Mountain views surround Quetzaltenango, the second city of Guatemala, which sits in the western highlands. Xela, as locals call it, combines the likes of the towering Santa María volcano with scenic bars and restaurants to make for an unforgettable destination. Prices needn’t rise as high as the landscape, however – make the most of your trip by staying at one of these excellent budget hotels and hostels, bookable on Culture Trip.
If you’re looking for somewhere cosy, convivial and light on frills, this city centre hostel nails the brief. Rooms are arranged around a central, fairy light-filled courtyard, and each has its own quirk – whether split-level, with a second bed hovering on a mezzanine, or with exposed brick peeking through the flaking plaster. Spend time at the buzzy bar, which serves up local craft beers and excellent chicken tamales.
What can be better than finding a peaceful spot to flick through your guidebooks before setting out for the day? With its tiled patios, hammock-strung central courtyard and wooden-floored living room, you’re spoiled for choice in Casa Seibel. Alternatively, just pop round the corner to the Parque Central, where you can plan your day out with a coffee from one of the nearby cafes.
Covers made from local fabric top off comfy beds to give a warm welcome in this historic, traveller-friendly hotel. Rooms on the upper floors max out on stellar views of the mountainous horizon close to the leafy Parque Centro América. Some have cosy armchairs for decompressing after a busy day exploring the city’s Neoclassical architecture and cultural institutions.
Think hotels are more your thing? See the best hotels in Quetzaltenango or the best hotels in the country’s capital, Guatemala City, now bookable via Culture Trip. If you want to go further, why not explore Guatemala’s creative scene and visit the nearby Mayan Murals of San Juan La Laguna, or hear about the women-only indigenous co-op weaving to protect its community.
This is a rewrite of an article originally by Patrick Foot.