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Where to Stay in Guatemala City
Guatemala City is divided into 22 distinct zones, each with its own charm and flavor. Visitors can find a range of accommodations, from luxury hotels to discount guesthouses, throughout these zones. Those that want to stay near the political and historical center of Guatemala City should compare hotel rates in Zone 1. This zone is home some of the city's most important sites, including the National Palace, the National Library and the Metropolitan Cathedral. It's also the location of Guatemala City's main square, known as Main Plaza, and the bustling Mercado Central, where tourists can buy a range of local goods from independent vendors. Those traveling with children will want to search for accommodations in Zone 13. This popular tourist area features many family-friendly attractions, including La Aurora Zoo and the Children's Museum. It's also home to the Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Natural History. Or stay near the ancient ruins of Kaminaljuyu in Zones 7 and 11. Visitors can tour the archeological site of this centuries-old Mayan civilization and patron the Museo Miraflores, a beautiful museum dedicated to preserving the Mayan culture. If you're wanting to get a taste of Guatemala City's vibrant culinary scene and nightlife, book reservations within Zone 10's Zona Viva neighborhood. This neighborhood boasts a wide selection of upscale restaurants, trendy bars and swank lounges.
Guatemala City Hotel Tips
Guatemala City has two seasons: the dry season and the wet season. Tourism is most popular during the dry season, which lasts from November through April. During this time, hotel rates tend to increase because of the increase in demand. Temperatures don't usually top 80 degree or fall below 50, making it a very pleasant time to visit the city. If you plan on booking your trip during this season, make sure you search for hotel reservations a couple months in advance to secure a room.
The city's wet season lasts from May through October. At its rainiest Guatemala City can experience as much as 21 days of rain a month on average. Still, temperatures are warm ranging from the low 60s to the upper 70s. Because this period marks the off-season for tourism, visitors can frequently find the best flight Guatemala City deals and hotel discounts at this time.
Guatemala City Hotel Recommendations
The luxurious Bercelo Guatemala City Hotel is an ideal accommodation for both business and leisure travelers. Located in the heart of the city in the central business district, the hotel provides guests with easy access to many of Guatemala's government buildings and corporate headquarters. It's also within close proximity to many historical attractions. In addition, the Bercelo Hotel features a convention center and a business center. There is also a fitness center, complete with yoga rooms, racquetball courts, a sauna, a Jacuzzi and an outdoor swimming pool. Many of the contemporary guestrooms provide stunning vistas of the natural landscape. The hotel also offers guests a selection of two restaurants and three bars.
For a cheaper stay, compare rates at the Ciudad Vieja, a boutique mid-range hotel located in the popular Zone 10 district. The two-story facility features 26 comfortable and clean guestrooms, each of which sports its own private bath. Room amenities include cable television and Internet access. As for food, the small hotel claims two restaurants. El Aguacate is a cozy dining room that specializes in international cuisine. El Patio, on the other hand, is covered outdoor cafe that serves up a selection of small plates. Ciudad Vieja also features a small meeting room and a 24-hour business center.
For one of the most exclusive stays in Guatemala City, check into the Real Intercontinental Guatemala. Located in Zona Viva, this lavish high-rise is within walking distance to the city's main shopping malls and upscale restaurants. The hotel is part of a larger complex that includes a 14-story office building and retail shops. A variety of rooms and suites are available. Standard guestrooms come outfitted with modern furnishings, including a deluxe feathertop mattress and Egyptian cotton sheets. Hotel amenities include an exercise room, an outdoor pool and a solarium. The hotel also boasts three dining options. Cafe de la Paix specializes in gourmet French cuisine, while the Saint Honore serves up freshly baked goods and coffee. If you're in the mood for sushi, try Tanoshii, the first Japanese restaurant to open in Central America.
Guatemala City Transportation
Buses are the most popular form of transportation in Guatemala City. A large network of routes serves the greater metropolitan area. In addition, the city has recently implemented a Bus Rapid Transit system called Transmetro. These buses operate in reserved lanes that help make travel more efficient. Currently there are two separate Transmetro lines. Taxis are also another popular mode of transportation and are available via phone. Renting a car is also an option. Traffic in Guatemala City can get fairly congested, so driving may be difficult. However, the city has constructed new freeways to help ease this congestion and make the area more driver-friendly.