A west indies traveler @ Guatemala City, Guatemala
Guatemala City Travel Blog› entry 5 of 9 › view all entries
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).
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.
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.
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 :)