Official language: Spanish
Time zone: UTC -6
Currency: Quetzal (GTQ)
Moving around streets of today’s Ciudad de Guatemala is quite easy – the city is divided into 22 zones and addresses are given together with information on how many cross streets are from a given crossroad.
Due to the landform and the closeness of an airport, height of buildings is limited – in the 10th zone they can’t be higher than 60 metres, and in the further located 1st zone they can have maximum 95 metres of height.
To see how the country looks like today, visit the park Minevra in the 2nd zone, where there is relief printed map of Guatemala made in scale 1:10 000.
The first city in that spot, Kaminaljuyu, was built around the year 1500 B.C by Mayas. On the heels of European conquests in 1775, conquistadors founded there the capital of the country.
The most beautiful buildings can be obviously found in the oldest part of the city – it is the 1st zone. You will find there the National Palace of Culture from the 40.’s, that is shimmering with brass and polished wood, the Congress, the National Library or the old Central Park, where you can meet vendors of ice creams, shoes cleaners or even politicians organizing meet ups with voters in the open air. Souvenirs from Guatemala you will get on a market behind a church in the city’s centre. Worth attention are especially scarfs or shawls in traditional patterns. Remember to bargain over prices!
An amazing journey back in time? Parts of the historical city of Mayas, Kaminaljuyu, are located on a plateau in the southern-western part of today’s Guatemala city, in the 7th zone. People of that time used to be engaged in agriculture – we know that from the lake Miraflores water was directed to fields by two rock channels. For development of the city there was used around 200 barrows of soil of height of a dozen or more metres, on which wooden-clayed buildings with thatched roof were erected. The city was abandoned by citizens around the year 900 A.C. Researchers has failed to determine why this happened, to this day.
Spend a crazy night in a casino in the 10th zone, which is a district called Zona Viva. It is also the most interesting place for dancing the night away. The district is famous for the best bars, restaurants and discos in the whole city. Traditional cuisine is served in Casa Chapina at 1 Avenida. It is also worth to visit the 4th zone, where by Ruta 3 there is situated El Príncipe Gris, bar in which you can try delicious local craft beers. We recommend to order local sausages to that.
Whereas the best dinner in Guatemalan style you will get in La Esquina at Ruta 2 in the 4th zone. They served there perfect taco with tortilla with blue corn, pineapple, chili, pork and spicy sauce.