Quetzaltenango, more commonly called Xela, is the second largest city in Guatemala with a population of about 160.000 people, half of them indigenous. Xela is considered by many to be the cultural capital of Guatemala, for it's many past and present artists and poets, and for it's three universities. 

Xela is a great place to study Spanish, because of it's friendly people and reasonable prices.

While Xela offers many services to tourists, internet cafes, restaurants, etc. it is not primarily a tourist city, and retains many of the traditions of a small town. Xela is surrounded by beautiful mountains, volcanoes, hot springs, and indigenous villages, whose inhabitants still dress in colorful native clothes and speak their native languages, all of which make wonderful day trips from Xela. Xela is located in the mountains at an elevation of over 2.000m, four hours from Guatemala city, and four hours from the Mexican border. Because of it's elevation, Quetzaltenango is quite cold at night, but warm during the day. The rainy season runs grom May to November, when it often rains in the afternoons.


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