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Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in guatemala city
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Guatemala City is the capital of Guatemala, a country in Central America.
"Plaza Obelisco looking north">
Plaza Obelisco looking north
Guatemala City became the capital after Antigua Guatemala had been destroyed by an earthquake in 1776. With a population of around 3 million people, Guatemala City is the largest and most modern city in Guatemala and the country's center for finance and politics. Although noisy, polluted and commonly considered as unattractive by guidebooks, it can be interesting to visit "Guate" - as it is also called by the locals. Guatemala City has attractions and restaurants, often with few tourists. And attending a Sundays evening gathering of hundreds of locals at the main plaza is certainly an unforgettable experience. Moreover the city makes up for its problems with several interesting museums and some of the best restaurants in the country — and being the crossroads for the entire country, you're bound to end up here at some point.
- INGUAT, 7 Avenida 1-17, Zona 4. Don't expect to get too much information here except for a decent copy of a city map. The written material is sparse, and the attitude of the staff is one of disinterest. You can get some nice posters for Q6, and if you bring your own empty cd's they will copy some marimba music for you (normally takes 2 days).
Guatemala City has one big airport, La Aurora. There are daily arrivals from the US, México, El Salvador, Honduras (San Pedro Sula), Costa Rica (San José), Nicaragua (Managua), Panamá. Number of arrivals in parenthesis.
- American Airlines: Miami (4), Dallas, Chicago.
- Continental: Houston (2), New York.
- Cubana de Aviación (http://www.cubana.cu/): Cuba, Costa Rica.
- Copa (http://www.copaair.com/): Panamá (3), Panamá-Managua, Managua (2), San José-Managua.
- Delta: Atlanta.
- Taca (http://www.grupotaca.com/?type=GUATACAFIND%3C=1), Aviteca, Lacsa, Aeronica: Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Boston, Washington, México, San José (3), El Salvador (2), San Pedro Sula, Flores (2), Cancún.
- Iberia (http://www.iberia.com/): Madrid (direct 3 times a week).
- Mexicana (http://www.mexicana.com/g4mx/main/Main/): México (2).
- United Airlines (http://www.unitedguatemala.com/english/index.html): Los Angeles, San José.
- Tikal Jets (http://www.tikaljets.com/): Flores, Cancún (Thursday and Sunday), Habana (Monday and Friday).
The online newspaper Prensa Libre host live arrival and departure information (http://www.prensalibre.com/app/vuelos/index.jsp?pagina=llegadas) for the airport.
There are always taxis at the airport. They operate with fixed prices that are 2-3 times higher than what you would pay for the same distance with an ordinary taxi. There is also a bus route operating the road that passes the airport. It will take you to Zona 10 at around La Reforma and 12 Calle. If you are going to the old city center (Zona 1), there are a lot of buses going that way from La Reforma or from 7 Avenida that runs in parallel with La Reforma one block away.
The Central American highways CA1 and CA9 run through Guatemala City.
In almost any town in Guatemala you will find a bus that eventually will take you to Guatemala City. The 2nd class "Chicken buses" are often crowded and not very comfortable, but cheap. Expect to pay around Q5 per hour. There are also various 1st class buses from some of the larger cities and from neighboring countries (Belize, México, El Salvador and Honduras). Most buses end up in Zona 1 or Zona 4.
The city is divided into 21 zones (zonas). Zona 1 is the old historic center. Here you'll find the national palace, the presidential palace, the cathedral, the main plaza. South of Zona 1 is Zona 4 where many of the official buildings are situated, like the national bank, the national theatre, the tourist board (INGUAT). Further south is Zona 10 and Zona 9, divided by Avenida La Reforma. Zona 10 hosts most of the high class hotels, restaurants, bars, shopping facilities. A small part of Zona 10 is called Zona Viva (the lively zone) because of its nightlife.
The common way to get around in Guatemala City is by bus or taxi. Hardly anyone walks (people might find it odd if you do). Traveling inside the city by bus costs Q1.00 (a few routes costs Q1.10 (you'll see a sign in the window of the bus), and everybody charges Q1.25 on Sundays). The buses run from early morning till about eight in the evening. It is not advisable to take the bus after dark. Also, robbery on the buses is quite common (statistics from 2003 shows around 60 robberies per day.)
