Lose yourself in the effervescent buzz of Guatemala City, or Guate as the locals call it. This Central American capital city is split into multiple zones that are so different from each other that they may as well be separate towns! Zone 1, the central district, is the heart of the city with many notable colonial structures, hotels, bars, shops and restaurants. Walking through these streets and plazas will take you back to the days of the Spanish Empire. Picturesque and well preserved, Plaza Mayor is home to some of Guate’s most spectacular buildings, including the National Palace and the Catedral Metropolitana. The interior of the latter is a fine example of Neoclassical architecture. Travelers love to visit the neighbourhood of La Bodeguita del Centro or Zone 4, home to the city’s local creative scene. The area is packed with street art, trendy coffee shops, cool bars and communal working spaces for digital nomads. When in Guate, you can hardly miss its colorful and ubiquitous ‘chicken buses’. These photogenic little vehicles, painted with bright patterns, are the primary local transport and best for navigating Guatemala’s winding hills and roads.
Wine & Food
Spanish Colonial Architecture
Buzzing Creative Scene
Shopping and Nightlife
Recommended Guatemala Tours
Places: San José (1 day) → Arenal (3) → Manuel Antonio (3) → Antigua (3) → Flores (3) → Guatemala City (1)
Tour Highlights: Spanish Colonial History, Museums and Contemporary Art, Saturday Markets, Vibrant Nightlife, Arenal Volcano National Park...
Courtyard by Marriott Guatemala City, less than a 15 minute drive away from the La Aurora Airport, offers you a pleasant and comfortable stay. The downtown location of this smart international hotel is its key attraction.
Radisson Hotel and Suites Guatemala City is situated less than 15 minutes away from the La Aurora Airport. This modern city hotel is located in the cheerful Zona Viva neighborhood, letting you make the most of your vacation
Walking Tour of Cultural Antigua From Guatemala City
Start off from Guatemala City for Antigua by road and enjoy the scenery during the drive. Walk into stunning old churches including La Merced, San Francisco El Grande Church, and the iconic Main Cathedral. Spend time watching the local people as you stroll by the fountain in Central Park. Explore the ruins of Convent Capuchinas before you head for the local craft market to browse for souvenirs. Your could also enjoy some sweet moments at the chocolate museum before you start back for Guatemala City. (Half Day; Time of Day: Morning/Afternoon; Duration: 4 hrs; Private Activity & Transfers; Fitness Level: Easy)
Visit a Bustling Local Market From Guatemala City
Witness the life of the locals as you head off into the highlands of the country leaving Guatemala City behind. Pass by a picturesque landscape dotted with vegetable farms. On your way, you’ll spot many locals going about their daily chores dressed in their typical attire. Stop by the Chichicastenango market which is a hub of activity every Thursday and Sunday. From handicrafts to textiles to poultry, you can find it all here. Before ending your tour at Lake Atitlan, you will also see a church that follows a mix of Mayan and Catholic traditions. (Full Day;Time of Day: Morning; Duration around 8 hrs; Private Activity & Transfers; Fitness Level: Easy. Lunch is not included).
Unearth the Mysteries of an Ancient Kingdom at Iximche
Explore the site that was once home to the ancient Kaqchikel kingdom in Iximche, Tecpán. At this archaeological treasure trove dating back to the 15th century, you can see temples, ceremonial plazas, and a ball court. If you are lucky, you might get to witness one of the Mayan worship rituals that are still held at this site! You will be mesmerized by the tranquil setting of the place surrounded by verdant pine trees. After you are done exploring, there are quite a few restaurants in Tecpán if you would like to lunch before heading on to Lake Atitlan. (Half Day; Time of Day: Morning; Duration around 5 hrs; Private Activity & Transfers; Fitness Level: Easy. Lunch is not included).