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Guatemala City

Travel Guide Central America Guatemala Guatemala City

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Introduction

Guatemala City - 01

Guatemala City - 01

© All Rights Reserved dontrobus

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.

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Sights and Activities

  • Historical Centre (Centro Histórico)
  • Central Market (Mercado Central)

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Weather

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.

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Getting there

Plane

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.

By Bus

Litegua has connections between Guatemala City, Rio Dulce, Morales, Puerto Barrios and many other towns and cities.

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Sleep

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.

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Comfort Hostel17 calle 14-35 Zona 10 Guatemala, GuatemalaHOSTEL81
Dos Lunas21 Calle 10-92, Zona 13 Aurora IIGuesthouse-
Hostal Guatefriends16 Calle 7-40 zona 13 Aurora IGuesthouse84
Hostal Hermano Pedro6 av. 20-53 zona 13 Aurora 2Hostel86
Hostal Los Lagos8 Ave 15 - 85 zona 13 Aurora IHostel86
Hostal Los Volcanes16 street 8-00 Zone 13 Aurora 1Hostel-
Hostal Villa Toscana16 calle 8-20 zona 13 Aurora 1Guesthouse86
Hotel Aeropuerto15 Calle A 7-32 Zona 13Guesthouse-
Hotel Bed & Breakfast Mi Casa5ª Avenida A 13-51 Zona 9HOTEL-
Hotel Cantabria9 Avenida 1-12 zona 1HOTEL90
Mariana's Petit Hotel20 Calle 10-17 Z.13 Aurora IIHotel89
NovoHostal9 Avenida 17-58 Zone 13 Aurora IGuesthouse-
Posada Belen Museum Inn13 calle A 10-30 zona 1 Historic CenterHotel-
Jack Rabbit Hostel15 Calle A 7-52 Zona 13, Aurora 1GUESTHOUSE-
Hostal Casa del Angel18 calle 9-50 zona 13 Aurora IIGuesthouse-
Patricias Bed & Breakfast19 calle 10-65 Zona 13 Aurora 2GUESTHOUSE-
Hostal Plaza Aeropuerto6a. Ave. 13-52 zone 9Hostel-
Hotel Casa Santorini7ma Av A 17-17 Zona 13 , Colonia Aurora 1 Local A 300 mts sur Aeropeurto Internacional La Aurora ,HOTEL83
Las Amèricas25 Calle 13 - 56 Zona 13Hostel-
Quetzalroo6ta Avenida 7-84, Zona 10HOSTEL87
Hotel San Pablo8 Calle 7-29 Zona 9 #65Hotel-
Hostal Aroche13 avenida 7-12 zona 12Hostel-
Xamanek Hostel13 Calle 3-57 Zona 10HOSTEL-
La Coperacha4 Av 2-03 Zona 2GUESTHOUSE86
Hostal del Centro17 Calle 6-25 Zona 1GUESTHOUSE-
Hotel Estacion Gerona Bed & Breakfast13 Avenida 19-35 Zona 1GUESTHOUSE81

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Learn

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Keep Connected

Internet

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.

Phone

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.

Post

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.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 14.624795
  • Longitude: -90.532818

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This is version 21. Last edited at 7:58 on Jun 16, 14 by Utrecht. 20 articles link to this page.

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