About city :
Guatemala City is the capital of Guatemala, which is a country in Central America. The modern city is based on the ancient Mayan city of Kaminalijuyu. It is one of the richest archeological sites of Central America. The Mayan city dates back to 1200 to 1000 BC, after which it was abandoned. In 1628, the small monastery of El Carmen was founded here.
The area remained under Spanish control. On 27th September, 1775, Guatemala was officially declared by the Spanish King Charles III to be the capital of Captaincy General of Guatemala which covered most of Central America. In 1821, Central America became independent and Guatemala City became the capital of United provinces of Central America. Today, it is a friendly and multicultural city.
The city covers an area of 692 sq km and had a population of 1,110,100 in 2011.
Most of country of Guatemala is mountainous. The Guatemala City is located in a mountain valley called Valle de la Ermita. It is located at 1500 m above the sea level. The original city was devastated by a series of earthquakes that shook the city for six weeks in 1917-18. Since then, the cityscape has undergone vast changes. The traditional low massive structures have been replaced with high modern buildings of steel and concrete.
Its location and elevation has lead to a number of climatic conditions to be present in the city. In general it has warm temperate highland climate. Summers are moist and hot, while winters are cool and dry.
How to reach (transport) :
You can get to Guatemala City by air. The airport is called La Aurora and regular flights connect the city with various destinations of America as well as a few destinations in Europe. You can arrive in the city by bus from Mexico, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador. Finally, you can also hire a car to move around the city.
When to visit :
The best time to visit Guatemala City is from January to April and from June to August. Though July and August are dry, the rainy season lasts from May to November and it is best to avoid the rains.
Fairs and Festivals :
The culture of Guatemala City is highly diverse. Since this was the site of an ancient Mayan city, it is culturally very rich. The culture also shows strong Spanish influence. The city today is the cultural capital of the country as well with numerous museums, university, National library and other notable public institutions. Though the city had developed a reputation for crime, the people are friendly and welcoming.
Several festivals are celebrated in Guatemala City. Many of them are centered on Catholicism, the dominant religion of the country. Some of them are as follows :
Points of interest (places to see) :
- New Year is celebrated with parades, music and fireworks.
- Burning the devil is one of the most popular festivals of Guatemala City and is celebrated in the evening of 7th December every year. The devil’s effigy is burnt in front of the house. This festival is also associated with feast of the Immaculate Conception which honors the patron saint of the city.
- On 2nd and 3rd May, the Day of the Cross is celebrated. This is a very colorful festival.
- Independence Day is celebrated on 15th September. The day is celebrated with lots of flag waving.
The rich history and culture of Guatemala City has resulted in a number of interesting places to visit. They are as follows:
- The most popular site of Guatemala City is the huge relief map in Minerva park. The whole country is represented at a scale of 1:10000 while vertical relief is exaggerated to make the mountains and plains appear more dramatic.
- The Ixchel Museum of Traditional Costumes is voted to be the most interesting attraction of the city. It hosts a huge collection of costumes of Maya and other traditional people as well as information on traditional techniques of weaving and dyeing.
- The Palacio Nacional de la cultura was originally constructed as the President’s palace and is a very interesting piece of architecture. It houses a museum.
- About 4 kms from the city lays the archeologically rich site of the Mayan civilization called Parque Arqueologico Kaminaljuyu.
- The Museo Nacional de Arqueologia y Etnologia contains vast relics of the Mayan civilization.
Apart from these, there are a number of other smaller museums located throughout the country.
A good choice of accommodation is necessary for a good holiday experience and Guatemala City does not disappoint in this regard. The Real Intercontinental Guatemala, the Westin Camino real, Holiday Inn, etc are the highest grades of hotels. Santander Plaza, Dai Nonni hotel, Radisson hotel, Conquistadore hotel are mid-range hotels which are mostly located in Zona 9 and 10. Finally, if you are looking for budget accommodation, Ajau hotel, bed and breakfast Mi Casa and hotel Pan American are good choices.
Last Updated on: August 13th, 2018