Guatemala City, or Guate to the locals, the sprawling capital is considered by most as simply a place to catch a plane or pass through on the way to a more pleasant part of the country. This is somewhat unfair, as the city ‚Äď the largest in Central America ‚Äď does have plenty to offer in it's own right.
The city is divided into zones, which start at the center and radiate outward. The center area, Zone 1, is the colonial part of the city and is home to governmental buildings, cathedrals and several examples of impressive architecture. This part of town is packed with locals during the day, selling affordable goods and produce. Some of the more inexpensive hotels, popular with backpackers and budget travelers, can be found around here.
Another zone of interest to travelers is Zone 4, a commercial zone which also houses the national theater; the Centro Cultural Miguel Angel Asturias, named after one of Guatemala‚Äôs greatest writers. Along Avenida de la Reforma are zones 9 and 10, a pleasant area with tree-lined streets, small parks, and the best hotels and restaurants in the city. The area has the nickname ‚ÄúZona Viva,‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúlively zone‚ÄĚ due to its numerous clubs and bars.
Archaeology buffs will appreciate the Museo Nacional de Arqueologia and Etnologia in Zone 13, which displays pre-Columbian artifacts found at Mayan sites throughout Guatemala. The Kaminaljuyu ruins boasts some 100 small structures and is also located close to the center of town.
Telephone code: 502, phone numbers consist of 8 digits.
Altitude: Guatemala City is located 1,600 meters above sea level (5000 ft)