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Guatemala City
La Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción
Guatemala City
Nickname(s): Guate
Motto: "Tú eres la ciudad" (You are the city)
Guatemala City is located in Guatemala
Guatemala City
Location within Guatemala
Coordinates: 14°37′22.48″N 90°31′53.33″W / 14.6229111°N 90.5314806°W / 14.6229111; -90.5314806
Country  Guatemala
Department Guatemala
Municipality Guatemala
Subdivisions Zonas (zones)
Established 1773
Government
 - Mayor Álvaro Arzú
Area
 - City 692 km2 (267.2 sq mi)
 - Land 1,905 km2 (735.5 sq mi)
Elevation 1,602 m (5,256 ft)
Population (2002 Census)[1][2]
 - City 942,348
 Metro 2,318,080
Time zone GMT-6 (UTC-6)
Website Municipalidad de Guatemala

Guatemala City (in full, La Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción; locally known as Guatemala or Guate), is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Guatemala. It is also the capital city of the local Guatemala Department and the largest city in Central America and the Caribbean.

The city is located at 14°38′N 90°33′W / 14.633°N 90.55°W / 14.633; -90.55, in a mountain valley called Valle de la Ermita in the south central part of the country.

Contents

Population

As of the 2002 census, the metropolitan area had a population of 2.3 million.[2] However, it has grown in excessive amounts throughout recent years. Guatemalans have a diversity of origins, with Spanish and Mestizo descent being the most common. Guatemala City also has a sizeable Indigenous population and minority groups such as Germans and other Europeans, Jewish, Koreans, and many groups of other Latin American origins such as Peruvian, and Colombian amongst others.

Guatemala City's population has experienced drastic growth since the 1970s with the influx of indigenous migrants from the outlying departments as well as a large influx of foreign groups. For this reason along with several others, Guatemala City has experienced some growth problems such as transportation saturation, availability of safe potable water in some areas at certain times as well as increased crime. The infrastructure, although continuing to grow and improve, at times appears to be lagging in relation to the population explosion. In other words, Guatemala City experiences common growing pains comparable to any other rapidly growing city in the world.

Climate

Despite its location in the tropics and the many micro climates found within the country, Guatemala City's elevation and the resulting moderating influence of the higher altitude, enables it to enjoy a subtropical highland climate. Guatemala City is generally mild, almost springlike, throughout the course of the year. It occasionally gets warm during the dry season, but it is nowhere near as hot as other sea-level cities located in the tropics. The rainy season extends from May to October while the dry season covers the remainder of the year.[3] The weather in Guatemala City is also very windy; this may decrease the apparent temperature even more.

Its average annual temperature is of 19 to 22 °C (66 to 72 °F)) during the day, and 14 °C (57 °F) at night.

Average morning relative humidity: 82%, evening relative humidity: 58%. Average Dew Point is 12 °C (54 °F).[3]

Climate data for Guatemala City
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 21
(70)
23
(73)
25
(77)
25
(77)
25
(77)
23
(73)
23
(73)
23
(73)
22
(72)
22
(72)
22
(72)
21
(70)
22
(72)
Daily mean °C (°F) 15
(59)
17
(63)
20
(68)
20
(68)
21
(70)
20
(68)
20
(68)
20
(68)
19
(66)
18
(64)
17
(63)
16
(61)
19
(66)
Average low °C (°F) 9
(48)
11
(52)
14
(57)
15
(59)
16
(61)
16
(61)
16
(61)
15
(59)
15
(59)
14
(57)
11
(52)
10
(50)
13
(55)
Avg. precipitation days 4 3 4 5 14 23 20 20 23 15 7 5 143
Source: Weather Base [4]

History

Metropolitan Cultural Centre (old National Post Office Building).

Within the confines of modern Guatemala City is the ancient Maya city of Kaminaljuyu. Kaminaljuyu dates back some 9,000 years and is one of America's most notable archaeological sites. The center of Kaminaljuyu was located a short distance from the oldest part of Guatemala City. However, in the late 20th century, the city grew around the ruins, and, in some cases, over some of the outlying ruins before they were protected.

Many of the several hundred temple mounds have been built over with freeways, shopping centers, commerce, luxury hotels and residential areas. The central ceremonial center of Kaminaljuyu was however protected by the Guatemalan government and is now a park within the city. There are also many ruins still in existence, protected by the government.

In Spanish colonial times, Guatemala City was a small town. It had a monastery called El Carmen, founded in 1629. The capital of the Spanish Captaincy General of Guatemala, covering most of modern Central America, was moved here after a series of earthquakes - the Santa Marta earthquakes that started on July 29, 1773 - destroyed the old capital, Antigua Guatemala.[5] On September 27, 1775, King Charles III of Spain officialized the moving of the capital. This dramatically increased the potential for expansion of the city.

Guatemala City was the scene of the declaration of independence of Central America from Spain, and became the capital of the United Provinces of Central America in 1821.

Today

Evening view from a plane

Guatemala City is the economic, governmental and cultural capital of the Republic, and considered by many, an economic capital of Central America.

The city also functions as the main port of entry into the country, with Central America's largest international airport, La Aurora International Airport and most major highways in the country originating or leading to the city.

In addition to a wide variety of restaurants, hotels and shops, the city has a wide variety of art galleries, theaters, sports venues and museums (including some fine collections of Pre-Columbian art) and continually offers an increasing amount of cultural activities.

Guatemala City offers all the modern amenities along with important historic sites that a world class city can be expected to have ranging from an IMAX Theater to the Ícaro film festival (Festival Ícaro) featuring film produced in Guatemala and Central America.

The city continues to be a pole for the attraction of immigrants from the country's rural areas as well as foreign immigrants.

Structure and growth

Guatemala City Zone 10 from air.
Guatemala City Plan de Ordenamiento Territorial (P.O.T) Map designating desired construction densities in the city.

Guatemala City is subdivided into 22 zones designed by the urban engineering of Raúl Aguilar Batres, each one with its own streets and avenues, making it very easy to find addresses in the city. Zones are numbered 1-25 with Zones 20, 22 and 23 not yet existing.[6] Addresses are assigned according to the street or avenue number, followed by a dash and the number of meters it is away from the intersection further simplifying address location.

The city's metro area has recently grown very rapidly and has absorbed most of the neighboring municipalities of Villa Nueva, San Miguel Petapa, Mixco, San Juan Sacatepequez, San José Pinula, Santa Catarina Pinula, Fraijanes, San Pedro Ayampuc, Amatitlán, Villa Canales, Palencia and Chinautla forming what is now known as the Guatemala City Metropolitan Area.

Zone One is the Historic Center, (Centro Histórico), lying in the very heart of the city, the location of many important historic buildings including the Palacio Nacional de la Cultura (National Palace of Culture), the Metropolitan Cathedral, the National Congress, the Casa Presidencial (Presidential House), the National Library and Plaza de la Constitución (Constitution Plaza, old Central Park). Efforts to revitalize this important part of the city have been undertaken by the municipal government and have been very successful thus far.

In an attempt to control rapid growth of the city, the municipal government (Municipalidad de Guatemala) headed by long time Mayor Álvaro Arzú, has implemented a plan to control its growth based on transects along its important arterial roads and exhibitting Transit-oriented development (TOD) characteristics. This plan denominated POT (Plan de Ordenamiento Territorial) aims to allow taller building structures of mixed uses to be built next to large arterial roads and gradually decline in height and density as you move away from such.[7]

Places of interest by zones

Palacio Nacional, Guatemala City.

Zone 1

Zone 2

  • Mapa en Relieve (giant map of Guatemala, unique in the world) and surrounding parks [8]
Main square with the National Palace opposite.

