Thursday, June 10, 2010

Xetulul: The Amusement and Cultural Park

The most recent theme park created by IRTRA, Xetulul, features 7 plazas (pavillions or squares) that represent a similar number of different cultures. Xetulul takes its name from a Mayan voice that translates as “under the trees”.
Three of the plazas are dedicated to Guatemala: the Plaza Chapina welcomes the visitors with replicas of historic buildings, such as the Railroad Station (the original in downtown Guatemala City, is now a beautiful museum), the Royal Palace (the original building was destroyed by an earthquake in 1917, and in its place we find the Centennial Park, which was built in 1921 to commemorate the first centennial of the Central America Independence), the Palace of the Noble Town Council (the original and well preserved in Antigua Guatemala still can be admired), and the Church at San Agustin Acasaguastlan (in the Department of El Progreso, still in our list to visit). Every building has an utilitarian purpose, such as restaurant, souvenirs shop, jewelry gallery, among others.
The Mayan Plaza features an impressive 112 feet-high recreation of the iconic Mayan temple Gran Jaguar (the original is in Tikal), painted in the colors archaeologists believe the original Mayan cities were decorated. The third plaza dedicated to Guatemala is the Guatemalan Town, which brings together several picturesque towns into one harmonic and charming plaza. Among other services and attractions, in this plaza we will find a seafood restaurant.
The Italy Pavilion features several buildings inspired in the Florentine and Venetian architecture, including recreations of the Ufizzi Gallery, the Palazzo Vecchio and a wonderful replica of the Fontana di Trevi. In addition to two Italian-style restaurants, in this area there is a Gelateria.
The France Pavilion includes recreations of the Moulin Rouge and the spectacular Grand Theater where magic shows are presented regularly. The Germany Pavilion is designed to look like a true German town and the Spain Pavilion features a replica of the Alhambra and houses with architecture from different regions of Spain. All the pavilions include several attractions, special services, and restaurants where food representative of the different countries is served.
But definitely the most exciting part of Xetulul are the rides and entertainment attractions. From thrilling roller coasters and chair-o-planes to bumper cars, carousels and screaming swings. You will certainly be able to experience an adrenaline rush if you’re up to the challenge. My inner child is already telling me, let's go! What about yours?

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