Sights & Landmarks

Sights & Landmarks in Quetzaltenango

  • Market (La Democracia). The main market in the city is in Zona 3, covering various city blocks around the covered market, with an enormous variety of produce at cheaper prices than in formal shops (often for identical products). The covered market itself occupies the block between 15 Avenida and 16 Avenida, and 2 and 3 Calle, Zona 3. Fresh meat is sold inside the covered market, fruit and vegetables outside. Clothes, shoes, and toys are mostly sold outside. Many buses and microbuses pass the market, usually breviated to "La Demo". On the north side of the market is the attractive Parque Benito Juárez, with the San Nicolás Church on its east side.

Historical Center

The town conserves traces of the colonial period in its streets and avenues. The classical, neoclassical and Italian renaissance styles are evident in the buildings and the houses which have been built during the past century and the beginning of the 20th, with volcanic stones by artistic "Quetzalteco" masons. Some examples of architectural styles:

  • Espiritu Santo Cathedral : Consist of two structures. The "Espiritu Santo" parish's ancient facade (1535/1896) and to the back the "Diócesis de los Altos" (1899).
  • The Municipal Theatre is a very important Neoclassical work.
  • The Central America park (known as "Parque Central): Situated in the old centre of the town is also centre of cultural activities and amusements.
  • The Enrique Passage : Commercial building from 1900 facing the central park.
  • Gobernacion : one block from the central park.
  • Municipal Palace : Overlooking the park on the east side.
  • Central market One block below the cathedral, with a number of handicraft shops selling souvenirs, and with food and drink available below.
  • Natural History Museum A small local museum on the south side of the park, with a collection of curiosities including a few Maya archaeological finds (mostly ceramics).
  • Also visit the Cerro del Baúl, where one can have a beautiful view of Quetzaltenango's valley, day or night (accessible by foot, car or taxi).

Quetzaltenango has important cultural activities. There, you'll find theOccidental Cultural Centre (La Casa de la Cultura de Occidente), andAlliance Française de Quetzalteango, numerous activities are scheduled all year.

The first Sunday of each month, the "Quetzaltecos" install the artisans' market in the central park where handcrafts from Quetzaltenago and surrounding villages are displayed. In September, the annual fair and festival is offered from the 12th to the 18th.