Zone 4

Zone 5

Zone 7

  • Kaminaljuyu, Museo Miraflores [4], Miraflores one of the biggest malls in the city.

Zone 9

Plaza Fontabella Lifestyle Center in Zone 10 with Edificio Atlantis in the background.

[[Media:Example.ogg]]===Zone 10===

Zone 13

Buildings in Guatemala City as seen from La Aurora Int'l Airport Concourse with the old historic airport in the forefront.
  • Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología [11]
  • Museo de Arte Moderno (Art Museum)
  • Museo de los Niños (Children's Museum}
  • Museo Nacional de Historia Natural (Natural History Museum}
  • La Aurora Zoo [12]
  • La Aurora International Airport
  • Avenida de las Américas
  • Domo Polideportivo Indoor Sports Stadium
  • Mercado de Artesanías, Artscrafts and handicrafts Market
  • Reloj de Flores (Landsaped Floral Clock)
  • Antiguo Aqueducto (Remains of the Historical Aqueduct)
  • Justo Rufino Barrios Monument (Monument of one of Guatemala's much acclaimed past President, responsible for the construction of the National Palace.)
  • Tecún Úman Monument (Monument to a famed Mayan leader and warrior in Guatemala's History)

Transportation

  • Urban public transportation is provided mainly by bus and recently supplemented with a BRT System. Guatemala City is the spot where the 5 main highways of the country start. (Highway to the Atlantic, to El Salvador, to the Coast, to the Altiplano and to Peten.) The construction of freeways and underpasses by the municipal government, the implementation of reversible lanes during peak rush hour traffic flows, as well as the establishment of the Department of Metropolitan Transit Police (PMT) has helped traffic flow in the city, however, the Guatemalan metropolitan area still faces a growing transportation problem.
  • A new BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) system called Transmetro, consisting of special-purpose lanes for high-capacity buses, began operating in 2007 and aims to improve traffic flow in the city through the implementation of an efficient mass transit system. The first line (Eje Sur) is proving to be a success and work has begun on a second central line (Eje Central). [6] This may also lay the base for the possibility of a light rail system in the future. Traditional buses are now required to discharge passengers at central stations at the city's edge to board the Transmetro. This is being implemented as new Transmetro lines become established. In conjunction with the new mass transit implementation in the city, there is also a prepaid bus card system called Transurbano that is being implemented in the metro area to limit cash handling for the transportation system. A new fleet of buses tailored for this system has been purchased from a Brazilian firm.

Universities and Schools

There are 10 universities, Universidad Mariano Gálvez, Universidad Panamericana, Universidad Mesoamericana, Universidad Rafael Landivar, Universidad Francisco Marroquin, Universidad del Valle, Universidad del Istmo, Universidad Galileo, Universidad Rural and Universidad de San Carlos, the only public one and third oldest university in America. The city also has 2 of the most expensive private schools in Central America, The American School of Guatemala and The Mayan International School.

Sports

Estadio Mateo Flores.

Guatemala City possesses several sportsgrounds and is home to many sports clubs. Football is the most popular sport, with CSD Municipal, Aurora FC and Comunicaciones being the main clubs. The Estadio Mateo Flores, located in the Zone 5 of the city, is the largest stadium in the country, followed in capacity by the Estadio Cementos Progreso and the Estadio del Ejército. An important multi-functional hall is the Domo Polideportivo de la CDAG.

The city has hosted several international sports events: in 1950 it hosted the VI Central American and Caribbean Games, and in 2000 the FIFA Futsal World Championship. On July 4, 2007 the International Olympic Committee gathered in Guatemala City and voted Sochi to become the host for the 2014 Winter Olympics.[13]

Guatemala City was announced in November 2007 to host the 2008 edition of the CONCACAF Futsal Championship, played at the Domo Polideportivo from June 2 to June 8, 2008.[14][15]

Crime

In 2008, Approximately 40 murders a week were reported in Guatemala City alone. While the vast majority of murders do not involve foreigners, the sheer volume of activity and the limited resources makes local officials and police, who are inexperienced and underpaid, unable to cope with the problem. The judicial system is weak, overworked, and inefficient further compounding the crime problem.[16] There have been proposals to create a criminal justice program in the country and require police officers to have such studies. Higher studies would also be coupled with higher pay. This has only remained in the discussion stage without any advances despite the increased criminal wave that has plagued the city and country in the past decade or so.

Natural disasters

View of Guatemala City with the Agua, Fuego and Acatenango volcanoes in the background.

Earthquakes

Guatemala City has been affected several times by earthquakes. The worst quakes were registered in 1917/1918 and 1976.

Volcanic activity

Four volcanoes are visible from the city, two of them active. The nearest and most active is Pacaya, which at times expels a considerable amount of ash.[17]

Mudslides

Due to heavy rainfalls some of the humble neighborhoods built at the edge of steep valleys are frequently washed away and buried under mudslides, as in October 2005.[18]

Sinkhole

In February 2007 a large sinkhole opened in a poor neighborhood in northeast Guatemala city, killing three people. The sinkhole was 100.5 m (330 ft) deep, and apparently was created by fluid from a sewer dissolving the rock underneath. As a result, one thousand people have been evacuated from the area.[19] The sink hole has since been mitigated and plans to develop on the site have been proposed.

Zone Ten and Zona Viva

Plaza Fontabella Lifestyles Shopping Center.

Zone Ten, along with being the financial district of the city, is among the most popular areas for pop culture, shopping and entertainment. A district within Zone Ten, known as Zona Viva, contains many of the city's most popular and most expensive hotels, restaurants, bars, discothèques, and other entertainment venues for urban dwellers. Also, many of the embassies are located in Zone Ten.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Guatemala City is twinned with:

