Introducing Guatemala City
Guatemala’s capital city, the largest urban agglomeration in Central America, spreads across a flattened mountain range run through by deep ravines. Let’s just say that there are more beautiful places on earth.
Depending on who you talk to, Guate (as it’s known) is either big, dirty, dangerous and utterly forgettable or big, dirty, dangerous and fascinating. Either way, there’s no doubt that there’s an energy here unlike that found in the rest of Guatemala, and the extremes that categorize the whole country are in plain view.
It’s a place where dilapidated buses belch fumes next to Beamers and Hummers, where skyscrapers drop shadows on shantytowns and immigrants from the countryside and the rest of Central America eke out a meager existence, barely noticed by the country’s elite.
This is the real cultural capital of Guatemala – the writers, the thinkers, the artists mostly live and work here. All the best museum pieces go to the capital, and while nearly every city dweller dreams of getting away to Antigua or Monterrico for the weekend, this is where they spend most of their time, a fact reflected in the growing sophistication of the restaurant and bar scene.
Many travelers skip the city altogether, preferring to make Antigua their base. Still, you may want, or need, to get acquainted with the capital because this is the hub of the country, where all transportation lines meet and all services are available.
Best places to stay in Guatemala City
Quema del Diablo (Burning of the Devil): a guide to Guatemala's way of making cleaning fun
Antigua - Arco by juanktru.
Guatemala City destination guides
Guatemala in December: festival central
Still dithering over what to do during the silly season? Why not head to Guatemala for a totally different take on all things festive? Sure beats sitting on some department store Santa's knee, asking for presents you know you're never going to get… Quema del Diablo (Burning of the Devil) Location: Guatemala City and Antigua, Gu.
From the crystal-blue ocean teeming with marine life to tropical rainforests alive with jungle melodies, take the road less travelled on this trip through Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica with other travellers your own age.
Tikal Day Trip by Air from Guatemala City with Lunch
Take an exciting air tour from Guatemala City to discover the beauty and ancient history of the Mayan ruins of Tikal! After a scenic flight to Tikal, spend a day in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Tikal National Park exploring the incredible archaeological site of Tikal, located in the heart of the Guatemalan jungle.
What are your least favourite cities?
We have started publishing your favourite places each week, but what about your least favourites? Which cities never get a look in? These are some of the most heavily populated or even capital cities around the world - and yet they are the least likely to be saved as favourites (look for the "save" button in the green bar nex.