Taxis Amarillo: 2332 1515
Taxis Mariscal: 2473 2441
Taxis Las Americas: 2362 0583
Servitaxis Rotativos: 289 5188
Blanco y Azul: 360 0903
There are two kinds of taxis, the ones with a meter and the ones that you have to agree on a price before the trip. Of the metered taxis, the best service is given by Taxis Amarillo (Yellow Cabs). It is not possible to hail them in the street, you have to call. The number to the central is 2332-1515. They will demand an address (they can sometimes by quite picky about getting an exact address - look around at nearby houses, and don't forget to give the correct Zona) and normally a telephone number, so it might be wise to have someone call on your behalf, from a restaurant or so. With the Taxis Amarillo every trip is logged, and riding with them is considered safe. The other kind of taxis is white. With these you have to negotiate a price, and being a tourist/foreigner, they most likely will demand more than the normal fare. Normally the white taxis should be cheaper, but if you're not that good at negotiating, the yellow taxis might actually be the cheaper choice. It is also the question of safety. There are approximately 800 unregistered/unlicenced/stolen white taxis circulating the city.
"Map of Guatemala City">
"Parque Central and Palacio Nacional">
Parque Central and Palacio Nacional ;-)
- Ixchel Museum of traditional costumes, 6 Calle final, Zona 10, at the campus of Universidad Francisco Marroquín. Tel 331-3638/34. Mon-Fri 9:00-17:00 Sat 9:00-13:00. Q25 adults, Q15 students. A large collection of traditional costumes, information on weaving and dying techniques, the processing of the materials in use, the history and development of the traditional costumes and a collection of paintings by Carmen Pettersen. The explanations are in both English and Spanish. The museum also has a shop where you can get fine examples of Guatemalan artesania. The prices are higher than at the markets, but the quality is also higher and the selection is good. The shop also has a variety of books, including its own series of publications about the traditional costumes of Guatemala, hard to come by in other book stores, and also the book The Maya of Guatemala - life and dress (with text in English and Spanish) by Carmen Pettersen, a bargain at Q210.
- Popol Vuh Museum, 6 Calle final, Zona 10, at the campus of Universidad Francisco Marroquín. Tel 361-2301/11. Mon-Fri 9:00-17:00 Sat 9:00-13:00. http://www.popolvuh.ufm.edu.gt. Q25 adults, Q15 students, Q15 for permission to take pictures (without flash), Q25 for video. The museum doesn't have a particular focus on the Popol Vuh as the name suggests, but has a rather nice collection of archaeological items from the pre-Hispanic Mayan world. There is also a room dedicated to Colonial items. The explanations are in both English and Spanish.
- Archeology and Ethnology Museum, 7 Avenida, Zona 13. This is where you find the famous Tikal mask.
- Museum of modern art, 7 Avenida, Zona 13.
- Aurora Zoo, Zona 13.
- Kaminaljuyu, Zona 7. An early Maya ruin right in the city. The buildings are badly ruined, but some of the excavations are interesting.
- Museo Miraflores, 7 Calle 21-55, Zona 11. Tel 475-4621. firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu, Wed, Sun 9-19, Thu, Fri, Sat 9-20. Monday closed. Museum focused on the ancient city of Kaminaljuyú.
- Parque Central and The Cathedral
- Palacio Nacional, Zona 1, can be seen via free guided tours that operate every 15 minutes, and last about 1/2 hr. You can see the interior courtyards and official function rooms, as well as some decorative artwork and wall murals, and a small statue commemorating the end of the civil war, a pair of hands that hold a fresh rose.
- Shopping at the Central Market
- Every Sunday hundreds of People stroll at the Main Plaza ("Plaza Mayor")in Zona 1, where music, arts and food is provided
- Cine Lux, 6 Avenida/11 Calle, Zona 1.
- Cine Capitol, 6 Avenida/13 Calle, Zona 1.
- Magic Place, Avenida Las Americas, Zona 14.
- Los Proceres
- La Pradera
- Miraflores. The best cinemas in Guatemala.
