Sunday, February 28, 2016

Top 6 (Budget) Things to do in Quetzaltenango (Xela), Guatemala

Christine Tjahjadi Lopez Xela Guatemala

Welcome to Quetzaltenango (also known originally as Xelajú and more recently as Xela)! Located just a few hours northwest of the capital, Guatemala City. I have decided that since I already blogged a lot of specific experiences here, I should do some type of fun overview. Also, as I am traveling about I have been recording the experience (thus reactivating my Youtube account) and added them to my recent blog posts this month (which I hope you had a chance to take a peek at). Of all the things I have done so far, here are my top faves to do in Xela for those of you on a budget. Some are touristy, some are supporting local organizations, and some are simply enjoying the details of your environment. Either way, whenever you are traveling, no matter what part of the world, it's always important to learn about the place you are in, and the best way to do this is by asking the locals and by gaining multiple perspectives. Have fun, stay safe, let me know what you think and if you have been to Guatemala, where were your favorite places to visit?

Santa Maria Volcano Hike Quetzaltenango Guatemala

1. Climb the Santa Maria Volcano (el Volcán Santa Maria) :: This 6 hour early morking hike was very difficult, even having climbed mountains in the past. I actually felt like giving up for a good 2 hours, but thanks to the motivation of my friend, I made it to the top. The view is spectacular, you can see all of Xela from the top and can also see the neighboring volcano, San Tiagito, fumigating. We actually saw it "erupt" 3 times in the one hour we chilled on top of the Santa Maria Volcano. My friend and I went together on this hike with GuateGuides. I highly recommend them. They are professional and friendly and are accompanied by two tourism police escorts.

Check it Out (Blogged): The Santa Maria Volcano Hike in Xela (Quetzaltenango), Guatemala
Cost: 300 Quetzales (~$36 USD) per person.

Parque Central, Quetzaltenango Guatemala

2. Visit Central Park (el Parque Central) :: Located in Zone 1, this is a relatively safe and central location to meet up with friends or visit one of the many cafes around the Central Park. There are touristy restaurants (like McDonalds) and typical food restaurants as well. Also, there is a museum located right aside from the park. If you are a fanatic of chocolate dipped frozen fruit I suggest you check out the tiny frozen fruit dippers shop that is located just aside from the museum. (I actually forgot the name of it, but it is just off Avenida 12 and 7a Calle).
Cost: 5 Quetzales ($0.65 cents USD)

Trama Textiles, Quetzaltenango Guatemala

3. Take a Weaving Class with Trama Textiles and visit a Community :: This women's weaving association works with indigenous women weavers across Guatemala and in Xela, selling the products they create and allowing the women to negotiate the prices they want to be paid. They also offer weaving classes! I took a 10 hour chalina (scarf) weaving course. It was so great because not only did I meet people from around the world while taking this course, but I also was able to visit one of the weavers in her community.

Check it out (Blogged): Trama Textiles ♥ The Weaving School Video
Course Cost: 35 Quetzales - 650 Quetzales ($5 - $90 USD) depending on project.

Cupcakery Quetzaltenango Guatemala

4. Get a Custom Made Cupcake at Cakery :: This new bakery is such a treasure! So much talent from the young entrepreneur. I am a fanatic of cupcakes and can say that I have tried dozens in my lifetime. These have to be among the top tasting cupcakes I have ever tried... even better than cupcakes I have tried in Los Angeles and Orange County.

Check it out (Blogged): Travel Diaries ♥ Cakery in Xela, Guatemala
Cost: 1 Quetzal - 10 Quetzales (~$0.13 cents - $1.30 USD) per cupcake.

Satva Living Beyoutiful Hope Organic Cotton

5. Go Wall Watching in Zone 1 :: I don't know about you but I was thoroughly entertained just walking through the streets in Zone 1. All of the walls are brightly painted and the design of each house is different. If you are with a friend and love taking photos of old doors, romantic or colonial (or any the other types I'm not educated on), this is such a fun way to get to know the city a bit more. Just be careful when you take out your camera. :)

Cost: Free.
Satya Xela Guatemala

6. Visit Satya Natural Foods :: If you are a health nut, then you have to try out this place! I was first drawn to it by their big chalkboard which read Kombucha... among other things I like. The great thing is that all that they carry is natural (obviously) and is all sourced from Guatemala. The owners are also super friendly, so if you want to strike up a conversation about, just about anything, they will probably be open to it... even if you just want to practice your Spanish!

Happy Travels,


  1. What a wonderful adventure! Love your tips!

  2. There sounds like so much beauty there Christine... usually the things that are free or inexpensive can give you the best times... xox

  3. Honey, you look very much!
    I like))

  4. I love walking and explore unknown streets and alley.
    Hope I visit Guatemala one day.

  5. Love this post! Such a wonderful place! xo

  6. Guatemala looks like a really great place to visit and do so many things. I have never thought about going there until now. How cool that you climbed a volcano and got to watch another one erupt!


  7. Loving your blog <3
    Would you like to follow each other on gfc? If you follow,let me know, i will follow back =))

  8. looks like such a lovely place! great post x


Thank you for the lovely comment. God bless & stay Be-you-tiful!