Quetzaltenango, Guatemala Travel Guide

Last updated: 2021
All prices listed are in US dollars
Cost of living figures are based on minimum monthly living expenses for one person

Known by Guatemalans by its Mayan name “Xela”, Quetzaltenango is the second largest city in the country after Guatemala City. It’s known for its surrounding nature (volcanoes, waterfalls, hot springs), as well as for being an area of coffee cultivation, livestock raising and fruit and vegetable harvesting.

POPULATION: 800,000

 

WEATHER IN QUETZALTENANGO

Yearly temperatures range from 5°C to 21°C. From September to February it can get a bit cold here. The rainy season lasts from May until November.

 

SAFETY IN QUETZALTENANGO

Compared to Guatemala City, Xela is fairly safe. That said, certain precautions are needed. Don’t walk around at night, for instance. Also, robberies on buses and public transportation can occur. Keep your bag on your lap as opposed to over your head or under your seat. In the main parts of the city, you should be fine during the day. If you go out at night, take an Uber.

 

MUST DO

The historical center boasts many different kinds of architecture. Take an afternoon walk here and take in the sights.

 

RENT AN APARTMENT IN QUETZALTENANGO

$500/month should be enough to rent something decent in this city.

If you want to rent an apartment for a short period of time — just to make sure the city is right for you before committing to a longterm apartment contract — we suggest using Airbnb.

 

COST OF LIVING IN QUETZALTENANGO

Personal items, groceries and entertainment costs are somewhat higher in Guatemala than in neighboring Mexico. Set aside at least $1600/month for a good life here.

 

DATING IN QUETZALTENANGO

Latin American Cupid allows you to talk with singles in Xela and set up dates before you arrive in the country. For this reason, we recommend it.

 

LEARNING SPANISH IN QUETZALTENANGO

If you want to meet women in Latin America, you will need to know a bit of Spanish. PickUp Spanish is an entertaining and informative course that teaches Latin American Spanish in a way that is geared toward meeting and dating latinas!

Skip the boring classes and Try PickUp Spanish Now!

 

JOB OPPORTUNITIES IN QUETZALTENANGO

There are not many job opportunities here for foreigners.

 

IS THERE UBER IN QUETZALTENANGO

Yes, UBER operates in Xela.

 

IS QUETZALTENANGO A GOOD PLACE TO LIVE?

Xela is an interesting choice for an expat, and a slightly underrated one in our opinion. Although the infrastructure is lacking in some parts of the city, the downtown area is quite nice and the geographic surroundings are gorgeous. It could be a good place for an expat who wants to get a little off the beaten trail and not live among too many other countrymen. That said, Xela still has issues with petty crime, and it can get rather cold during the year. It’s worth a look.