I spent a total of two and a half weeks in Quetzaltenango (AKA Xela), and almost every day I discovered something new about the city that I absolutely adored. And since I’m realizing now that I never gave Xela its own blog post, I decided to come up with a list (in no particular order) of some of my favorite things about the city.
Parque Central and Pasaje de Enríquez
My Spanish school was close to Xela’s Parque Central, so I spent plenty of time around this lively park. There were always people in the parque hanging out, whether it was day or night, and during the day vendors sold ice cream, souvenirs, nuts, and plenty other things. I also loved the architecture in the central park, especially the “kiosk” in the center of the park.
Right next to central park, is Pasaje Enríquez. It’s full of restaurants and bars, and is always a fun place to go at night for dinner and/or drinks. Good times were had here.
Xela is full of so many nice and interesting people. A lot of young Guatemalans come to Xela for university, and there are also a lot of spanish schools in Xela, which draw a lot of foreigners to the city. This gives Xela a fun, youthful vibe, and we always met really cool people whenever we went out.
While I didn’t eat out much when I lived in Xela because I stayed at a homestay, there were plenty of delicious (and affordable options) in the city. I’ll do a more detailed post on food later, but for now just know that there is something for everybody in Xela, whether you are looking for a café, a taquería, a burger spot, or Asian cuisine.
The climate and scenery
Fall is my favorite season, hands down. The crisp, cool air is perfect for me because I love wearing layers. Despite the fact that it was June/July when I visited Xela, it felt like fall, because we were almost 8,000ft above sea level. I loved it. Also, having views of mountains and volcanos (and even seeing one erupt!) was pretty darn special.
Xela is truly a fun, lively city that I would love to have the chance to visit again.