An astounding colonial city located just 45 km (28 miles) southeast of Guatemala City, with an altitude of 1530 m (5,020 ft) above sea level and great historical/touristy attractions. Antigua was founded in March 10, 1553 and was well known as the Panchoy Valley, christened by the Spanish conqueror Francisco de la Cueva. The purpose this city was developed in this location, was to headquarter the country’s governmental activities; which included cities such as: Chiapas Mexico, Tabasco Mexico and most of the actual Central American countries. For more than 450 years, Antigua has conserved architectural traits which were common in Latin American cities in the XVI century and which nowadays have being conserved Spanish and Indian cultures.
Antigua Guatemala has won several awards worldwide and has been declared by the UNESCO as LEGANCY OF MINDKIND. This city is an ideal city for mountain biking or just for trekking. You will be always enjoying its beautiful surroundings and the peaceful winds of the area. A good place to start the tour is at Plaza Mayor, where the Fuente de las Sirenas (1739) is located, in its surroundings you can find the Palacio of Ayuntamiento, Portal de las Panaderas, Palacio de los Capitanes Generales and the gorges Cathedral. Together with all these colonial distinctiveness, Antigua has a variety of colonial stone streets, alleys, shopping stores, cafes, and nice restaurants, which offer a great variety of Antiguan candies and a vast menu of Guatemalan and International cuisine.
Located at 140 km (88 miles) from Guatemala City in the top of the Guatemalanmountains, with 1580 m (5,183 ft) above sea level, is a small and famous town with lots of European tourists near Lake Atitlan. Today Lake Atitlan is nominated as one of the 7 marvelous places of planet earth. Panajachel is also a good point of reference to visit different cultural towns you can visit such as: Santiago Atitlan, Santa Catarina Palopo, San Lucas and San Antonio Palopo. This small towns coped by Indians, are famous for their textile arts. During the conquer period, near the lakeshore, a huge war won by the Spanish armies and their allied, the Kackchiqueles, defeated the Tzutuhiles which where the natives at that time. Spanish conquers settled a church and a monastery in Panajachel, which then they used as a convention gathering place of the Indians for the Catholic faith. The original wall of this church is still standing and is one of the nicest patrimonials for the colonial style in Guatemala. Panajachel well known as Pana, is recognizable for its unique habitants, where you can find spectacular scenes, great weather, peaceful environments and a lot of nice people. Similar to Antigua, Panajachel has awesome places where you can stay at, and enjoy the spectacular nightlife atmosphere you only can find at Lake Atitlan. For others who don’t like nightlife, can visit cultural towns near Panajachel, where they can find really interesting natural reserves, walk in the lakeshore or just going shopping to Pana’s main street (one of the most popular places of the country to go shopping).
One of the highest altitude Guatemalan cities, located at 206 km (129 miles) from the City with extremely altitude of 2,333 m (7,655 ft) above sea level. Xela is the second most important city of the country because of its size, commercial, industrial and cultural concentration.
In May 15, 1554 Don Pedro de Alvarado founded Quetzaltengo. At the beginning of the conquest, this land was the home for several battles when the Spanish where dominants. One of the most notorious places in the area was Llanos de Urbina, where a man, with great tradition was given the name of Tecun Uman (a national hero). Tecun Uman died in one of this battles in February 12, 1524 fighting and commanding Indian followers. After this date the K’ichees were vanished in the region. The name of “Quetzaltenango” means Quetzal (a common bird of the region, which now is the national bird of Guatemala) and Tenango (the city of), which translates “The city of the Quetzales”.
Quetzaltenango or Xela, has a moderately cold weather, and is surrounded by three volcanos: Siete Orejas, Santa Maria and Santiaguito. These scenes make the area a nice attraction for tourist from many countries worldwide. In the other hand, Xela offers more colonial monuments such as: The Minerva Temple, Metropolitan Cathedral de los Altos, Municipal Palace, The National Theatre, The Home of the Cultures and many more. Most of the natives are Indians, which still conserve their old traditions and its maya-k’iche lineage. Some of this people modified their customs and traditions where they have a mix of today’s dynamism and an old school colonial background; most of the population found in Xela both speak Spanish and two of the 24 Guatemalan dialects called Mam and K’iche.
Resort Hotel “Hostales del IRTRA” en San Martín Zapotitlán (directly in Xocomil y Xetulul) It was opened on December 5, 1987.
Hostal San Martín (Resort with 4 colonial buildings), Hostal La Ranchería (Boungalows rural style), El Hostal Santa Cruz (Resort with 10 buildings, mediterranean style.), El Hostal Palajunoj, Club Deportivo y SPA “Los Corozos”