- Tikal Futura
- IGA - Instituto Guatemalteco Americano, Ruta 1 4-05, Zona 4. Tel 338-5555. Fax 338-4571. email@example.com http://www.iga.edu. Teaching in small groups, normally 1-5 students. 7 levels, from basic and up. More weight on grammar than the typical language schools in Antigua, but also some courses with just practice. The price is around Q850 for a course of 2 hours a day (Mon-Fri), seven weeks (approximately). You can get a discount if you only plan to follow part of the course. The classes are from 9-11 or 11-13 and you can combine two classes if you like. The students are from all over the world, many of them children or spouses to someone that works in the city.
- Easy-Fácil, 14 Avenida 13-68, Oakland, Zona 10. Tel 337-3970/368-1187. firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.easyfacil.com. Private teacher. Expensive.
- Academia Europea, 15 Calle 2-64, Zona 10. Tel 363-5760. A number of teachers (in other languages) from this Academy have studied Spanish at IGA... but you are free to check it out.
- The Academy, Avenida Las Americas 20-36, Zona 13. Tel 385-2235/36. Fax 332-2245.
- Berlitz, Av. Reforma 7-62, Zona 9. Tel 362-4444. http://www.berlitz-ca.net/
- USAC - University of San Carlos, Av. Reforma 0-63, Zona 10. Tel 331-0904/334-7662/335-5635. Q600 for 40 hours (4 weeks).
Some of the universities give courses that also are open to the public. Check out their websites for more information.
- Universidad Rafael Landivar
- Universidad Francisco Marroquin
- Universidad del Valle
- Universidad San Carlos
If you have English as your native language (and also speak Spanish), you might find work as a private tutor in English, or as a translator. Look at the classifieds in the paper Prensa Libre. Otherwise you'd like to work as an volunteer or internship visit http://www.intexpro.com International Exchange Program tehy can help you to find a place.
"Selection of fabrics from Lin-Canola">
Selection of fabrics from Lin-Canola
Guatemala is famous for its textiles. In the city you should be able to find textiles from all over the country.
If you are particularly interested in Guatemala or the Maya, you might find books (in Spanish) here that you can't easily get anywhere else. For books in English you'd most likely get better prices at an online bookstore like Amazon.
- In Nola, 18 Calle 21-31, Zona 10. Tel 367-2424/367-2655/59. Mon-Fri 8:30-18-30, Sat 8:30-13:30. Enormous selection of fabrics by the yard (prices from Q20-60 depending on quality/thickness). Wood, clothes, leather, ceramic, souvenirs, traditional costumes. You can also get clothes sewn there. Highly recommended.
- The artesania market, Zona 13.
- Lin-Canola, 5 Calle 9-60, Zona 1. Tel 253-0138. Fax 232-0858. Enormous selection of fabrics by the yard (prices from Q20-60 depending on quality/thickness). Wood, clothes, leather, ceramic, souvenirs, traditional costumes. You can also get clothes sewn there. Highly recommended.
- Centro guatemalteco de textiles, 5 Calle 9-41, Zona 1. Ceramic, wood and fabrics by the yard (Q15-25). Can't compete with the selection at Lin-Canola, but cheaper. In the same street you will find more shops with fabrics in the same price range, but none with the selection of Lin-Canola.
- Central Market, between 8 and 6 Calle/8 and 9 Avenida, Zona 1
You might, but don't expect to find travel guides for the region at these places (not even a Guatemala guide).
- Sophos, Av Reforma 13-89, Zona 10.
- Artemis Edinter, Gémimis Center, 12 Calle/1 Avenida, Zona 10, or 5 Avenida 12-11, Zona 1, or Centro Comercial La Pradera, Zona 10.
- Libreria del Pensativo, 13 Calle/7 Avenida, Zona 9. Tel 332-5055.
- Arnel, 9 Calle/7 Avenida, Edificio el Centro, Local 108 (basement), Zona 1.