City's notable offspring

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ "Guatemala: largest cities and towns and statistics of their population". World Gazeteer. http://world-gazetteer.com/wg.php?x=&men=gcis&lng=en&des=wg&geo=-93&srt=pnan&col=abcdefghinoq&msz=1500. Retrieved 2010-02-24. 
  2. ^ a b "Guatemala: metropolitan areas". World Gazeteer. http://world-gazetteer.com/wg.php?x=&men=gcis&lng=en&des=wg&geo=-93&srt=pnan&col=abcdefghinoq&msz=1500&va=&pt=a. Retrieved 2010-02-24. 
  3. ^ a b Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Guatemala City, Guatemala
  4. ^ "Historical Weather for Guatemala City, Guatemala". http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weatherall.php3?s=14687&refer=&units=metric. 
  5. ^ José Omar Moncada Maya. "En torno a la destrucción de la ciudad de Guatemala, 1773. Una carta del ingeniero militar Antonio Marín". Ub.es. http://www.ub.es/geocrit/b3w-444.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  6. ^ http://pot.muniguate.com/reglamento_pot_mapa.php
  7. ^ ":::... Plan de Ordenamiento Territorial - Tú eres la Ciudad, Municipalidad de Guatemala, cumple ...:::" (in Template:.e icon). Pot.muniguate.com. http://pot.muniguate.com/. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  8. ^ "Mapa en Relieve de Guatemala". Web.archive.org. http://web.archive.org/web/20080209212714/http://www.funtec-guatemala.org/page6.html. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  9. ^ "Museo Ixchel". Web.archive.org. 2008-02-02. http://web.archive.org/web/20080202120854/http://www.museoixchel.org/. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  10. ^ "Jardin Botanico". Natureserve.org. http://www.natureserve.org/nhp/lacarb/guate/jardin_botanico.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  11. ^ "Museo Nacional de Arqueologia y Etnologia de Guatemala - deGUATE.com". deGUATE.com<!. http://www.deguate.com/infocentros/entretenimiento/arteycultura/arteycultura/museo-arque.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  12. ^ "Zoológico". Aurorazoo.org.gt. http://aurorazoo.org.gt/pages/intro.php. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  13. ^ rga-online, Remscheid, Germany. "Topnews - Sport - Remscheid: Remscheider General-Anzeiger / rga-online ...weil wir hier zu Hause sind!". Rga-online.de. http://www.rga-online.de/sport/topnews.php?publikation=2&template=phparttext_tt&ausgabe=42929&redaktion=1&artikel=108623013. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  14. ^ "2008 CONCACAF Futsal Championship to take place in Guatemala". CONCACAF. http://www.concacaf.com/competitions/futsal/viewArticle.asp?lang=en&id=4024. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  15. ^ "2008 CONCACAF Futsal Championship Logo Unveiled". CONCACAF. http://www.concacaf.com/competitions/futsal/viewArticle.asp?lang=en&id=4097. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  16. ^ http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1129.html
  17. ^ "MTU-VP Pacaya Volcano, Guatemala". Geo.mtu.edu. 1995-06-01. http://www.geo.mtu.edu/volcanoes/central_america/guatemala/pacaya/gvn/sepgvn.html. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  18. ^ Carlos, Juan (2005-10-07). "Mudslide in Guatemala kills dozens | The San Diego Union-Tribune". Signonsandiego.com. http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20051007/news_1n7stan.html. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  19. ^ David L Miller (2009-07-04). "Massive Guatemala Sinkhole Kills 2 Teens". CBS News. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/02/23/world/main2508879.shtml. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  20. ^ Madrid city council webpage "Mapa Mundi de las ciudades hermanadas". Ayuntamiento de Madrid. http://www.munimadrid.es/portal/site/munimadrid/menuitem.dbd5147a4ba1b0aa7d245f019fc08a0c/?vgnextoid=4e84399a03003110VgnVCM2000000c205a0aRCRD&vgnextchannel=4e98823d3a37a010VgnVCM100000d90ca8c0RCRD&vgnextfmt=especial1&idContenido=1da69a4192b5b010VgnVCM100000d90ca8c0RCRD Madrid city council webpage. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  21. ^ http://www.newsweek.com/id/49842/page/4

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Guatemala City is the capital of Guatemala, a country in Central America.

Plaza Obelisco looking north
Plaza Obelisco looking north

Understand

Guatemala City is located in the department (territorial division) of Guatemala, and it's the capital of the country. All the main highways start at Km. 0, located inside Palacio Nacional de la Cultura (National Palace), in Centro Histórico (Historic Center).

Guatemala City became the capital after Antigua Guatemala had been destroyed by an earthquake in 1773. With a population of around 3 million people, Guatemala City is the largest and most modern city in Guatemala, and Central America, and it is the region's center for finance and politics. It can be interesting to visit "Guate" - as it is also called by the locals. Guatemala City has attractions and restaurants, often with few tourists. Attending a Sunday evening gathering of hundreds of locals at the main plaza is certainly an unforgettable experience.

  • INGUAT, 7 Avenida 1-17, Zona 4. Travellers have mixed reports about the service being unreliable here at the official travel office. The written material is sparse. You can get some nice posters for Q6, and if you bring your own blank CD-Rs, they will copy some marimba music for you.

Get in

By plane

Guatemala City has one big airport, La Aurora. There are daily arrivals from the US, México, El Salvador, Honduras (San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa), Costa Rica (San José), Nicaragua (Managua), Panamá. Number of arrivals in parenthesis.

  • American Airlines [1]: Miami (4), Dallas, .
  • Continental Airlines [2]: Houston (3), Newark.
  • Cubana de Aviación [3]: Havanna, Costa Rica.
  • Copa [4]: Panamá (3), Managua (2), San José-Managua.
  • Delta [5]: Atlanta, Los Angeles (5 times a week), New York.
  • Taca [6], Aviteca, Lacsa, Aeronica: Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Boston, Washington, México, San José (3), El Salvador (2), San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa, Flores (2), Cancún.
  • Iberia [7]: Madrid (direct 3 times a week).
  • Mexicana [8]: México (2).
  • Spirit Airlines [9]: Ft Lauderdale

The online newspaper Prensa Libre host live arrival and departure information [10] for the airport.

There are always taxis at the airport. They operate with fixed prices (around 12USD from the airport to Zona 10) that are 2-3 times higher than what you would pay for the same distance with an ordinary taxi. If your hotel is in Zona 10 chances are high that there is a free shuttle service. There is also a bus route operating the road that passes the airport. It will take you to Zona 10 at around La Reforma and 12 Calle. If you are going to the old city center (Zona 1), there are a lot of buses going that way from La Reforma or from 7 Avenida that runs in parallel with La Reforma one block away.

Regular shuttles run to Antigua each day, several times a day from 6AM to 8 PM (prices 8USD to 12USD per person).

By car

The Central American highways CA-1 and CA-9 run through Guatemala City. CA-1 is part of the Pan-American Highway and comes from the border with Mexico near Tapachula, through the western highlands. Within the city, CA-1 is first Avenida Roosevelt, then Boulevar Liberacion and then Bulevar Los Proceres. It then becomes Carretera a El Salvador outside of the city and it leads to the Chinamas border with El Salvador.

By bus

In almost any town in Guatemala you will find a bus that eventually will take you to Guatemala City. The 2nd class extra-urbanos are often crowded and not very comfortable, but cheap. Expect to pay around Q10 per hour if you are a foreigner. There are also various 1st class buses from some of the larger cities and from neighboring countries (Belize, México, El Salvador and Honduras). Most buses end up in Zona 1 or Zona 4.

Note that as of January 2007 there has been a transition to a new mass transit system that has more or less removed buses from their normal terminals in zones 1 and 4. Guatemala City is currently converting to a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system where extraurbano buses bringing in riders from other parts of the country drop them off at different stations at the periphery of the city, wherein the privately-owned municipal bus system brings them to their respective destinations within the city. Currently, extraurbano buses heading in the direction of Antigua can be found at the Plaza del Mariachi at the periphery of Zone 3. This arrangement is currently in flux, however, with the extraurbano bus cooperative members fighting for a legal right to again use the old terminals in zones 1 and 4. It would be best for travelers to consult locals to find out what the situation is before assuming they can go to any one place for the buses.

Map of Guatemala City
Map of Guatemala City

The city is divided into 21 zones (zonas). Zona 1 is the old historic center. Here you'll find the national palace, the presidential palace, the cathedral, the main plaza and the Central Market. South of Zona 1 is Zona 4 where many of the official buildings are situated, like the national bank, the national theatre, the tourist board (INGUAT). Further south is Zona 10 and Zona 9, divided by Avenida La Reforma. Zona 10 hosts most of the high class hotels, restaurants, bars, shopping facilities. A small part of Zona 10 is called Zona Viva (the lively zone) because of its nightlife.

By bus

The common way to get around in Guatemala City is by bus or taxi. Hardly anyone walks (people might find it odd if you do). Traveling inside the city by bus costs Q1.00 (a few routes costs Q1.10 (you'll see a sign in the window of the bus), and everybody charges Q1.25 on Sundays). The buses run from early morning till about eight in the evening. It is not advisable to take the bus after dark. Also, robbery on the buses is quite common (statistics from 2003 shows around 21900 robberies per year.)

