIMB UP SANTA MARIA VOLCANO AS WE FANCIED A CHANGE AND I MUST SAY, THE DISHES THEY SERVED WAS WELL PRESENTABLE. THEY'D GIVE YOU A BIT OF RICE AND OTHER SALADS ON THE SIDE TO GO WITH IT.THIS LITTLE RESTAURANT IS WORTH A TRY.IT OPENS TUESDAY TO SATURDAY FROM 12PM TILL 9PM.more
A very cool bar with a nice selctions of beers (considering where it is located!) ... good food for a quick dinner.
The atmosphere is quite local, although there are a couple of hostals around ... so you may also meet some other travelers.
There are a few direct buses ... but you can also take the bus to Huehuetenango (usually called Huehue) for Q$ 15, and there another one to La Mesilla for another Q$ 15.If you want to save some 30 minutes, you can ask the driver (or the kid working for him) to drop you off at some cross-road out of town, where you can catch a bus to the border...more
From Xela I took a bus to Huehuetenango where I changed to another bus that took med to Sacapulas. From Sepulas to Nebaj there aren?t many busses to Nebaj, so I got a ride with a pickup truck. (Pick-ups run frequently as they are many peoples only mean of transportation). The ride from Sepulas to Nebaj took 1? hours, and it was a very cold trip,...more
Dont be afraid to get on these things, I encourage it! They cost barely anything and the music inside is usually pretty loud and some have small screens up the front showing film clips!
They are sooo much cheaper travelling the short distances between the cities than taking a shuttle or coach and its really not all that uncomfortable. There is no air con, its really not needed because when all the windows are open its really cool. The locals on board seem to want to talk to you and ask if you need any help etc finding your stop, so youll meet some nice people too. I only thought Id travel on these for short trips within cities, but after having to get one from a small town to Xela I wont be paying a stupid amount for am airconditioned coach here anymore!
We had to go to this crossing to get into Xela as opposed to Guatemala City. I have heard all the crossings are like this..
This is how my experience went..
We got a pedicab across the bridge as we had tons of stuff and as we pulled up a guy came and grabbed our passports and took them into the office. We went inside and was told to sit and wait. I dont speak good spanish, the guy was telling me it is 200 pesos each which is a "tax" and showed me we had 90 days like he was trying to sell me the 90 days..
An American group walked in and a girl asked if I needed a translation and I said "ask that guy over there what he just said to me." He told her he had said welcome to guatemala. Anyways in English he told us it was 200 pesos each so we questioned him and he was saying its a tax. I said well Im going into the office myself to ask the Americans and the people who actually stamp it. The guy then came in behind me and said something to the guys behind the glass. I asked the Americans how much it should cost to get in and they said 10Q but if hes asking for 200 pesos bargain him down..
Luckily we only had 60 pesos in our wallets and the rest in our bags. So I showed him what we had and showed him my empty wallet and he asked to see my partners wallet also, which was empty! So they only got 60 pesos from us..
So, if you cross the border from Mexico, put all your money in your bag so you can change some when you get across and leave $40 pesos or so in your wallet so thats all they can take from you. Question them also and see what rubbish they tell you.
Near Xela there are some hot baths called Fuentes Georginas. The baths are located in the countryside high in the mountains at the slopes of Zunil Pico (3542 metres). The surroundings are beautiful, and it is great to sit in the steamy hot water (up to 55 degrees) and enjoy the wonderful views of the mountains and the trees around the baths. There are several pools with decreasing temperature. At the baths there is a little restaurant.
The baths are open every day 8-16, or 17, and the entrance is around 10 quetzales.
The baths are located 8 kilometres outside Zunil (a town 9 kilometres from Xela).
I took the bus from Xela to Zunil(leaves Xela at the bus station, but also passes through the center, so you can catch it here too). In Zunil there are pickups that drive to Fuentes Georginas. The driver of the pickup tried to overprice us for the trip, (we decided on a price before we left Zunil), don’t pay too much (around 5 quetzales) as they pick up other people along the way. On the way from Zunil to Fuentes Georginas we saw many people working in fields with vegetables, like carrots, onions et.