Things to do

Things to do in Quetzaltenango

  • Study Spanish. Quetzaltenango is well known for its Spanish schools, with a great many available, concentrated in the historic centre of the city. Classes are given on a 1:1 basis, usually with study in the morning and tourist activities in the afternoon, and accommodation provided with a local family.
  • La Pradera (Hiper). Shopping mall with multi-screen cinema that screens the latest Hollywood releases, usually dubbed in Spanish, but occasionally subtitled.


There are hundreds of volunteer opportunities with organizations and groups in and around Xela, ranging from one day projects to long term placements.

Many of the schools listed above offer opportunities for their students. For other volunteer opportunities, see the list below.


Xela is also well known for its abundance of volcanoes, mountains, and hot springs.

  • Adrenalina Tours organizes daily shuttles to the Fuentes Georginas hot springs in the town of Zunil, to areas for hiking and trekking, cultural tours in indigenous villages, walking city tours, or to the tours of the cemetery and beer factory. There are also shuttles to and from most places in Guatemala, and Tapachula and San Cristobal de las Casas in Mexico, or Copán Ruinas in Honduras. This service is equipped with its own vehicles, bilingual drivers, and certified guides. Their offices are located on the west side of the central park, on Pasaje Enriquez. Information: [email protected]
  • Caminando Guatemala Specialized tour operator for treks and hikes, on the third floor above Adrenalina. They organize daily hikes to the local volcanoes of Santa Maria, Chicabal, and Santiaguito. They can also arrange multi-day expeditions.
  • Quetzaltrekkers offers trips to local natural wonders at reasonable prices, as well as extended treks to Lago de Atitlan and the Cuchumatanes. All guides are either foreign volunteers or local Guatemalans. All profits go towards La Escuela de la Calle, a school in the poorest neighborhood of Xela.


The salsa scene is also very active in Xela. Lessons are cheap and there are lots of clubs.