- La Pradera, Blv. Los Proceres, Zona 10
- Los Proceres, 16 Calle/2 Avenida, Zona 10
- Unicentro, Zona 10
- Tikal Futura, Zona 11
- Miraflores, Zona 11
6 Avenida (Zona 1)
The gray economy is substantial in Guatemala, and 6 Avenida is a pulsating proof of that. Here you can get fake branded clothes, pirated cd's, dvd's, vcd's, game consoles, watches, shoes etc. A cd goes for Q10, dvd Q60, vcd Q25. The selection is better than most shops, and the blockbuster movies hit the streets long before the cinemas. Buying and selling pirated cd's is illegal (even in Guatemala), but this part of the law is not enforced. In fact, even the police buy the pirated stuff in the streets (but a bit more discreet than the average citizens).
This part of the city has a lot of smog, is not clean and beware of pick pockets.
The Aurora International Airport
One thing you should take with you home from Guatemala is the prize winning rum Ron Zacapa Centenario. If you don't drink rum yourself, somebody else is bound to be very happy for a bottle of this exquisite rum. The price tag is around $22, some 25% cheaper than at a supermarket. The souvenir shops have some nice things if you need some last minute gifts before you leave the country (more expensive than the markets, but you won't get ruined). The books they sell at the airport are ridiculously expensive, double or triple price of a bookstore.
Visa is the most common cr card for use in ATMs. In the main shopping areas, especially in Zona 10, you should have no trouble finding an ATM that takes Visa.
There is a Visa/MasterCard ATM at the south side of the central plaza 8 Calle 5-36, a Visa only in 5 Avenida 9-39, and a MasterCard only at the corner of 5 Avenida/11 Calle, all in Zona 1.
A fascinating 'Gotch-ya' to traveling in Guatemala is that ATM key pads can be oriented with the 9 at the top left with the numbers descending right and down, or with the 1 at the top left with numbers ascending. If you have a spatial memory and have memorized the motion of punching in your P.I.N. instead of the actual numerical sequence, you might be in for a surprise!
Carretera a Antigua Guatemala
- Restaurante La Abuelita, The best home made food in San Lucas.
Zona Viva, between Avenida La Reforma, 6 Avenida, 16 Calle and 10 Calle in Zona 10 is the best place to find restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
Zona 10/Zona Viva
- Kacao, 2 Avenida between 13 and 14 Calle, Zona 10. A nice restaurant with waiters in traditional Mayan costumes, tables covered with huipiles, under a big thatched roof. Serves traditional Guatemalan food like Pepián, Jocón, Suban-lek (ceremonial dish from the Cakchiquel royalty of San Martín Jilotepeque), Lomito Chiltepe. Q70-170. Recommended.
- Café de Paix, Hotel Intercontinental, 2 Avenida, Zona 10. Expensive French restaurant with typical dishes like entrecote and onion soup. Q90-190.
"Entertainment at Hacienda Real">
Entertainment at Hacienda Real
- Hacienda Real, 13 Calle 1-10, Zona 10. Tel 368-1168/333-5408/9. One of the best places for steak. Try the tortillas with guacamole, frijoles (beans) and chorizo for starters, and the steak pimienta as the main course. Main dish Q70-140. Serves a free, delicious caldo while you wait for the meal. Highly recommended.
- Tre Fratelli, 2 Avenida 13-25, Zona 10. Tel 366-3164/68. email@example.com http://www.trefratelli.com. Mainly Italian food. Main dish Q40-80. Highly recommended. Also restaurants at Unicentro, Tikal Futura, Miraflores and Las Majadas.
- Tamarindos, 11 Calle 2-19A, Zona 10. Tel 360-2815/35. http://www.tamarindos.com.gt. Asian fusion cuisine, duck, ostrich, steak, shrimps, and maybe the best sushi in town. Try the Moo Shu Duck, the tuna dishes, and for desert the bread pudding with ice cream and bourbon sauce, or the chocolate surprise. Main dish Q80-170. Expensive cocktails, Q45.
- Fridas, 15 Calle 2-77, Zona 10. Tel 333-7473/368-0686. Mexican food. Main dish Q35-60. Recommended: Chicken fajitas, Tortilla soup, pechuga de pollo en salsa de mango, pay azteca, a la flauta flautas, and for starters the queso fundido mixto (melted cheese with mushrooms). The best margaritas in Guatemala, but watch out when they ask you what kind of tequila you would like in/with it - the price might rise from the normal Q29 till Q85. Highly recommended.
