A west indies traveler @ Guatemala City, Guatemala

Guatemala City Travel Blog

 › entry 5 of 9 › view all entries
Mapa en Relieve (3D Map)

This time the destination was Guatemala City, Guatemala

After 8 years without visit Guatemala but very close connected to it through Ron Zacapa thanks to my friend José Chajon, I went to the beautiful Guatemala again last week and spent there 2 days. Since landing at the Aurora's airport I started to experience the magic connection with my Latin America roots. The airport is the best airport in Central America, the chapines are investing a lot of money in this airport and I can say it will compete with T-4 Barajas.

I decided to split my unique free day in Guatemala between Guatemala City (mainly downtown) and the beautiful former capital of Guatemala called Antigua (located at 30 miles).

Catedral de Guatemala
This time I went to the main square to visit La Catedral and the government palace, also I visited the main market and a very nice place called "Mapa en relieve" which is a 3D map of the whole country.

La Catedral (Main church) is very nice and crowded on Sundays, people in Guatemala is very religious and captured my attention the fact that many of them were wearing their typical Indian clothes but prying as good Catholics. Te market is also a nice experience because it is underground (3 floors) and it has almost everything (food, clothes, handcraft, etc)

Guatemala is very famous because its textile (colorful and completely organic), the coffee, the bananas and its run (at least for me), the market offers all of this in one place but you need to negotiate a lot because when they smell that you are a tourist they will charge you 50%-75% of the real price J regardless the fact that you speak Spanish; a trick that I use to apply is the following: I use to change my money into local currency before go to places like this because they do not take credit cards and the exchange rate for your dollars is not the best, I also use to ask for lower denomination bank notes (bills) in order to always have the exact amount (e.

Casa Santo Domingo
g.: 5, 10 and 20 bills are the best). Also I use to distribute the money along all my pockets because after negotiation I use to lower the agreed amount by saying: “.. oops I am short by 10 or 20…”. Another trick is to negotiate in volume, this worked for me very well this time; I used to ask for the unit price and then made a lower offer for 2-3.

From there I went to Antigua which was the 3rd capital of Guatemala and faced a huge earthquake last century. There are some landmarks that you must visit if you go to Antigua. The first one is ‘El convento de Santo Domingo’ (Sn Domingo convent) which was the bastion of one of the most grand convents of America:  the one that sheltered the followers of the order of Santo Domingo de Guzmán. Then you have to go to the main square and visit the new and the old cathedral. I paid one dollar to a old guy (late 70s) for a guided tour and it was fantastic.

Catedral de Antigua
He showed me almost everything and explained to me the mix between cultures (Maya’s culture and catholic) represented almost everywhere (e.g.: arcs, walls, altar, etc). The I went to La Plaza (“The Square”) and had my lunch at La fonda de la calle real where I had a Pepian de Pollo and Tamales. I also tried a hot chili called “Chiltepe” and another called “Chili Guaque” and I had to go to local supermarkets for more because it was delicious!

Summary if you go to Guatemala, you must try to visit Antigua, you must eat Pepian, tamales and Kakik, you should drink Zacapa or Gallo Beer and get some colorful clothes at the local artisan market. If you love fast food, Pollo Capero is a must :)  

 

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Mapa en Relieve (3D Map)
Mapa en Relieve (3D Map)
Catedral de Guatemala
Catedral de Guatemala
Casa Santo Domingo
Casa Santo Domingo
Catedral de Antigua
Catedral de Antigua
Chapina cuisine
Chapina cuisine
Tortillas
Tortillas