Quetzaltenango AKA Xela Party Town. Xela as the locals refer to the city, famous for Spanish Schools, hiking the volcanoes, and not on the top of tourists destinations for some reason, I assume the handle Xela is for Spanish Schools, not nightlife, not for great food and restaurants and Parties, Antigua is famous for After Parties. Parties going through the night after bars close.
Quetzaltenango AKA Xela is a city in Guatemala’s western highlands. It’s set against a backdrop of volcanoes, including towering Santa María with its active Santiaguito lava dome. Overlooking Central America Park, Espiritú Santo Cathedral has a baroque colonial facade and a 20th-century interior. The city is known for its neoclassical buildings, including the House of Culture and the restored Municipal Theater.
I decided to take a break from Lake Atitlan and go see friends in Xela, a city I have been to many times, however not for a short vacation from work. Ben Follett a close friend from Canada owns a great local gathering place called the Speakeasy. https://www.facebook.com/SpeakeasyXela. Ben offered to show me the ropes of Xela’s Parties and nightlife.
Another friend Valeria Ayerdi-Seibel her and her husband own a Hostel and offered to provide a room for my stay. https://www.facebook.com/casaseibel, I have never met Valeria only through a shared interest in Social Media and she and her husband are friends with Ben and his wife.
Getting there from the Lake takes about three hours by my preferred mode of getting around the Guatemala Chicken Bus. Upon arrival, the Party began at Ben’s Speakeasy Cafe and continue on late into the night. Comparing Xela to Antigua after parties I honestly prefer Xela, Antigua after-parties are the owners crank up the prices on the booze to the extreme.
Notable stops along the way were Kasa Kiwi rooftop bar and an Irish pub owned by a lovely man from actually Ireland, Patrick O’Neill, his pub was amazing and had such a great vibe.
When I managed to drag myself back to Casa Seibel, I was pleasantly surprised with the rooms and the Hostel, for those of us who have stayed in Hostels, you know the beds are okay, mine was a queen, great bed, pillows, towels, great wifi, safe and very secure. Stunning bathroom with a shower and a TUB never stayed in a Hostel with a Tub before.
My overall option of Xela changed with this weekend. A big city, with a very unique kind of underground culture of food, bars, clubs, and nightlife. Not overpriced like Antigua sorry you are overpriced. My parting point, the people, while I was with locals, the engagement and honest interest, great conversations and warm hearts. That is Xela.