Tuesday, June 8, 2010

IRTRA Theme Parks and Hotels: A Self Contained Destination

Let me start by explaining that IRTRA are the initials in Spanish for Workers' Recreation Institute, which was created in the early 1960s to provide low cost and high quality entertainment and recreational spaces to the Guatemalan working class. I don't know where else in the world you can find an institution like this; what I do know is that in Guatemala IRTRA is synonymous of an extraordinary and visionary concept, which is now available to everybody.
The theme parks in Retalhuleu, Xocomil (water park) and Xetulul (amusement park), are so beautifully designed that so far, they been awarded several national and international prizes. In 1998, the World Water Park Association awarded the park Xocomil as best water park in the world in the category Innovation; in 2008, this park was designated as Park of the Year by the Amusement Today magazine and received the Golden Ticket award; the same year, 2008, the park Xetulul won the Applause Award; and in 2009, the IRTRA creator, Ricardo Castillo Sinibaldi, was recognized as Industry Leader and entered the IAAPA Hall of Fame Awards
Hostales del IRTRA is a modern and beautiful complex of 4 hotels with almost 700 rooms which makes it the biggest hotel in Guatemala. The hotels were inspired in 4 different themes: Guatemalan Colonial architecture, Mediterranean culture, the wetlands and rain forests of  Polinesia, Indonesia, Thailand, Africa, and Guatemala, and country-style bungalows.
Probably you have never thought of Guatemala as an amusement park destination; however, due to the geographical location of Retalhuleu and its natural and archaeological attractions, a visit to at least one of the IRTRA facilities or staying at one of the hotels while exploring the surroundings, can be a joyful and rewarding experience.


  1. I'm Polish born, Guatemalan by marriage and American citizen. I've been there 3 times-hostales and parks and will go back again and again !!!
    The concept itself is great and experience was unbelievable. The themed hotels are easy 4 star quality !!!

  2. I'm Guatemalan, living in USA for many years. I stayed in IRTRA for a few days and it was a wonderful experience.
    I invite every body to visit Guatemala. it is a beautiful country.



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