- Casa Chapina, 1 Avenida 13-42, Zona 10. Tel 337-0143/368-0663. Traditional Guatemalan food. If you are lucky/unlucky (depending on your preferences) you might also be treated to the traditional marimba during your meal.
- Donde Mikel, 13 Calle 5-19, Zona 10. Great place for steak and shrimps. Often full, so book in advance, or show up early.
- Tapas y Cañas, 13 Calle 7-78, Zona 10. Tel 367-2166. Spanish tapas. Try pinchos españoles, pinchos de pollo and albondigas de lomito. You have a choice between sitting in the restaurant or in the bar. Recommended.
- El Gran Pavo, 6 Avenida 12-72, Zona 10. Tel 362-0608/9. Mexican food.
- Inka Grill, 2 Avenida 14-22, Zona 10. Tel 363-3013. Peruvian food. Main dish Q45-100.
- Vesuvio, 18 Calle 3-36, Zona 10, close to Los Proceres shopping mall. Tel 337-1697. Great pizza made over open fire.
- Saint Honore, Hotel Intercontinental, 2 Avenida, Zona 10. Maybe the best coffee in Guatemala City. Serves cakes and small dishes. Expensive.
- Los Alpes, Zona 10. Tel 331-4606. Swiss bakery, lunch dishes at Q30-45 (a bit boring), fancy cakes.
- Zurich, 6 Avenida 12-52, Zona 10. Swiss bakery with cakes and chocolate. Also serves breakfast and lunch.
- Chili's, Av Reforma/12 Calle. Big burgers and Tex-Mex style food. Slow service.
- Los Cebollines, Plaza España, 7 Avenida/12 Calle, Zona 9.
- Altuna, 5 Avenida 12-31, Zona 1. Stylish interior. Spanish and Basque cuisine, seafood and paella.
- Hotel Pan-Americana, 9 Calle 5-63, Zona 1. Tel 232 6807/8/9. Fax 232 6402. firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.hotelpanamerican.com. Beautiful old hotel with decorations from around Guatemala. Nice restaurant with waiters dressed in traditional costumes. Q60-100.
Carretera a El Salvador
- San Ángel, Carretera a El Salvador. Great view of the city, but better food elsewhere.
- Central Market, between 8 and 6 Calle/8 and 9 Avenida, Zona 1
- Paiz supermarket, 9 Avenida 5-30, Zona 1, just one block from the Central Market
- Paiz supermarket, 6 Avenida/13 Calle, Centro Capitol, Zona 1
- Econo Super, Av Reforma/16 Calle (close to Obelisco), Zona 9
- Gourmet Center, Blv. Los Proceres, Zona 10
- 4 Grados Norte, Zona 4. Rejuvenated part of Zona 4. The most interesting places are perhaps the ones just outside the main street.
- Bodegita del Centro, Zona 1.
- El Portal, inside the complex (entrances from 8 Calle, 9 Calle and 6 Avenida) facing Parque Central, Zona 1. Supposedly Che Guevaras favorite place when he lived in Guatemala City in the early '50s.
- El Establo, Zona 10.
- Pension Meza, 10 Calle 10-17, Zona 1. Tel/fax unknown. $3 p/p. In Zona 1, near the Parque Central, safe, cheap, basic.
- 2 Lunas Guest House, 21 Calle 10-92, Zona 13. Tel/fax 334-5264. email@example.com http://www.xelapages.com/doslunas. Bed & breakfast, $10 p/p. Close to the airport.
- Hostal Hermano Pedro, 6 Avenida 20-53, Zona 13. Tel 360-4862/332-4474/212-6129. firstname.lastname@example.org. Bed & breakfast, $10 p/p. Close to the airport.
- Hostal Los Volcanes, 16 Calle 8-00, Zona 13. Tel 360-3232. Fax 332-6873. email@example.com http://www.hostallosvolcanes.com. From $15 p/p. Close to the airport.
