is a colonial town settled by the Conquistadores and surrounded by mist-covered
mountains, the Santa Maria volcano and the active Santiaguito volcano.
Quetzaltenango is called Xelaju or simply Xela (shay-lay) by almost everyone,
including its Quiché Maya citizens who still use this original
Quiché name for the site where the Spanish conquistadores built
is the commerial center of Southwestern Guatemala. It is the center of
the Quiché Maya people and the second largest city of Guatemala.
In town, visitors will find services and accommodations while those that
wish to get out to explore the mountains will find numerous eco-tourism
organizations offering hiking and camping treks through the mountains,
complete with all the necessary gear and professional, experienced guides.
Near Quetzaltenango are the hot springs of Fuentes Georginas.
The road leading to the hot springs passes through lush plots of agriculture
and tranquil scenes of farmers, and sheer drop-offs along the passage
create awe-inspiring views of the valley below. At the end of the road
you will find the hot springs and a restaurant. Also in the area are two
blown glass factories, where locals continue the artful tradition of glass
blowing creating beautiful products that are available for sale in giftshops
throughout the country.