Guatemala City, Guatemala, Guatemala

Guatemala City,Guatemala

Guatemala is the most populated city in Central America and a contrast between the Mayan and colonial past with modernity

About Guatemala City, Guatemala, Guatemala

Guatemala City is the cultural and business center of the country. The city was subdivided into 25 zones, according to the urban plan designed by Raúl Aguilar Batres in 1947, forecasting the accelerated growth that it would later have. Within the historic downtown, set in the northern part of the city, you can find Plaza Mayor, a site surrounded by Palacio Nacional de Gobierno, Palacio Nacional de la Cultura, Catedral Metropolitana, and Mercado Central, where you can buy handicrafts made of wood, silver or leather. Zona Diez is a district also known as Zona Viva, the busiest part of the city and its commercial and financial center, where most of the hotels, as well as museums, art galleries, theaters, and restaurants are located. Avenida Reforma is a very popular area and northwards it leads to the Mateo Flores stadium and Centro Cívico, where Banco Central de Guatemala is located. Within short distance of Zona Viva you can find Zoológico de La Aurora, Mercado de Artesanías, and the international airport. Other interesting places you can visit in Guatemala include Kaminal Juyú, an archaeological site in Zona Siete; Centro Cultural Miguel Ángel Asturias, a complex housing Gran Teatro, a museum, and an outdoor theater; Museo Popol Vuh, which will guide you through a journey of hundreds of years, where you will learn about the Maya civilization that inhabited this region. In the surroundings of Guatemala you can visit Lake Amatitlán, formed in the crater of a volcano and located only 25 kilometers (15.5 mi) from the capital. Pacaya is an active volcano where you can walk very closely to the lava rivers that occasionally descend from the crater. You cannot miss a visit to the city of Antigua, the former capital of Capitanía General de Guatemala, the official name of the country during the colonial period. This village located 48 kilometers (29.8 mi) from Guatemala City was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979; its i a magical place where it seems that time stood still. The government moved to the current Guatemala City due to the earthquakes in 1773, which almost completely destroyed the city. In this village you can visit the ancient Iglesia El Carmen, Iglesia de La Merced, or Palacio de los Capitanes, set in Plaza Central. ***The official currency of Guatemala is the Guatemalan Quetzal (GTQ).