Guatemala City
Guatemala
By Libby Peck

Guatemala is nestled between Mexico and South America in the heart of Central America. With very strong ancient Mayan and Spanish influences, the country as well as its capital of Guatemala City has stayed true to its roots in a vacation experience rich with authentic cultural experiences and only fast food golden arches in the form of familiarity. You likely won’t meet a lot of other tourists in Guatemala City, as this is a trip for the truly adventurous at heart.

Fly along the Pacific coast to La Aurora International Airport (GUA), located just outside of Guatemala City’s limits. WhatsCheaper.com always wants to make sure our visitors find the lowest prices for their travels, so be sure to click here (http://www.whatscheaper.com/flight.php) so we can help you find a great airfare rate. There is a bus route from the airport to the center of the city, and should your lodgings have a shuttle, it’s likely you can get from the plane to your room free of charge. Book your room through WhatsCheaper.com here (http://www.whatscheaper.com/hotel.php) and make sure to check and see if your hotel features this amenity!

Once you’ve settled into your accommodations, it’s time to hit the streets. WhatsCheaper.com wants to advise you that walking from destination to destination is not that common in this Central American city, so be sure to make like a local and use buses and taxi services. Another local custom happens every Sunday in Plaza Mayor. Thousands of local residents parade through the streets with live music, art displays, and free food! WhatsCheaper.com thinks that even if your time here is short, you should experience this for an authentic Guatemalan experience.

The Guatemalan culture, while also embracing cosmopolitan cool, is very connected still with its pre-Hispanic roots in Mayan civilizations. For a taste of these very old ways of life, WhatsCheaper.com suggests visiting the Popol Vuhl Museum which has a collection of objects from this era of the country’s past. Museo Mioflores is dedicated to the ancient city of Kaminaljuyú, and you can actually visit that city’s ruins in a different area of the modern Guatemala City.

Museo Ixchel del Traje Indigena, the Ixchel Museum of Indigenous Textiles, is yet another very unique peek at the history of culture in Guatemala. The museum chronicles the bright, festive costumes used in the culture’s tradition and also shows weaving techniques and other examples of Guatemalan craftsmanship. The textiles, however, are Guatemala’s greatest export. WhatsCheaper.com thinks you should seek the most unique fabrics at the Central Market as a great, inexpensive souvenir of your travels. 

If the people you have to come home to want a literal taste of Guatemala City, be sure to buy them some Ron Zacapa Centenario. This premium rum is stored over 2,000 feet above sea level in a storage facility within Guatemala’s mountains and volcanoes, which the company claims makes all the difference. See if you can taste it! WhatsCheaper.com understands if liquor doesn’t suit your tastes, so try “atol de elote” instead—it’s a sweet, corn-based drink that’s a local specialty. Try “shucos” (an intense hot dog with guacamole) and “gauchitos” (egg & chimichurri patty on a bun) from clean street vendors for more authentic local flavor!

Once you’re fueled, WhatsCheaper.com suggests taking a day trip outside of Guatemala City to climb an active volcano like Agua or Pacaya—talk about a thrill! Too scary, or too tired for such a feat? Try burning off some steam in Zona Viva, Guatemala City’s 10th district, nicknamed for its bustling nightlife. No matter what you choose to do in your visit here, we know you’re bound to have a great time in Guatemala. Help us help you today!

MUST SEE IN Guatemala City LIST:

  • 1. Metropolitan Cathedral
  • 2. La Canada
  • 3. National Zoo
  • 4. La Merced
  • 5. National Palace
  • 6. Botanical Garden
  • 7. National Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology
  • 8. National Museum of Modern Art
  • 9. Avenida 7
  • 10. Plaza Mayor de la Constitucion

Guatemala City EVENT CALENDAR:

  • 1. Pilgrimage of the Black Christ - January
  • 2. Coffee Harvest Celebration - February
  • 3. Holy Week - March
  • 4. Secretary's Day - April
  • 5. Labour Day - May
  • 6. Army Day - June
  • 7. Burning the Devil - July
  • 8. Independence Day - September
  • 9. Revolution Day - October
  • 10. Guatamala Christmas Week - December

PHOTO GALLERY

Westin Camino Real, Guatemala
Avenida la Reforma y 14 Calle Guatemala City, Guatemala
By Sarah Hay

Combining business ease with vacation necessities, the Westin Camino Real Guatemala brings together the best of both worlds in one convenient location. Nearby, the Ixchel museum and Ciudad Olimpica are perfect for sightseeing, and the National Palace is only five miles away. The hotel is as beautiful inside as well as outside, with the level of service and luxury that you’ve come to expect from Westin. Car rentals are available, and, for a fee, airport transportation service is available.

Keeping you up to speed in business, the Westin Camino Real Guatemala offers wired and wireless high speed Internet throughout the hotel, for a slight fee, as well as translation and secretarial services. The convention centers on the second and third floor can accommodate hundreds of guests, and the largest of the meeting spaces on site encompass over 20,000 square feet. And, whether you’re looking for a quick bite to eat, or a substantial mix of Guatemalan and international cuisines, the Biltmore bar, El Cafetal and Café Vienes, all at the hotel, can certainly fill you up.

The 271 rooms at the Westin provide guests with a wide array of standard amenities and gorgeous views. Of course, in-room dining is available 24 hours a day, and in-room coffee makers and mini bars just add an extra touch of quality. Business travelers will appreciate the office extras, such as desks, telephones with voicemail, and the executive club room as well.

The Westin excels at relaxation, and at the Camino Real, you’ll find everything you need to feel peaceful. The heated outdoor pool has an accompanying snack bar, as well as a whirlpool, and the WestinWORKOUT® exercise facility will help keep you toned during your stay. In case you need to really get away from everything, the hotel also provides childcare to those guests with families. If you’ve been on the hunt for a great deal on the Westin Camino Real Guatemala, you’ve found the best place, for the best deal. Just let the folks at WhatsCheaper.com take care of the rest, and follow this link: (http://www.whatscheaper.com/hotel.php).

PHOTO GALLERY