By taxi

There are two kinds of taxis, the ones with a meter and the ones that you have to agree on a price before the trip. Of the metered taxis, the best service is given by Taxis Amarillo (Yellow Cabs). It is not possible to hail them in the street, you have to call. The tel. number is 1766. They will demand an address (they can sometimes by quite picky about getting an exact address - look around at nearby houses, and don't forget to give the correct Zona) and normally a telephone number, so it might be wise to have someone call on your behalf, from a restaurant or so. With the Taxis Amarillo every trip is logged, and riding with them is considered safe. The other kind of taxis are white. With these you have to negotiate a price, and being a tourist/foreigner, they most likely will demand more than the normal fare. Normally the white taxis should be cheaper, but if you're not that good at negotiating, the yellow taxis might actually be the cheaper choice. It is also the question of safety. There are approximately 800 unregistered/unlicenced/stolen white taxis circulating the city. If you do find a white taxi who is decent, they will be happy to give you a card and pick you up if you call in advance; many locals who can afford the odd taxi have their favorite "taxista" whom they call, and the drivers themselves can refer you to another reliable driver should they be busy. The minimum price for a metered cab ride is 25 Quetzals.

See

Antique churches provide the capital city with a very special historic and architectural touch, such as Cerrito del Carmen, Catedral Metropolitana, Calvario, Iglesia de Santo Domingo, Iglesia de Yurrita, and Iglesia de la Merced. The archaeological site of Kaminal Juyú is located within this capital city, which according to specialists, is a city buried underneath one of the most commercial areas of the city, comprising zones 7 and 11.

Parque Central and Palacio Nacional
Parque Central and Palacio Nacional
  • Mapa en Relieve located at Minerva Park, at end of Av. Simon Cañas, Guatemala Zona 2 Tel. 2254-1114 Entrance is Q16 and it's open daily 9-5 This relief map depicting Guatemala's precipitous topography is so immense you have to view it from an observation tower. What makes it even more amazing is that it was built in 1904, before satellite or even aerial photography.
  • Ixchel Museum of traditional costumes, 6 Calle final, Zona 10, at the campus of Universidad Francisco Marroquín. Tel 331-3638/34. Mon-Fri 9:00-17:00 Sat 9:00-13:00. Q25 adults, Q15 students. A large collection of traditional costumes, information on weaving and dying techniques, the processing of the materials in use, the history and development of the traditional costumes and a collection of paintings by Carmen Pettersen. The explanations are in both English and Spanish. The museum also has a shop where you can get fine examples of Guatemalan artesania. The prices are higher than at the markets, but the quality is also higher and the selection is good. The shop also has a variety of books, including its own series of publications about the traditional costumes of Guatemala, hard to come by in other book stores, and also the book The Maya of Guatemala - life and dress (with text in English and Spanish) by Carmen Pettersen, for Q465 (price recently raised because the book is now out of print).
  • Popol Vuh Museum [12], 6 Calle final, Zona 10, at the campus of Universidad Francisco Marroquín. Tel 361-2301/11. Mon-Fri 9:00-17:00 Sat 9:00-13:00. Q25 adults, Q15 students, Q15 for permission to take pictures (without flash), Q25 for video. The museum doesn't have a particular focus on the Popol Vuh as the name suggests, but has a rather nice collection of archaeological items from the pre-Hispanic Mayan world. There is also a room dedicated to Colonial items. The explanations are in both English and Spanish.
  • Archaeology and Ethnology Museum, 7 Avenida, Zona 13. Presents an archaeological sample of the Mayan civilization. This is where you find the famous Tikal mask.
  • Museum of Modern Art, 7 Avenida, Zona 13. This is directly across from the Archeology and Ethnology Museum and the ticket from it should get people into both.
  • Aurora Zoo, Zona 13. See local and exotic animals in a decent environment. Make sure to listen to the songbirds that gather in the trees above.
  • Kaminaljuyu, Zona 7. An early Maya ruin right in the heart of the city. The buildings are mostly mounds, however, the excavations have opened up a lot of areas that are interesting to tour.
  • Museo Miraflores [13], 7 Calle 21-55, Zona 11. Tel 475-4621. museomiraflores@spectrum.com.gt. Tu, Wed, Sun 9-19, Thu, Fri, Sat 9-20. Monday closed. Museum that focuses on the ancient city of Kaminaljuyú.
  • Parque Central and The Cathedral.
  • Palacio Nacional, Zona 1, can be seen via free guided tours (40Q if your not a Guatemalan citizen) that operate every 15 minutes, and last about 1/2 hr. You can see the interior courtyards and official function rooms, decorative artwork and wall murals, as well as a small statue commemorating the end of the civil war: a pair of hands that hold a fresh rose.
  • National History Museum (Museo Nacional de Historia)
  • Museo Carlos F. Novella [14]. Mirador Basin Museum is free and located inside a cement factory. 15 Avenida 18-01 Zona 6, Interior Finca La Pedrera. (502) 2286-4100 ext. 6435. Go by cab to the front entrance and you must tell the guard you are visiting the Museo de la Cuenca Mirador.

Do

Recreational activities can be done too, from climbing volcanoes (Agua and Pacaya), to swimming in several recreational facilities, as well as water sports in Lago de Atitlán (lake).

For recreation, you can visit 4 Grados Norte: pedestrian roads that offer great entertainment, commerce and cultural activities, and Zona Viva, an area of zone 10 that has become the main center for nightlife. Guatemala City is an urban center with cultural diversity, cosmopolitan as well as traditional, in which traditional and folkloric abundance stands out, with legends such as El Cadejo or La Llorona. The city offers the tourist all the services and commodities and is normally the center of operations to set out to any of the other destinations in the Republic.

  • Shopping at the Central Market
  • Every Sunday hundreds of People stroll at the Main Plaza ("Plaza Mayor")in Zona 1, where music, arts and food is provided

Cinema

  • Magic Place, Avenida Las Americas, Zona 14.
  • Los Proceres
  • La Pradera
  • Miraflores.
  • Tikal Futura
  • Pradera Concepcion. Newest cinemas in Guatemala with IMAX Theater

Fútbol

If you want to experience a fútbol game in a fútbol nation, don't hesitate to spend a Sunday morning/afternoon at Estadio Mateo Flores. You can catch a match of the most popular fútbol club in the country, CSD Municipal. Tickets are cheap and you can get them at the stadium entrance. Go to [15] to see when there is a local match. "Palco" is the most expensive seating with ample spaced seats followed by "Preferencia", "Tribuna",where the "hinchas", or fanatics, sit and "General Sur y Norte" which are the cheapest. The first three are best for a good view.

The other big Guatemala City fútbol team is Comunicaciones. If Municipal isn't playing, go see Comunicaciones play as they both share "Estadio Mateo Flores" as their home venue.

  • Oxford Language Center, 20 Calle 23-59, Zona 10. Tel 2368-1231/2368-1332, [16]. A small, friendly language school specializing in English, but also offering several other languages including Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Mandarin, Dutch, French, Italian, and German, which are taught exclusively by native speakers. This school fills a unique niche in the market because it provides professional, yet personal service. Oxford Language Center also has a second location in Coban.
  • IGA - Instituto Guatemalteco Americano, Ruta 1 4-05, Zona 4. Tel 338-5555. Fax 338-4571. cursosiga@iga.edu, [17]. Teaching in small groups, normally 1-5 students. 7 levels, starting at basic level. More weight on grammar than the typical language schools in Antigua, with some courses on just practicing. The price is around Q850 for a course of 2 hours a day (Mon-Fri), seven weeks (approximately). You can get a discount if you only plan to follow part of the course. The classes are from 9-11 or 11-13 and you can combine two classes. The students are from all over the world, many of them children or spouses.
  • Easy-Fácil, 14 Avenida 13-68, Oakland, Zona 10, 2337-3970/2368-1187 (), [18]. Private teacher. It is run by linguists — a university lecturer in Spanish Literature, a British citizen with many years experience in teaching English — it has professional teachers, and it is located in the best zone of the city; so it is more expensive but promises better results. Attracts a range of clients from diplomats to children.  edit
  • Academia Europea, 15 Calle 2-64, Zona 10. Tel 2363-5760, 2368-1002, [19]. Most of the teachers (in other languages) from this academy teach their native language. It has taken a large portion of the market for language learning because of its unique and patented system.
  • Berlitz, Av. Reforma 7-62, Zona 9. Tel 362-4444, [20].
  • USAC - University of San Carlos, Av. Reforma 0-63, Zona 10. Tel 331-0904/334-7662/335-5635. Q600 for 40 hours (4 weeks).
  • Instituto Austriaco Guatemalteco - Österreichische Schule

University courses

Some of the universities give courses that also are open to the public. Check out their websites for more information.

