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“A great place to learn Spanish”
Review of Quetzaltenango

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Hudson, WI
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 helpful votes
“A great place to learn Spanish”
Reviewed October 13, 2010

The community of Quetzaltenango was fabulouis-so welcoming to so many foreign travelers. Quetzaltenango is Guatemala's second largest city and is nestled in the mountains of the Sierra Madres at an altitude of 8000 ft. The scenery is gorgeous, although we experienced about 15 inches of rain in our time there this summer, many of the mornings were beautiful. There are hikes to nearby volcanos, steam baths at the volcanos, and lots of shopping opportunities at several large markets. I spent a couple weeks in Quetzaltenango studying Spanish in an immersion program at Casa Xelaju. Casa Xelaju staff was wonderful and offered many day trips to places of interest in and around Quezaltenango in addition to the 5 hours of immersion instruction per day. We lived with host families, learned how to make chocolate, watched weaving demonstrations and liquor being made in someone's home. Overall, the experience was great and I would recommend for any age traveler- kids down to age 7 were studying Spanish in the school as well!

1 Thank DNW834
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Joseph, MN
1 review
“Hidden Oasis in Central America”
Reviewed October 12, 2010

Quetzaltenango has so much to offer. While I studied there I attended a Spanish school, went on volcano hikes, went salsa dancing, attended soccer games, and so much more! There is so much culture to experience and the city itself is very tourist friendly. If you ever want to take a great vacation in Central America, Quetzaltenango or (Xela) Guatemala is the place to go!

Thank satheobald
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
6 helpful votes
“beautifull guatemala .....but queltzaltenango”
Reviewed November 1, 2009

HI folks,me and my girlfriend r travelling for 4 month in Guatemala,so far we came across amazing local people and some friendly travelers.Antigua and Atitlan (apart the problem with the lake
wich at the moment it is highly polluted)r both pretty towns,Antigua with his colonial vibes and organize city road it is unique and the towns around atitlan offers the opportunity to blend with local peoples.Day b 4 yesterday we arrive to Quetzaltenango and although the city seems safe,many locals trIed to sponge off money from us,we r ready to pay 1 or 2q more for a ride on a cicken bus but when we were asked more than double the normal fare i was truly annoyed and we hop off the bus and decided no to visit Momostenango.Travelling from Quetzaltenango to anywher else
in Guatemala using a shuttle it is costing us 3 and half times as much as we paid from Antigua to Atitlan,and the miles r equal.The city itself it has nothing special to offers and the market compare to the others we visit so far it was quite dirty.So if u r heading towards Quetzaltenango think about it ,or at list this our advise.
have a good journey
Ivano Lupini y Vera Terranova

3 Thank iverao
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
35 helpful votes
“Known as Xela, a charming but crumbling mountain city in Guatemala”
Reviewed April 18, 2009

I stayed in Xela for a week, studying Spanish and exploring the city and the area. The city has a lot of charm by day, less by night when it just looks sort of wretched. The central plaza comes to life in the late afternoon, when everyone comes out for a stroll and a chat with friends. There are little stalls selling roasted corn on the cob, fresh fruit and tortillas with toppings. All of the grand old colonial buildings are crumbling but still very pretty, the infrastructure is just plain crumbling - sidewalks, streets, etc. The people are absolutely lovely, charming, gracious and kind to foreigners. They listened politely to even my most incorrect Spanish and answered kindly.
There are lots of little cafes and casual restaurants for inexpensive meals. I recommend the Cafe Los Altos very highly. It is run by an organization that works with rural craftspeople and promotes their work, and part of the space is used for classes.
The coffee and breakfasts there are delicious and there is wifi.
There is also a women's weaving cooperative that helps rural women improve their craft and market their work. It is a few streets away from the main plaza.
Within an hour drive from Xela (either on the chicken bus or a shared minibus - I would never drive in Guatemala because the road conditions are horrendous) are some good volcano hikes, a hot mineral spring and a very untouristy weekly market in the town of San Francisco de los altos. The local villages have some pretty churches.

2 Thank metayelet009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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