An excellent choice in Quetzaltenango for budget travelers, Hostal Don Diego (6a Calle 15-12 Zona 1, tel. 5308-3616 and 5308-1489, www.hostaldondiegoxela.com, $6.50 dorm, $7–9 p/p private room) has clean rooms and a choice of twin- or queen size-beds in private rooms, some with wood paneling.
Xela now has its own version of the wildly popular Antigua equivalent, Black Cat Xela (13 Avenida 3-33 Zona 1, tel. 7761-2091, www.blackcathostels.net, $6 p/p dorm or $16 d private room). The comfortable rooms are centered round a two-story courtyard.
Hotel Quetzalteco (12 Avenida, one block north of Parque Centroamérica, tel. 7765-8461, $9–13 d) is a decent-value hotel in an old colonial home where the 20 basic rooms have desks and reading lamps along with shared or private bathroom. The rooms upstairs are slightly nicer and there’s a squawking parrot on the premises to keep you company.
Hotel Horiani (12 Avenida 2-23 Zona 1, tel. 7763-0815, $8 d) is another good value with better beds than others in its price range and clean rooms with shared bath. The woman who runs the place also does a good job of screening would-be troublemakers. It’s a good choice for solo women travelers.
Moets Guest House (7a Calle 15-24 Zona 1, tel. 5585-4213, $4 p/p) has just five rooms, all with shared bath, that are slightly nicer than others in this price range. There’s a pleasant courtyard sitting area and a café-bar in the front lobby.
Casa Argentina’s (Diagonal 12 8-37 Zona 1, tel. 7761-2470, $3 in dorms, $4 p/p shared-bath room to $10 d with private bath) is a solid budget choice with 27 clean rooms. Some have cable TV and there are always tea, coffee, and purified water available. Guests have use of the kitchen. It’s run by the very friendly and hospitable Leonor Morales and her charming mother. Quetzaltrekkers is housed here.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com