192km (119 miles) W of Guatemala City; 58km (36 miles) S of Quetzaltenango; 133km (83 miles) W of Escuintla

For some inexplicable reason, the denizens of Retalhuleu have dubbed their city the "Capital of the World," which is more than a bit presumptuous. Founded in 1877, Reu, as it's commonly known, is the capital of Suchitepéquez, a rich and important agricultural region. It also makes a reasonable base for exploring some nearby archaeological sites, a couple of beaches, and IRTRA, Guatemala's large amusement and theme park complex.

The city is compact, with a pretty colonial-era church and active central plaza. Takalik Abaj, an important archaeological site, is just 30km (18 miles) from the city center, and several other popular sites are just outside the easily reachable town of Santa LucĂ­a Cotzumalguapa.

Tongue Twister -- Retalhuleu is a bit of a tongue twister, even for native Guatemalans. This is probably why it's almost universally called Reu, which is pronounced "Reh-ooh."