What To Do When In Quetzaltenango

Quetzaltenango is Guatemala’s second largest city, a 5 hour bus ride from the capital Guatemala City. The cities are less than 100 miles apart but traffic moves relatively slowly here due to the hilly terrain. The word Quetzaltenango is obviously a mouthful, so for the sake of convenience (I think) and other cultural and historical factors, it is also referred to as Xela – pronounced shay-la. A google search told me that Xela is actually short for the city’s’ Maya name, Xelajú – something I was able to separately fact check since I saw a few storefronts that used the word Xelajú as part of their name.  The city is located in the western highlights of the country so the climate can get pretty darn chilly even during the summer months. After experiencing the massively slow yet blissful pace of life around Lake Atitlan, I decided to take an impulse trip to Xela.

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