  • Universidad Rafael Landivar
  • Universidad Francisco Marroquin
  • Universidad del Valle
  • Universidad San Carlos

Work

If English is your native language (with Spanish as your second language), you might find work as a private English tutor, or translator. Look at the classifieds in the paper Prensa Libre.

Selection of fabrics from Lin-Canola
Selection of fabrics from Lin-Canola

Guatemala is famous for its textiles. In the city you should be able to find textiles from all over the country. If you are particularly interested in Guatemala or the Maya, you might find books (in Spanish) here that you can't easily get anywhere else. For books in English you'd most likely get better prices at an online bookstore like Amazon.

  • In Nola, 18 Calle 21-31, Zona 10. Tel 367-2424/367-2655/59. Mon-Fri 8:30-18-30, Sat 8:30-13:30. Enormous selection of fabrics by the yard (prices from Q20-60 depending on quality/thickness). Wood, clothes, leather, ceramic, souvenirs, traditional costumes. You can also get clothes sewn there.
  • The artesania market, Zona 13.
  • Lin-Canola, 5 Calle 9-60, Zona 1. Tel 253-0138. Fax 232-0858. Enormous selection of fabrics by the yard (prices from Q20-60 depending on quality/thickness). Wood, clothes, leather, ceramic, souvenirs, traditional costumes. You can also get clothes sewn there.
  • Centro guatemalteco de textiles, 5 Calle 9-41, Zona 1. Ceramic, wood and fabrics by the yard (Q15-25). Can't compete with the selection at Lin-Canola, but cheaper. In the same street you will find more shops with fabrics in the same price range, but none with the selection of Lin-Canola.
  • Central Market, between 8 and 6 Calle/8 and 9 Avenida, Zona 1

Bookstores

You might, but don't expect to find travel guides for the region at these places (not even a Guatemala guide).

  • Sophos, 12 Calle 4 Avenida, Zona 10.
  • Artemis Edinter, Gémimis Center, 12 Calle/1 Avenida, Zona 10, or 5 Avenida 12-11, Zona 1, or Centro Comercial La Pradera, Zona 10.
  • Libreria del Pensativo, 13 Calle/7 Avenida, Zona 9. Tel 2332-5055.
  • Arnel, 9 Calle/7 Avenida, Edificio el Centro, Local 108 (basement), Zona 1.
  • La Pradera, Blv. Los Proceres, Zona 10
  • Los Proceres, 16 Calle/2 Avenida, Zona 10
  • Unicentro, Zona 10
  • Oakland Mall [21] Diagonal 6, Zona 10 (The newest shopping mall in the city, boasting the first restaurant aquarium in Latin America going by the Nais Aquarium), this shopping mall was opened by the end of October 2008. This mall is already opened. Great movie theaters and a Sea-life restaurant.
  • Tikal Futura, Zona 11
  • Miraflores, Zona 11
  • Pradera Concepción [22] It's located in Puerta Parada, next to the road to El Salvador.

6 Avenida (Zona 1)

The gray economy is substantial in Guatemala, and 6 Avenida is a pulsating proof of that. On the sidewalks of this avenue you can get fake branded clothes, pirated cd's, dvd's, vcd's, game consoles, watches, shoes etc. A cd goes for Q10, dvd Q20, vcd Q15. The selection is better than most shops, and the blockbuster movies hit the streets long before the cinemas.

The Aurora International Airport

The Airport is going through remodeling in phases. The first phase, the North wing, has been finished as of December 2007. It is a modern design with nothing to envy from airports in developed nations. Phase two will see the construction of the South wing. When finished, the airport is said to be the most modern and largest airport in Central America being able to tend to 32 airplanes of different sizes at one time.

One thing you should take home with you from Guatemala is the prize winning rum Ron Zacapa Centenario. If you don't drink, somebody else is bound to be very happy for a bottle of this exquisite rum. The price tag is around $22, some 25% cheaper than at a supermarket. Note that there are two Duty Free shops. The fancy one everybody passes by on the way to/from the gates and one at the end of the terminal behind Gate 11. The latter one is about 20% cheaper for Ron Zacapa rum. The souvenir shops have some nice things if you need some last minute gifts before you leave the country (a bit more expensive than the markets, but not too bad). The books they sell at the airport are ridiculously expensive, double or triple price of a bookstore.

ATM

Visa is the most common credit card for use in ATMs. In the main shopping areas, especially in Zona 10, you should have no trouble finding an ATM that takes Visa. There is a Visa/MasterCard ATM at the south side of the central plaza 8 Calle 5-36, a Visa only in 5 Avenida 9-39, and a MasterCard only at the corner of 5 Avenida/11 Calle, all in Zona 1.

A fascinating 'Gotch-ya' to traveling in Guatemala is that ATM key pads can be oriented with the 9 at the top left with the numbers descending right and down, or with the 1 at the top left with numbers ascending. If you have a spatial memory and have memorized the motion of punching in your P.I.N. instead of the actual numerical sequence, you might be in for a surprise!

Eat

Fast Food You can find quite an array of American fast food restaurants (McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, etc.) as well as Pollo Campero which is the most popular Guatemalan fast food chain. Fast food restaurants in Guatemala are very clean and accessible only to the better funded families. The food is clean and you are very much less likely to end up sick.

Street Food Though a little risky, there are great street vendors that offer a variety of good local foods. Just remember to scope out the one with the best hygiene. You can't get more local than this.

  • "Shucos" can be found in carts that are usually parked in between "Estadio del Ejercito" and "Campo Marte" zona 5. They are comparable to a super charged hot dog with guacamole, meats such as "longaniza", "chorizo", bacon etc... Just make sure you get the one with everything (Con todo).
  • "Mangoes or Cucumbers with Salt, Pepitoria & Limón"You can also get sliced fruit such as magoes with "pepitoria" (roasted, crushed pumpkin seeds), salt, and lemon in a small clear bag. Or sliced oranges from carts all over the city.
  • "Gauchitos" are also good cart foods. They are basically a pattie with scrambled egg, "chimichurri" and some dressings on a bun. You can find them in various places throughout the city. One favorite is on the "Mirador" on Carretera al Salvador. It sits adjacent to Cafesa, diner like restaurant, on an outlook overlooking the city. You can order a "Súper Gauchito", a soda, and sit and admire the hustle and bustle of the city below.
  • "Atol de Elote" Is a very local and custom drink made from a corn (maize) base. It's somewhat sweet and a drink you must try. It's very rich so if you're not too hungry you can substitute it for a meal. The best place to try it is on the outlook on the other side of the city leaving towards Antigua. Just before you get to San Lucas. Its also another place where you can sit and admire the city from atop a mountain.

Carretera a Antigua Guatemala

  • Restaurante La Abuelita, The best homemade food in San Lucas.

Zona Viva, between Avenida La Reforma, 6 Avenida, 16 Calle and 10 Calle in Zona 10 is the best place to find restaurants, bars and nightclubs.

