Puerto Quetzal was constructed in 1984 to connect nearby cities in Guatemala. It is a cargo pier as well as a stop-off point for cruise ships. Stacked shipping crates and mounds of coal, industrial conveyor belts gave a poor initial impression to arriving passengers.
J.J. and I consider Puerto Quetzal as one of the “bonus” ports of call. Antigua, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city seem one of the main attraction from here. Shore excursion to colonial Antigua to see well preserved Spanish-Baroque architecture and colonial churches was being offered by NCL. But it was not enticing enough to for us to spend 7 1/2 hours outside the comfort of our ship.
It seems there were many other passengers who shared our sentiment. Like the two of us, they walked around the cordoned off section of the pier. There was music, a couple of open air cafés, the Jade museum, basically to sell Jade products, and small souvenir huts peddling nearly identical items to tourists.
Quetzal (Q) is the local currency. However store keepers were only quoting prices in US dollars.
Aloha -- Cathi