Well I finally made it to Central America! After two long flights and a four hour bus ride I arrived in Quezaltenango (Xela), the second largest city in Guatemala with a population of 152,743*. According to Lonely Planet Xela “tends to attract a more serious type of traveler—people who really want to learn Spanish and then stay around and get involved in the myriad volunteer projects on offer”.
When I got off the airplane I had to move as quickly as possible because if I didn’t make the 12:30 bus I’d have to wait another 2 1/2 hours for the next one. On top of that I’d have to stay at a hotel or hostel in Xela. It’s a looooong bus ride and I was already tired from being on airplanes for the past 12 hours or so. PRO TIP: Consider scheduling a day or two after traveling before starting classes.
I arranged an airport pickup ($10) through the Utatlan Spanish School where I’m studying. Thanks to Alberto’s ninja driving skills we made it through Guatemala City’s nasty traffic, arriving at the terminal with 2 minutes to spare!
In addition to the 1 on 1 Spanish instruction, Utatlan offers various types of activities throughout the week. It’s a great way to meet other travelers from all around the world.
Be sure to follow the hashtag #TravelogueMedia for my latest “Guategrams”.
*2013 data, Lonely Planet