Zona 10/Zona Viva

  • ONE Restaurant+Lounge, 14 Calle 4-74, Zona 10, +502 2368.0724/2337.3903. ONE is a contemporary restaurant and lounge with an avant-garde design. It offers Fusion Cuisine. For RSVP: 502 5736.6117. Main dish Q70-190.  edit
  • Kacao, 2 Avenida between 13 and 14 Calle, Zona 10. A nice restaurant with waiters in traditional Mayan costumes, tables covered with huipiles, under a big thatched roof. Serves traditional Guatemalan food like Pepián, Jocón, Suban-lek (ceremonial dish from the Cakchiquel royalty of San Martín Jilotepeque), Lomito Chiltepe. Q70-170.
  • Café de Paix, Hotel Intercontinental, 2 Avenida, Zona 10. Expensive French restaurant with typical dishes like entrecote and onion soup. Q90-190.
  • Hacienda Real, 13 Calle 1-10, Zona 10. Tel 2368-1168/2333-5408/9. One of the best places for steak. Try the tortillas with guacamole, frijoles (beans) and chorizo for starters, and the steak pimienta as the main course. Main dish Q70-140. Serves a free, delicious caldo while you wait for the meal.
  • Tre Fratelli [23], 2 Avenida 13-25, Zona 10. Tel 2366-3164/68. infogua@trefratelli.com. Mainly Italian food. Main dish Q40-80. Also restaurants at Unicentro, Tikal Futura, Miraflores and Las Majadas.
  • Tamarindos [24], 11 Calle 2-19A, Zona 10. Tel 2360-2815/35. Asian fusion cuisine, duck, ostrich, steak, shrimps, and maybe the best sushi in town. Try the Moo Shu Duck, the tuna dishes, and for dessert the bread pudding with ice cream and bourbon sauce, or the chocolate surprise. Main dish Q80-170. Expensive cocktails, Q45.
  • FRIDAS, 3a AVE 14-60, Zona 10. Tel 2333-7473/2368-0686. Mexican food. Main dish Q35-60. Chicken fajitas, Tortilla soup, pechuga de pollo en salsa de mango, pay azteca, a la flauta flautas, and for starters the queso fundido mixto (melted cheese with mushrooms) are all good. The best margaritas in Guatemala, but watch out when they ask you what kind of tequila you would like in/with it - the price might rise from the normal Q29 to Q85.
  • Casa Chapina [25], 1 Avenida 13-42, Zona 10. Tel 2337-0143/2368-0663. Traditional Guatemalan food. If you are lucky/unlucky (depending on your preferences) you might also be treated to the traditional marimba during your meal.
  • Donde Mikel, 13 Calle 5-19, Zona 10. Great place for steak and shrimps. Often full, so book in advance, or show up early.
  • Tapas y Cañas [26], 13 Calle 7-78, Zona 10. Tel 2367-2166. Spanish tapas. Try pinchos españoles, pinchos de pollo and albondigas de lomito. You have a choice between sitting in the restaurant or in the bar.
  • El Gran Pavo, 6 Avenida 12-72, Zona 10. Tel 2362-0608/9. Mexican food.
  • Inka Grill, 2 Avenida 14-22, Zona 10. Tel 2363-3013. Peruvian food. Main dish Q45-100.
  • Vesuvio, 18 Calle 3-36, Zona 10, close to Los Proceres shopping mall. Tel 337-1697. Great pizza made over open fire.
  • Saint Honore, Hotel Intercontinental, 2 Avenida, Zona 10. Maybe the best coffee in Guatemala City. Serves cakes and small dishes. Expensive.
  • Los Alpes, Zona 10. Tel 2331-4606. Swiss bakery, lunch dishes at Q30-45 (a bit boring), fancy cakes.
  • Zurich, 6 Avenida 12-52, Zona 10. Swiss bakery with cakes and chocolate. Also serves breakfast and lunch.
  • HOOTERS [27], Avenida La Reforma 16-01, Zona 10, local 18. The same as the ones in the USA.
  • Friday's, 12 Calle 1-25 Zona 10, Edificio Géminis 10 and 8 Calle 26-55 Zona 11, Parque Comercial Las Majadas and at Pradera Concepción shopping mall; the same as the ones in the USA.
  • El Ganadero, 20 Calle 2-19 Zona 10, across the street of Los Próceres shopping mall; excellent steaks.
  • tacontento, 2a Avenida 14-06, Zona 10, across the street from the Intercontinental Hotel. Serves excellent tacos for Q20-28 per set of three. Try the spicy pulled pork tacos. The crowd is a mix between hip locals and foreigners.

Zona 9

  • Chili's, Av Reforma/12 Calle. Big burgers and Tex-Mex style food. Slow service.
  • Los Cebollines [28], Plaza España, 7 Avenida/12 Calle, Zona 9.
  • Del Tingo Al Tango [29] 12 Calle Esquina 4-08 Z-9 Tel. 2334-2449 You'll find some of the best "lomitos" for very comfortable prices here. Some say the best stake house for the buck in the city.

Zona 1

  • Altuna, 5 Avenida 12-31, Zona 1. Stylish interior. Spanish and Basque cuisine, seafood and paella.
  • Hotel Pan-American [30], 9 Calle 5-63, Zona 1. Tel 232 6807/8/9. Fax 232 6402. Noisy hotel with clean rooms, Spanish'influenced architecture, and cool tile flooring. Q60-100.
  • Hotel Ajau, 8a av 15-62, Zona 1. hotelajau@hotmail.com. Beautiful old hotel with decorations from around Guatemala. Nice restaurant with waiters dressed in traditional costumes. Q80.
  • El Rey Sol 8 Calle 5-36, Zona 1 (just off Plaza Central). Vegetarian restaurant, good value.

Carretera a El Salvador

  • San Ángel, Carretera a El Salvador. Great view of the city, especially at night; security is VERY tight, so you can eat with no worries. Try the lomito and the one called Mar y Tierra (Sea and Land): you get a large steak and big shrimps.

Santa Catarina Pinula (suburb just above Zone 10 and the airport)

This town is historically famous for its pork products, and the best tasting, cleanest, most authentic place around is "La Cabanita" which is a quarter block directly south of the Cathedral. Fresh "carnitas" guatemalan style, plus "chicharrones", "longanizas", etc... if you're a fan of those exotic dining-gems from the Food or Travel channels then you'll love this place.

  • Central Market, between 8 and 6 Calle/8 and 9 Avenida, Zona 1
  • Hiper Paiz supermarket [31] 9 Avenida 5-30, Zona 1, just one block from the Central Market
  • Hiper Paiz supermarket [32] 6 Avenida/13 Calle, Centro Capitol, Zona 1
  • Econo Super, Av Reforma/16 Calle (close to Obelisco), Zona 9
  • Gourmet Center, Blv. Los Proceres, Zona 10
  • Tiendas, little grocery stores (with any name imaginable) that you can find all over the city; you can get soft drinks, beer, bread, candy, combs, razors, pens, toilet paper, any kind of snack you can think of, phone cards (some of them), etc.; cash only
  • 4 Grados Norte [33] .Is a cultural district located in Zona 4 in Guatemala City. It was a project of the municipality to convert this area into an attractive pedestrian area in 2002. Additionally, many green areas were created. Today the district also features bars, restaurants, shopping and cultural activities and has become one of the city's trendy and open minded areas, competing with Zona Viva in zone 10.The most interesting places are perhaps the ones just outside the main street.
  • Bodegita del Centro, 12 Calle 3-55, Avenidas 3/4, Zona 1.
  • El Portal, inside the complex (entrances from 8 Calle, 9 Calle and 6 Avenida) facing Parque Central, Zona 1. Supposedly Che Guevaras favorite place when he lived in Guatemala City in the early '50s.
  • ONE Restaurant+Lounge, 14 Calle 4-74, Zona 10, +502 2368.0724/2337.3903. ONE is a contemporary restaurant and lounge with an avant-garde design. 25% off from 4pm through 8pm, Monday through Friday. Wednesday and Saturday is Ladies' Night with 2x1. For RSVP: 502 5736.6117. Main dish Q70-190.  edit
  • El Establo, Zona 10.
  • Kahlua. Zona 10

The gay circuit in Guatemala is somewhat extensive, and it is growing every day.