- Hotel Spring, 8 Avenida 12-65, Zona 1. Tel 232-2858. Double Room $22. English spoken. Situated in the colonial house, it has a nice caffeteria in the courtyard. But one annoying thing is that the entrance to the bathroom is very low, expect to bang your head at least once. It also provides internet access, but the prices are a bit steep. Apart from that clean and pleasant, recommended.
- Hotel Fenix, Corner 7 Avenida/16 Calle, Zona 1; Nice, shady and inexpensive Hostel with only double rooms; In the Bistro outside you can buy the best sandwiches around. Double Room $5 / Single $4
- Hotel San. Martin, 7. Av. between 15 and 16 calle; tiny rooms but "real" budget: 3,5$ p/p
- Hotel Mansión Imperial, 15 Calle 5-85, Zona 10. Fax 367 2874/75/76. firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.mansionimperial.com. $45 for a double room with breakfast. Highly recommended, a peaceful oasis close to Zona Viva.
- Ciudad Vieja, 8 Calle 3-67, Zona 10. Tel 331-9104.
- Hotel Pan American, 9 Calle 5-63, Zona 1. Tel 232 6807/8/9. Fax 232 6402. email@example.com http://www.hotelpanamerican.com. Beautiful old hotel with decorations from around Guatemala. Nice restaurant with waiters dressed in traditional costumes.
- Hotel Princess Reforma, 13 Calle 7-65, Zona 9. Tel 334-4545.
- Marriott, 7 Avenida 15-49, Zona 9. Tel 339 777. Fax 332 1877. firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.marriott.com. $75 for a double room with breakfast.
- Holiday Inn, 1 Avenida 13-22, Zona 10. Tel 332-2555.
- Westin Camino Real, Possibly the best hotel in the City.
- Uxlabil, 15 Calle final, Oakland, Zona 10. For those planning a longer stay in the city. Differently sized (mostly small) apartments with kitchen. Cleaning service included. Internet connection in the reception. Washing machine. Around $600 per month (shorter stays also possible).
There are phone booths spread out generously over the whole city. Most of them are from the company Telgua and most take only phone cards. Look for the sign Ladatel both on the phone booths and the places that sell the cards.
- E@sy Web, 2 Avenida 9-72, Zona 1. Tel 2220-4645 and 5689-7315 Q4.00-hour. Scan, print, burn, copy,
- Y2K, 2 Avenida 13-17, Zona 10. Tel 366-4783/93. Mo-Sa 10:00-22:00, Su 10:00-15:00. Q16/hour. Scan, print, burn, copy.
- EvolutioNet, 1 Avenida/12 Calle, Zona 10. M-F 9:00-20:00, Sa 9:00-15:00. Q15/hour.
- Cafe Virtual, Centro Comercial Los Proceres, ground floor, at the main entrance, Zona 10. Tel 332-8027. Mo-Sa 08:00-21:00, Su 09:00-20:00. Steep prices, but includes coffee of your choice. Q20 for 1/2 hour (inc. coffee).
- @.com, Centro Comercial Los Proceres, third floor, locale 310 next to Bancafe. Tel 332-3439. Q15 1/2 hour, Q20/hour, cheaper with prepaid cards of 3, 7 or 10 hours.
- Cafe Internet, 5 Calle 9-25, Zona 1. M-Sa 8:30-19:00. Q6/hour. Additional services like scan, print, burn cd.
- Fatima Cafe Internet, 10 Avenida 7-23, Zona 1. M-Sa 8:30-18:00. Q7/hour.
- Cafe Internet 2M, Edificio el Centro, basement, Zona 1. Q6/hour.
- Internet Cafe, Local 207 (2nd floor facing 9 Calle), Edificio el Centro, Zona 1. M-F 8:00-17:00, Sa 8:00-12:00. Q6/hour. Sells computer accessories.
- Internet, Local 5, Centro Comercial 6 Avenida, 6 Av. 9-27, Zona 1. M-Su 8:00-19:00. Q5/hour.
- Global Net Cafe, Edificio Plaza Vivar, 6 Avenida/10 Calle, Zona 1. 1 room in the 1st floor and 4 in the 2nd. M-Sa 9:30-18:00. Q3.50/hour.
