One thing that surprised me as soon as I heard of it was that Guatemala is home to the best amusement park in Central America. Locals refer to it as Xetulul, which is the theme park’s name but the place is a large compound that also includes a huge waterpark called Xocomil, four hotels, and a Spa.
It is located in the Retalhuleu Department of Guatemala and is part of a group of five parks spread all over the country. They are run by a private organization called IRTRA that was created by owners of the largest companies in the country as a benefit for all workers. Anyone can enjoy the place but only affiliated Guatemalans can enter the parks with their immediate family for free and get discounts at all of the rides, restaurants, and hotels.
But it is not all about the looks of the place, the service is among the best that I have received in the country.
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Xetulul Theme Park
The park is divided into nine main areas, each has scale representations of the most popular buildings in the area it is about. All of the restaurants, arcades, and rides are hidden among these buildings.
Plaza Chapina – It is right the first thing you see, right at the entrance. In it you find a bank, a train station, and a restaurant.
Guatemalan Town – In here you find a lot of food stands offering the traditional dishes sold at festivals all over the country. There are also a couple of rides in it and a seafood restaurant.
Mayan Plaza – It is the most iconic area of the park. It features a huge representation of a Mayan pyramid and the zoo.
Spain Plaza – Here you find a beautiful representation of the courtyards of the famous Alhambra, a restaurant with traditional Spanish food and even a tablao flamenco.
Italy Plaza – Its highlight is a scale representation of the famous trevi fountain, but next to it you also see the medicci palace.
France Plaza – It has an arcade that represents... the Moulin Rouge and a gorgeous theater where you can see a fun magic show.
German/Sweden Plaza – You get to try some of the best Guatemalan beer, eat traditional German sausages and access the roller coaster.
Caribbean Town - In it you find a relaxing and fun boat ride for kids and the representation of the San Felipe fortress (located in the Izabal Department).
Fantasy Town – This is an area dedicated to the little ones with gardens, gnomes, and colorful mushrooms.
There are rides for all ages and include two roller coasters (one for adults and one for kids), a theater, a climbing wall, a small zoo, a train and tons more.
My family and I were truly amazed to see that a park like this existed in Guatemala. We have already been there a couple of times.
Take a look at the Park’s Map
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Xocomil Water Park
It is located right next to Xetulul and they share the enormous parking space. This is also among the largest water parks in the region. It has tons of different swimming pools for all ages, insane water slides and slides for the whole family for a total of 19 attractions. It also includes tons of food stands and a main cafeteria.
The whole park has a Mayan kind of theme. All of the decoration in it are replicas from Mayan buildings and artwork found throughout the country. All of the gardens and trees in it are also arranged to make you feel as if you were in the middle of the jungle.
Check out the Xocomil Map
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Hotels and Spa
There are four of them and each offers a different theme and a different price range. They are located right across the street from the parks and are connected through an underground tunnel to them.
There are no divisions among the hotels, they are all part of a large compound so you get to explore them all as well as their pools and their restaurants regardless of the one you decided to stay in.
Hostal San Martin – Its buildings and gardens resemble the huge houses and courtyards from the colonial homes in Antigua Guatemala.
Hostal Santa Cruz – This one was built in a Mediterranean style.
La Rancheria – In here you find private casitas for up to six people, spread along large gardens.
Hostal Palajunoj – It is made up of five buildings, each with a different theme. They are Polynesian, Indonesian, Thai, African, and Mayan.
Los Corozos Spa – It is much more than massages, saunas, Jacuzzis and a beauty salon. There is also a full gym, a country club with restaurant, tennis courts, bowling... alleys, a bar, and a cafeteria on a gorgeous terrace.