FAQ

Advice

From Our Previous Students…

We recommend carrying American Express Traveler’s Checks (US Dollars). You may use them to pay for your classes or you may pay by credit card (Visa, American Express, or MasterCard). You may also use Visa and Mastercard credit cards to withdraw money from ATMs in Xela.

Guatemala’s international airport is located in Guatemala City. If you will be traveling there, we recommend taking Linea Dorada Transportation; it is first class and makes no stops along the way.

Xela is peaceful and safe city, but it is always a good idea to be extra cautious when traveling. Sometimes foreigners stand out to thieves, so we recommend not wearing flashy clothing or jewelry.

We recommend bringing sun block because the sun in Xela is very strong. At night and early in the morning, it can be very cold, so we also recommend that you bring warm clothing and a waterproof jacket (especially for the rainy season from May through October).

No vaccinations are required to enter Guatemala. We recommend speaking with your doctor before (arrival) because the majority of doctors recommend getting Typhoid and Tetanus vaccinations. Depending on where you are traveling, you may need them. Prevention is always the best cure!

Housing (home stay, apartments, hostels, hotels)

If you are looking for a unique experience, come and live with a Guatemalan family. Students will experience life in Guatemala, first hand. Our families are typical, middle class Guatemalans who enjoy opening their homes to foreigners. Middle class homes in Guatemala are not luxurious, but they do have the main essentials. You will have a private room, a key to your room and to the front door, a hot shower, three meals per day (vegetarian meals available upon request), and quality conversation with the family.

Only one student is placed in each family, but if you would like to stay with a friend or partner in the same house, this can also be arranged. All of our host families live within 3 to 500 meters of the school. This means that you will be within 1 to 15 minutes walking distance of the school and Also, it will be easy to go out at night with other students because they will live close by.

Students will receive typical Guatemalan cuisine in their home-stays that is safe and nutritious. Purified water is always available. If you are vegetarian, the señora of the house can plan your meals to include vegetables, fruits and grains.

Living with a Guatemalan family is an excellent experience. Guatemalans are very open and caring. By living with a family, you will have the chance to participate in their daily activities. Living with a local family provides a unique view of everyday Guatemalan life that each student has the opportunity to experience while studying at I.C.A.

Hostel Information

  • The Black Cat Hostel (Xela)
  • Transportation (airport and around xela)

Guatemala City to Xela
First class Pullman buses: the easiest and most comfortable way to travel between Guatemala City and Quetzaltenango is by Pullman bus.  We recommend taking Linea Dorada. Although it is a little more expensive, they offer bathrooms, air conditioning, movies and for security reasons, they run directly from Guatemala City to Xela. Alamo, Galgos and Fuente del Norte transportation do not have bathrooms and make stops along the way. The cost ranges from Q60 to Q70 each way.


Línea Dorada Transportation Schedule
Approximately 4 hours
Guatemala Office:
16 Calle 10-03, Zone 1
Phone: 2415-8900
Guatemala City to Xela

8:00am
3:00pm

Xela Office:
12 Avenida 5-13, Zone 3
Phone: 7767-5198
Xela to Guatemala City
Approximately 4 hours

4:00am
2:00pm

Álamo Transportation Schedule
Guatemala Office:
12 Avenida “A” 0-65 Zone 7
Phone:  2471-8626
Guatemala City to Xela
Approximately 4 hours

6:15am
8:00am
10:30am
12:30pm
3:00pm
5:30pm

Xela Office:14 Avenida 5-15 Zone 3
Phone: 7767-4582
Xela to Guatemala City
Approximately 4 hours

4:00am
8:00am
10:15am
12:45pm
2:30pm
4:45pm

Galgos Transportation Schedule
Guatemala Office:
7ª  Avenida 19-44, Zone 1
Phone: 2253-4868 or 5206-7583
Guatemala City to XelaApproximately 4 hours

8:30am
4:30pm
5:00pm

Xela Office:
Calle Rodolfo Robles 17-43,Zone 1
Phone: 7761-2248
Xela to Guatemala City
Approximately 4 hours

4:00am
12:30pm
3:00pm

Fuente del Norte Transportation Schedule
Guatemala Office:
7Av 3-33, Zone 2
Phone:  7761-4587Guatemala City to Xela
Approximately 4 hours

9:30am
2:00pm
4:00pm
5:00pm

Xela Office:
2ª  Avenida 18-47, Zone 1
Phone: 2251-3817Xela to Guatemala City
Approximately 4 hours

5:00am
9:30am
3:00pm
7:30pm

 

*** Please beware of pick-pocketers and thieves watching for unsuspecting tourists. Always watch your bags carefully in the bus terminal and airport. Be sure to have your valuables on or very close to you at all times***

Note: The approximate travel time from Guatemala City to Xela is about 4 hours. If you are interested in other options, there are also second class buses, called “camionetas” or “Chicken Buses”. In Guatemala City, the main terminal for these buses is located between 4 Avenida and 7 Calle in Zone 4.  From this terminal, you can take buses to anywhere in Guatemala. The price for these buses is much cheaper than the price for the first class Pullman buses.

From Quetzaltenango you may use the Minerva Terminal in Zone 3 for buses in ALL directions.  Bus schedule information can be found in most guidebooks or at the terminal.

 

AIRPORT PICK-UP
If you either want or need to stay a night in Guatemala City, we recommend the following bed and breakfast. Please make reservations in advance, especially during the summer months:

 

CASA DE FAMILIA
Km. 16 Carretera a El Salvador
Phone: (502) 6634-0053
Cell Phone: (502) 5200-7681

E-mail Address: casadefamiliaguate@hotmail.com or casadefamiliaguate@yahoo.com

Please contact Gilda Arroyo who speaks English! The cost is USD $48 including pick-up at the airport, a one night stay, a homemade Guatemalan breakfast, currency exchange, free internet access (includes wireless internet), a mini-tour of the city, and drop-off at the bus station the next morning.

She also does pick-up at the airport and direct drop-off at the bus station the same day for USD $25; this includes currency exchange, reserving a seat for you at the bus station, and an optional stop for you to get something to eat.

Gilda will call us in Xela to notify us of your bus number and arrival time.

You can also arrange for Gilda to pick you up when you return to Guatemala City and take you to the airport.

When contacting Gilda please make reservations in advance and include: Your name, date of arrival, time of arrival, flight number and name of the airline.

*Please make sure you receive a CONFIRMATION from Gilda before leaving for Guatemala.

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