  • Genetic, Near 4 Grados Norte. 8:00 pm - 1:00 am. It is Guatemala's biggest gay club, where you can get for free if you come before 9:00 pm. It has two floors, and shows a variety of music: from latin beats to europop. $12.00.  edit

Sleep

Most accommodations in the Zone Viva are within a few blocks making location less important than amenities like airport transfers or breakfast. Check for hidden costs and taxes (22%) before booking.

  • GuateFriends Bed & Breakfast [34], 16 Calle 7-40, Zona 13. Aurora 1 Tel +(502) 5308-3275. From $18 p/p in shared rooms and $24-30 p/p in private rooms. In Zona 13, one minute from La Aurora International Airport, safe, private parking, affordable, breakfast, lunch and dinner, international foods prepared.
  • Pension Meza [35], 10 Calle 10-17, Zona 1. Tel +(502) 2232-3177. From $4 p/p in shared rooms and $8 p/p in private rooms. In Zona 1, near the Parque Central, safe, cheap, basic.
  • 2 Lunas Guest House [36] 21 Calle 10-92, Zona 13. Tel/fax +(502) 2261-4248. info@hoteldoslunas.com. Free services included :airport transfer to or from La Aurora airport, breakfast and WiFi internet.Dorms and privates from $14 p/p. Close to the airport.
  • Hostal Hermano Pedro [37] 6 Avenida 20-53, Zona 13. Tel +(502) 2261-4181 infogt@hhpedro.com. Free services included :airport transfer to or from La Aurora airport, breakfast and WiFi internet. Dorms and private from $17 p/p. Close to the airport.
  • Hostal Los Volcanes [38], 16 calle 8-00, Zona 13 Aurora. Tel +(502) 2261-3040 /+(502) 2261-3584 /+(502) 5853-7016. info@hostallosvolcanes.com. Dorms and privates from $15 p/p. It is located just 600 meters from airport La Aurora.
  • Hotel Spring [39] 8 Avenida 12-65, Zona 1. Tel 232-2858. Double Room $22. English spoken. Situated in the colonial house, it has a nice cafeteria in the courtyard. But one annoying thing is that the entrance to the bathroom is very low, expect to bang your head at least once. It also provides internet access, but the prices are a bit steep. Apart from that clean and pleasant.
  • Hotel Fenix, Corner 7 Avenida/16 Calle, Zona 1; Nice, shady and inexpensive Hostel with only double rooms; In the Bistro outside you can buy the best sandwiches around. Double Room $5 / Single $4
  • Hotel San Martin, 7. Av. between 15 and 16 calle; tiny rooms but "real" budget: 3,5$ p/p
  • Xamanek Student Inn [40], 13 calle 3-57 Zona 10. Tel +(502) 2360 8345. xamanek@mayaworld.net. Prices from $15 dorm rooms and $35 for private rooms including taxes, continental breakfast, full kitchen access and internet . Although this is in an area of nightlife and great restaurants, there is an inexpensive local place to eat at nearby (as well and a McDonalds also if you go to that sort of place). You can walk to the Museos Popul Vuh and Ixchel and to the Archaeological Museum and the zoo from there. Reservations are recommended, but they can be done via e-mail.
  • Hotel Princess Guatemala [41], 13 Calle 7-65, Zona 9. staying@hotelesprincess.com . Tel +(502) 2423 0909. One mile from Aurora international airport. Free Shuttle. Rates from $89
  • Hotel Mansión Imperial, 15 Calle 5-85, Zona 10. Fax 367 2874/75/76. hotelimperia@guate.net.gt Doubles from $66 + taxes with breakfast. A peaceful oasis close to Zona Viva.
  • Ciudad Vieja [42], 8 Calle 3-67, Zona 10. Tel/fax +(502) 2331-9104. info@hotelciudadvieja.com. Doubles from $69 + taxes with continental breakfast and one free hour internet.
  • Best Western Stofella [43], 2 Avenida 12-28, Zona 10. Tel +(502) 24108600. In the heart of Zona 10. Rates from $66, continental breakfast included.
  • Hotel Pan American [44], 9 Calle 5-63, Zona 1. Tel 232 6807/8/9. Fax 232 6402. panamhot@terra.com.gt. Doubles from $60. Beautiful old hotel with decorations from around Guatemala. Nice restaurant with waiters dressed in traditional costumes.
  • Barceló Guatemala City [45], 7 Avenida 15-49, Zona 9. Tel +(502) 2320 4000. guatemalacity@barcelo.com. In a early booking you can get rates from $109 for a double. The hotel is set right in the heart of the city, in the main business district.
  • Holiday Inn [46] 1 Avenida 13-22, Zona 10. Tel +(502) 2421 0000. Rates from $100 in advance purchase.
  • Real InterContinental Guatemala, 14 calle 2-51, zona 10. Ciudad de Guatemala, 01010. Guatemala, +502 2413 4444 (fax: +502 2413 4445), [48]. The Real InterContinental Guatemala has 160 total rooms, 48 rooms club Intercontinetal, 24 business room, 6 junior suites and 1 Presidential Suite, Rooms for disabled and InterContinental Ambassador floor. In their space features 3 restaurants, gymnasia, spa, jacuzzi and pool. Prices range between $100 - $400.  edit
  • Crowne Plaza Hotel [49], Avenida de la Americas 9-08 Zona 13. Tel +(502) 2422 5000. Fax +(502) 2422 5001. Double rooms from $95.
  • Uxlabil[50], 15 Calle final, Oakland, Zona 10. For those planning a longer stay in the city. Differently sized (mostly small) apartments with kitchen. Cleaning service included. Internet connection in the reception. Washing machine. Around $600 per month (shorter stays also possible).

Contact

Phone

There are phone booths spread out generously over the whole city. Most of them are from the company Telgua, some from Telefonica, and most take only phone cards. Look for the sign Ladatel or Telefonica both on the phone booths and the places that sell the cards.

