Guatemala

Guatemala is warm, friendly and welcoming.  It’s one of the most historically significant countries in Central America, and it’s one of the top 25 ecological diverse countries of the world.

Maximo Nivel GuatemalaBecause of its shape, the country is bordered by four different countries—Mexico to the north, Belize to the northeast, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast; as well as Pacific Ocean and Caribbean coasts. The country's abundance of biologically unique ecosystems makes the entire MesoAmerican region a biodiversity hotspot. The Classic period of MesoAmerican civilization corresponds to the height of Guatemala's Maya Civilization and is represented by countless sites throughout the country, and today "Guatemaltecos" are very proud of their indigenous cultures.

 

Population: 12,727,566
Geography: 108,890 Km² (42,043 square miles).
Guatemala is slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Tennessee. The highest point is Tajumulco Volcano at 4,220 meters (13,845 feet) above seal level.
Capital: Guatemala City
Founded: 2 January 1776
Currency: Quetzal (Q).
U.S. dollars are accepted in all places of business, but are NOT available at ATMs. All money exchange in La Antigua is done at banks.
President: Otto Perez Molina
Languages: Spanish.
Also Amerindian languages (23 official languages, including K'iche' Cakchiquel, Kekchi, Mam, Garifuna, and Xinca.

 

The city of La Antigua

La Antigua, Guatemala

La Antigua, Guatemala is situated at 1,500 meters (5,000 feet) above sea level in the central highlands of Guatemala in the department of Sacatepéquez. It is the most popular destination in the country for both tourists and Guatemalans alike, and is famous for its well preserved colonial architecture and spectacular ruins—so much so that the entire city has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

 

Guatemala' Tuc tucs

Getting Around

La Antigua is an easy 30-45 minutes by bus or private shuttle from Guatemala City, where most international flights land. After a day in La Antigua, it's easy to follow the basic grid system of the center. Transportation is mostly on foot, taxi, or “tuc tuc”’ (3-wheeled motorcycle style taxi). If you're walking, Guatemalans are very open and friendly and are always willing to lend a hand with directions.

 

Enjoy a wide range of meals

Eating Out

La Antigua has an abundance of excellent restaurants including both traditional Guatemalan food, Mexican food, and international fare. In La Antigua, you can enjoy delicious and inexpensive local meals at a number of restaurants and at the central market. Prices range from as little $0.80 at the market to very expensive and elegantly prepared international dishes. And of course don’t forget to try Guatemala’s world famous coffee – it easily rivals that of Costa Rica.

 

Traditional Guatemala textile market

Shopping

La Antigua has great little shops, boutiques, and small locally owned stores where you can buy souvenirs, traditional textiles and ceramics, antiques, and other products. The city center and the surrounding villages are also famous for their handicraft markets, as well as their open-air markets for great fruits and vegetables.

 

 

Ladies Night in La Antigua

Nightlife

Most clubs and bars in Antigua are concentrated around the Arco de Santa Catalina or within a block or two of the Central Plaza. There's a lively nightlife with a wide variety of places, including live music. Bars and restaurants officially wrap up business at 1:00AM, but there’s an active after-hours scene in La Antigua, so people who prefer late nights won’t be disappointed. Antigua is a safe city, but it pays to be vigilant. You should never walk alone at night, and be very careful with your valuables.