Xela Travel Guide

December 28, 2018

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Quetzaltenango, or “Xela” as it is better known, is the second largest city in Guatemala and a little less than two hours away from our home base of Panajachel. The Hiptipico team had the opportunity to travel there last weekend on invitation from La Chusmita festival, which celebrates local art and culture a few times a year. We were thrilled to have the opportunity, and took a little extra time to explore Xela and get to know Guatemala even better!

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Because the festival took place on a Sunday afternoon, we started our day travelling in from Lake Atitlan and fueling up with a big breakfast. Lucky for us, a member of our team calls Xela home and could show us all the best spots, starting with Panquewaffles!

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We then headed to the venue, just outside the city to set up our booth for the day. We brought bags, fanny packs, pom-poms, and whole array of ethical goods to share. Known for it’s colder weather, the day was surprisingly hot! Different musicians performed all day and into the night, including one of our favorites, some cumbia! By the time the sun had gone down we’d connected with lots of people, including a few photographers, other vendors, and were ready for some dinner and lots of sleep.

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After an incredible dinner at La Stampa Bistro, featuring some futbol, live music, and crepes, we headed to our hotel, Hotel Lar Antiqua, to get a full nights rest for an early start the next day. A 7 AM wake up call meant we could see the cities best sights before all the hustle and bustle of the day started. Our newest holiday restocks still needed to be photographed, and Xela offered some of the best backdrops we’d seen yet.

From Catedral del Espiritu Santo in the cities main square to Teatro Municipal, we were thoroughly impressed with the cities history and are already planning where to visit next. Something about the architecture made it seem like we were in Guatemala and across the world all at once!

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Our trip ended with a return trip to Panquewaffles and a visit to Xelapan, an incredible bakery for some to-go goodies. If you’ve ever been to Xela, you know how much it has to offer- culture, food, and beautiful landscapes are just the start, and we are so thankful it’s only a quick ride away!

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