  • SERVICIOS ESPAÑA, High speed internet, 20th Street 18-65 zona 10. Tel. 5107-0188. Services include internet, scanner, photocopies, fax, document recording, selling of memory devices (memory sticks or disks), document editing, academic research. In-store designed cards for special ocassions (bigger numbers, upon pre-ordered requests). Open Monday through Saturday 8:00am to 6:00pm. More services available upon request. GREAT SERVICE, FRIENDLY PEOPLE. The young men speak English. Contact: lourdesort@gmail.com.
  • MABER CYBER Internet, Internet of high speed; 8th street 33-51, colony Justo Rufino Barrios, 21th zone, Phone/Fax: (502)-2449-9391, Q 8.00/Hour, Internet, Scan, Print,Works in Computer, Support and Technical service, sale of new equipment and accessories, and every thing that you need and want.
  • Jv Servicios, 1 calle 1-02 y 1-04 zona 1. Tel 2251-6543 Fax. 2251-6543 Q6.00-hour. Scan, Print, Burn, hardware new and used and suministries.
  • E@sy Web, 2 Avenida 9-72, Zona 1. Tel 2220-4645 and 5689-7315 Q4.00-hour. Scan, print, burn, copy,
  • Y2K, 2 Avenida 13-17, Zona 10. Tel 366-4783/93. Mo-Sa 10:00-22:00, Su 10:00-15:00. Q16/hour. Scan, print, burn, copy.
  • EvolutioNet, 1 Avenida/12 Calle, Zona 10. M-F 9:00-20:00, Sa 9:00-15:00. Q15/hour.
  • Cafe Virtual, Centro Comercial Los Proceres, ground floor, at the main entrance, Zona 10. Tel 332-8027. Mo-Sa 08:00-21:00, Su 09:00-20:00. Steep prices, but includes coffee of your choice. Q20 for 1/2 hour (inc. coffee).
  • @.com, Centro Comercial Los Proceres, third floor, locale 310 next to Bancafe. Tel 332-3439. Q15 1/2 hour, Q20/hour, cheaper with prepaid cards of 3, 7 or 10 hours.
  • Cafe Internet, 5 Calle 9-25, Zona 1. M-Sa 8:30-19:00. Q6/hour. Additional services like scan, print, burn cd.
  • Fatima Cafe Internet, 10 Avenida 7-23, Zona 1. M-Sa 8:30-18:00. Q7/hour.
  • Cafe Internet 2M, Edificio el Centro, basement, Zona 1. Q6/hour.
  • Internet Cafe, Local 207 (2nd floor facing 9 Calle), Edificio el Centro, Zona 1. M-F 8:00-17:00, Sa 8:00-12:00. Q6/hour. Sells computer accessories.
  • Internet, Local 5, Centro Comercial 6 Avenida, 6 Av. 9-27, Zona 1. M-Su 8:00-19:00. Q5/hour.
  • Global Net Cafe, Edificio Plaza Vivar, 6 Avenida/10 Calle, Zona 1. 1 room in the 1st floor and 4 in the 2nd. M-Sa 9:30-18:00. Q3.50/hour.
  • Cyber Blue, 1st floor, Edificio Plaza Vivar, 6 Avenida/10 Calle, Zona 1. M-Sa 8:00-18:00 Q4/hour, 18:00-20:00 Q6/hour. Scan, print, burn services.
  • De@webo.com, 2nd floor, Edificio Plaza Vivar, 6 Avenida/10 Calle, Zona 1. Scan, print, burn services.
  • Ovnitech, 3rd floor, Edificio Plaza Vivar. Q3.50/hour. Tel 230-0335.
  • Net Club, Local 328, Centro Capitol, 6 Avenida/13 Calle, Zona 1. Q8/hour. Sells computer accessories.
  • J&J Internet Services, 5 Avenida 9-42, Zona 1. M-Sa 8:00-17:00. Q5/hour.
  • Internet, 5 Avenida 10-58, Zona 1. M-Sa 8:00-22:00. Q6/hour.
  • Extract Libre, 5 Avenida 11-30, Zona 1. M-Su 8:30-21:00. Q6/hour.
  • Cafe Internet, 5 Avenida 12-16, Zona 1. M-Sa 8:00-19:00. Q5/hour. Scan, print, burn services.
  • Cafe Internet, 14 Calle 5-23, Zona 1. Q6/hour.

Post office (El Correo)

The main Post office is in 7 Avenida/12 Calle, Zona 1. A stamp for a postcard to Europe costs around Q4. The postal system in Guatemala has a reputation for not being very reliable, and many Guatemalans have a P.O.Box in Texas where they receive post/magazines/online purchases (brought to Guatemala by courier). You can't buy stamps or post mail anywhere but at the post offices/affiliates. Look/ask for El Correo [51]

  • 7 Avenida/12 Calle, Zona 1
  • The airport, Zona 13
  • Av. Reforma/14 Calle, Zona 9

Stay safe

Guatemala City has a high level of crime. Check the U.S. Embassy website [52] for a summary of recent crimes against foreigners. These include carjackings on the road from the airport and robberies and assaults of tourist vans as well as ordinary buses and cars.

Even though it has a "high level of crime" if you use some common sense and good travel practices, you should not be exposed to any of it. Make sure you sharpen your "street smarts" because as with any big metropolitan urban area, you might be exposed to crimes. Just make sure you are aware of your surroundings at all times just as you would be in any big city around the world.

If you experience a robbery, please be advised to give away anything the robbers want. Though some would suggest to just stay inside in most places after sunset, at night you can have fun safely in Zona Viva (zona 10), zone 14 or 4 Grados Norte.

If you eat street food because of a craving or just to experience the most local cuisine available, make sure you scope out the vendor with the best hygiene! You may fall ill to a food borne illness. Even locals get sick from time to time eating street food. If you happened to get sick, you can pick up any medicine from "farmacias" (pharmacies) located almost anywhere around the city. Just brush up a little on your most common food borne illnesses and their common symptoms.

Stay Healthy

Guatemala City is at a somewhat high elevation (about 1500 m) in the mountains (plus the air is very polluted in Zona 1), so if coming from a location near sea-level, you might wish to plan to take it easy and get extra rest on your first day while your body adjusts to the altitude.

  • Centro Médico, 6 Avenida 3-47, Zona 10. Tel 334-2157/384-2600/332-3555. 24 hour service.
  • Hospital Bella Aurora, 10 Calle 2-31, Zona 14. Tel 384-3535. 24 hour service.
  • Hospital Universitario Esperanza, 6 Avenida 7-49, Zona 10. Tel 362-8626.

Pharmacy

You'll find pharmacies all over the city.

Cope

If you have electrical equipment that need 220-240V 50Hz input instead of the country's standard 110V 60Hz, you can find a transformer at Electronica Panamericana, 3 Avenida y 11 Calle, Esquina, Zona 9. They have various models with prices depending on how much power you require. Q230 for a 500-Watts transformer.

Also, in the smaller hotels/motels, the electrical outlets only take 2-pronged plugs. So, if you have a laptop, for example, you'll need a plug adapter that will allow you to utilize the 2-pronged outlets.

  • United Kingdom, Edificio Torre Internacional, Nivel 11 16 Calle 0-55, Zona 10 Guatemala City, (502) 2380-7300, [53].  edit
  • United States, Embajada de los Estados Unidos de América Avenida Reforma 7-01, Zona 10 Guatemala Ciudad, Guatemala, (502) 2326-4000 (, fax: (502) 2326-4654), [54].  edit

Get out

Buses to all of Guatemala leave from various parts of the City. An overview is on this map: [55].

Destination (via) Comp/departureaddr. schedule time/dist price
La Antigua Guatemala (& San Lucas) Various
18 Calle/4 Avenida Z1
7:00-20:00
every 15min
1 hour
45 km
Q5
Panajachel (Chimaltenango, Los Encuentros, Sololá) Transportes Rebuli
21 Calle/4 Avenida Z1
5:30-15:30
every hour
3 hours
148 km
Q15
Puerto Barrios (El Rancho, Teculután, Río Hondo, Los Amates, Quiriguá) Transportes Litegua
15 Calle 10-40 Z1
4:45-15:00
every hour
5 hours
307 km
Q60 as of Jan 2009
Flores (El Rancho, La Ruidosa, Río Dulce, San Luis, Poptún) Fuente del Norte
17 Calle 8-46 Z1
every hour 9-10 hours
506 km
Q80
Autobuses del Norte [56] Estación Central 8a Avenida 16-41 Zona 1 first class buses, two overnight and one in the day. 8-9 hours Q180 one way.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

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Wikipedia

Proper noun

Guatemala City

  1. The capital of Guatemala.

Translations


Simple English

[[File:|thumb|right|250px|The Guatemala City from birds eye view.]] Guatemala City is the capital of Guatemala. It is the largest city in Central America. It has a population of 942,348 and 2,945,080 in the metro area. It was founded in 1773.


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