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Guatemala City is the capital and largest city in Guatemala with about 1.3 million people living in the city proper but probably around 3.5 million people live in the greater metropolitan area, making it one of the bigger cities in Central America. The city is located in the central southern part of the country on an elevation of about 1,500 metres, surrounded by high mountains and volcanoes, which gives it a rather mild climate. It's the economic heart of the country and together with Antigua (the former capital) it als has a lot to offer culture-wise.
Most people flying into the country arrive here and spend at least a few days here before moving on. The city is threatened by earthquakes, mudslides and volcanoes, with the first killing thousands of people during the last century as well as damaging and destroying lots of buildings. The historical centre remains beautiful though and a visit to the city should start here.
Guetemala City has a very pleasant climate, with generally slightly lower temperatures and humidity compared to areas at lower altitudes. The wet season lasts from May to November, like most of Central America. The coolest months are December to February, the hottest April and May. Temperatures vary from 12 °C on average at night in January to 29 °C on average during the day in the month of May.
La Aurora International Airport (GUA), located 6 kilometres outside Guatemala City, does not only serve the city but is also the main gateway to the country.
TACA has flights to Cancun, Chicago, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Miami, New York, San José in Costa Rica, San Pedro Sula in Honduras, San Salvador, Tegucigalpa and Washington, D.C.. Several other destinations are mostly within Central America or the United States. Iberia is the only European carrier that has direct flights from Madrid to the city.
Transportes Aereos Guatemaltecos has several domestic flights, from Guatemala City to Flores and charters to a few other destinations, like Zacapa and Puerto Barios.
Litegua has connections between Guatemala City, Rio Dulce, Morales, Puerto Barrios and many other towns and cities.
There is an area in Guatemala City that is relatively new: Quatro Grados Norte. It is a pedestrian area that has a variety of bars, restaurants and public areas.
|Comfort Hostel||17 calle 14-35 Zona 10 Guatemala, Guatemala||HOSTEL||85|
|Dos Lunas||21 Calle 10-92, Zona 13 Aurora II||Guesthouse||-|
|Hostal Guatefriends||16 Calle 7-40 zona 13 Aurora I||Guesthouse||85|
|Hostal Hermano Pedro||6 av. 20-53 zona 13 Aurora 2||Hostel||87|
|Hostal Los Lagos||8 Ave 15 - 85 zona 13 Aurora I||Hostel||88|
|Hostal Los Volcanes||16 street 8-00 Zone 13 Aurora 1||Hostel||-|
|Hostal Villa Toscana||16 calle 8-20 zona 13 Aurora 1||Guesthouse||88|
|Hotel Aeropuerto||15 Calle A 7-32 Zona 13||Guesthouse||-|
|Hotel Bed & Breakfast Mi Casa||5ª Avenida A 13-51 Zona 9||HOTEL||-|
|Hotel Cantabria||9 Avenida 1-12 zona 1||HOTEL||90|
|Mariana's Petit Hotel||20 Calle 10-17 Z.13 Aurora II||Hotel||90|
|NovoHostal||9 Avenida 17-58 Zone 13 Aurora I||Guesthouse||-|
|Posada Belen Museum Inn||13 calle A 10-30 zona 1 Historic Center||Hotel||-|
|Jack Rabbit Hostel||15 Calle A 7-52 Zona 13, Aurora 1||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hostal Casa del Angel||18 calle 9-50 zona 13 Aurora II||Guesthouse||-|
|Patricias Bed & Breakfast||19 calle 10-65 Zona 13 Aurora 2||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hostal Plaza Aeropuerto||6a. Ave. 13-52 zone 9||Hostel||-|
|Hotel Casa Santorini||7ma Av A 17-17 Zona 13 , Colonia Aurora 1 Local A 300 mts sur Aeropeurto Internacional La Aurora ,||HOTEL||85|
|Las Amèricas||25 Calle 13 - 56 Zona 13||Hostel||-|
|Quetzalroo||6ta Avenida 7-84, Zona 10||HOSTEL||87|
|Hotel San Pablo||8 Calle 7-29 Zona 9 #65||Hotel||-|
|Hostal Aroche||13 avenida 7-12 zona 12||Hostel||-|
|Xamanek Hostel||13 Calle 3-57 Zona 10||HOSTEL||-|
|La Coperacha||4 Av 2-03 Zona 2||GUESTHOUSE||88|
|Hostal del Centro||17 Calle 6-25 Zona 1||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hotel Estacion Gerona Bed & Breakfast||13 Avenida 19-35 Zona 1||GUESTHOUSE||83|
Internet access is widely available. Even most of the more remote areas have some type of internet access available. Many larger areas also have WiFi. All of the Camperos chicken/pizza restaurants (which are numerous) offer free WiFi, as well as many other restaurants and cafes. Some hotels may also offer computer banks with internet access. Just ask and you eventually will find some sort of free access.
If you have a smartphone such as iPhone, Google Android, you just need a local SIM card (roughly Q25) and can start enjoying the prepaid access plans, which generally come in lots of an hour, a day, or a week.
See also International Telephone Calls
Guatemala's emergency phone numbers include 110 (police), 120 (ambulance) and 123 (fire). Guatemala's international calling code is 502. There are no area codes. Phone numbers all have eight digits.
The phone system isn't great, but it works. Tourists can call abroad from call centers, where you pay by the minute. It is also easy to purchase a calling card to use at public pay phones. The phones there do not accept money, so to use a public phone on the street you must purchase a telephone card. Typically, the cost is around 8 quetzals for a 10-min call to North America, and slightly more to Europe. Cell phones are quite cheap and calling overseas through one can get as low as $0.08 a min. If you are planning to stay for a while and plan to use the phone, you should consider buying a cheap prepaid phone. Wireless nation-wide internet access for laptops is also available as a service from some companies. Telefónica has good coverage with their PCMCIA EV-DO cards.
El Correo is the national postal company in Guatemala. It offers a wide range of services, including sending cards and packages both domestically as well as internationally. Most Guatemalan towns have a post office, although your best bet is to send mail from a large city. Service at El Correo is improving, thanks to consultation and assistance from Canada Post. Most post offices open from 8:30am to 5:30pm. Airmail letters to North America and Europe cost from Q6.50 and take a week or two to arrive. High-end hotels can usually send your mail for you, too. Expect packages you send through the Guatemalan mail system to take a very long time to arrive. They usually get there in the end, but it's worth paying extra for recorded delivery (correo registrado). Many stores can ship your purchases for you, for a cost. Valuable items are best sent with private express services. Couriers operating in Guatemala include DHL, UPS, and FedEx. Delivery within two to three business days for a 1-kg package starts at about Q500.
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