Guatemala City Travel Guide

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Guatemala City Travel Guide

Guatemala City Local History

After the devastating earthquake that rocked through Guatemala in 1773 the government decided to move the capital to the present site of Guatemala City. So in 1775 King Carlos III of Spain signed a royal charter which founded Guatemala City.

Unfortunately the city planners didn't move the capital far enough away as 3 subsequent earthquakes in 1917, 1918 and 1976 pretty much destroyed most of the colonial churches and quaint neighborhoods. In fact the 1976 one killed over 23,000 and injured another 75,000 people.

Guatemala City Attractions

Top Attractions

Relief Map If you are interested in seeing the extension of Guatemala and getting an overview of Guatemalan geography, then go see the Relief Map in Minerva Park. The map is bigger than a soccer field, so you need to climb up in an observation platform to see the map overall.

Tikal's 10-mile Site - Tikal's 10-mile site is an ancient pyramid type structure located in a dense jungle of paths and trails. The tour is quite slow but don't wander off by yourselves, as you'll miss most of the interesting things that the guides seem to spot better than anyone else. Spider monkeys, Howler monkeys and Coatimundies can be seen though out the tour on way to the structure.

The Cathedral The Cathedral was constructed in the late 18th century. The exteriors colonial styling is very impressive and beautiful. On Sundays there are services in English. (Guatemala Downtown)

Zona Viva It is said that everyone who goes to Guatemala City must visit Zona Viva, which is the local nightclub and eating district. There is a great number of quality clubs and some good restaurants with great food too. Just jump in a taxi and they'll know where to go. (Zona Viva, Zona 10)

Tamales Corn Husks, with meat and veggies inside. You can use any kind of meat you want.
submitted by Jennifer Scherer, 04/05/05

Guatemala City Beaches

Guatemala City Restaurants and Bars

Guatemala City Restaurants

Kloster Restaurant This restaurant is over 21 years old and offers a delicious range of food in a rustic and friendly atmosphere which is typical of Guatemala. Come and enjoy one of their specialized 'fondues' after 12 noon. If you're the type that enjoys getting wasted or have a high tolerance then order one of their yard beers which are served in a long glass held by some wooden artifact and served on the floor, due to the size. (13 calle 2-75, Zona 10)

Rancho Grande Visit this great spicy food place on weekends as they have some Mariachis which make you feel like you are at Garibaldi Plaza in Mexico City. As far as the menu goes try the las enchiladas with one of their many tequilas. (2ยช Avenida 13-40, Zona 10) (Tel: 50 2 333 5945)

La Estancia This great steakhouse is located next to the American Embassy in the Zona Villa section of the city. The prices are fairly low and add to that the big portions make this a great restaurant. Try the la Parillada.... a plate combination of steak, sausages, and different cuts of beef.

La Acienda de los Sanchez Another of the great steakhouses in Guatemala City's Zona Villa. The large house specialty is the main attraction here and its reputation is well earned. The service is friendly and fast, but the prices are a little on the expensive side. (Near the Holiday Inn)

Guatemala City Bars & Clubs

La Bibiloteqa - This trendy and very popular club is a little on the small side, but easily makes up for it with plenty of character and decent prices. From the inside you can look through its huge windows at the local mountain tops. A popular live band plays on Friday nights. (Opposite the Mercedes Benz dealership in Zona 10)

Mantra This is one of the most popular places in all of Guatemala City, for the richer crowd. It looks almost like a movie when you arrive as all the bodyguards stand around outside while the bosses party inside. Arrive early and get a sit on the terrace near the bar as they are much sought after. (Above Hooters in Zona 10)

Onix - For more great live music head over to the nearby city of Antigua. At Onix you can enjoy a drink or two at the bar situated next to the ruins of a former church. The bar has two floors and the music is mostly Latin rock. (7th ave and 5a Calle poniente)

Guatemala City Tours

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