- Cyber Blue, 1st floor, Edificio Plaza Vivar, 6 Avenida/10 Calle, Zona 1. M-Sa 8:00-18:00 Q4/hour, 18:00-20:00 Q6/hour. Scan, print, burn services.
- De@webo.com, 2nd floor, Edificio Plaza Vivar, 6 Avenida/10 Calle, Zona 1. Scan, print, burn services.
- Ovnitech, 3rd floor, Edificio Plaza Vivar. Q3.50/hour. Tel 230-0335.
- Net Club, Local 328, Centro Capitol, 6 Avenida/13 Calle, Zona 1. Q8/hour. Sells computer accessories.
- J&J Internet Services, 5 Avenida 9-42, Zona 1. M-Sa 8:00-17:00. Q5/hour.
- Internet, 5 Avenida 10-58, Zona 1. M-Sa 8:00-22:00. Q6/hour.
- Extract Libre, 5 Avenida 11-30, Zona 1. M-Su 8:30-21:00. Q6/hour.
- Cafe Internet, 5 Avenida 12-16, Zona 1. M-Sa 8:00-19:00. Q5/hour. Scan, print, burn services.
- Cafe Internet, 14 Calle 5-23, Zona 1. Q6/hour.
Post office (El Correo)
7 Avenida/12 Calle, Zona 1
The airport, Zona 13
Av. Reforma/14 Calle, Zona 9
The main Post office is in 7 Avenida/12 Calle, Zona 1. A stamp for a postcard to Europe costs around Q4. The postal system in Guatemala has a reputation for not being very reliable, and many (rich) Guatemalans have a P.O.Box in Miami where they receive post/magazines/online purchases (brought to Guatemala by courier). You can't buy stamps or post mail anywhere but at the post offices/affiliates. Look/ask for El Correo.
The other floors of the huge building house different art- and theater groups.
There is a lot of crime in Guatemala City. If you are so unfortunate as to experience a robbery, please be advised to give away anything the robbers want. People do get killed for not doing so. Best you just stay inside after sunset.
Even with the high crime rate, the traffic is probably the biggest hazard in Guatemala. Cars don't stop for pedestrians - they might honk and flash the headlight - but they don't slow down or stop. So take extreme precaution when crossing streets. Also note that drunk driving is quite common.
Don't eat the food prepared in the streets. Even the locals get sick from time to time eating this food. Your chances are probably worse.
Guatemala City is at a somewhat high elevation (a little less than 5000 ft) in the mountains (plus the air is very polluted), so if coming from a location near sea-level, you might wish to plan to take it easy and get extra rest on your first day while your body adjusts to the altitude.
Hospital treatment is expensive so you'd better have a good insurance, and preferably a cr card.
Being a foreigner with insurance, or if they figure you can pay the hospital bill, you run a high risk of getting over-treatment if you visit a hospital. Things to watch out for are unnecessary surgery just to be sure, hospitalization in a private room with TV to get rest, unnecessary test like an aids-test for diarrhea.
- Centro Médico, 6 Avenida 3-47, Zona 10. Tel 334-2157/384-2600/332-3555. 24 hour service.
- Hospital Bella Aurora, 10 Calle 2-31, Zona 14. Tel 384-3535. 24 hour service.
- Hospital Universitario Esperanza, 6 Avenida 7-49, Zona 10. Tel 362-8626.
You'll find pharmacies all over town.
If you have electrical equipment that need 220-240V 50Hz input instead of the country's standard 110V 60Hz, you can find a transformer at Pan American, Zona 9. They have various models with prices depending on how much power you require. Q230 for a 500-Watts transformer.
Buses to all of Guatemala leave from various parts of Zona 1 and 4.
|La Antigua Guatemala (& San Lucas)||Various|
18 Calle/4 Avenida Z1
|Panajachel (Chimaltenango, Los Encuentros, Sololá)||Transportes Rebuli|
21 Calle/4 Avenida Z1
|Puerto Barrios (El Rancho, Teculután, Río Hondo, Los Amates, Quiriguá)||Transportes Litegua|
15 Calle 10-40 Z1
|Flores (El Rancho, La Ruidosa, Río Dulce, San Luis, Poptún)||Fuente del Norte|
17 Calle 8-46 Z1
|every hour||9-10 hours|