Standing on the grounds of what was once an ancient Mayan city, Guatemala City is the economic and political center of Guatemala. Flying in on a flight to Guatemala City you will land in La Aurora International Airport. There is a shuttle that takes passengers from most flights to the larger hotels. Car rentals include Avis and Hertz. There are buses every thirty minutes and taxis are also available. Finding airfare to Guatemala City is easy if you access the Internet; also, Guatemala City flights are quite affordable if you take the time to book early.
Getting a cheap flight to Guatemala City is the easy part. Getting around the city once you're there is a little more difficult. You can, of course, walk but be aware of your surroundings. Keep in mind that drivers do not pay attention to pedestrians, so your safety is your responsibility. Bus lines run only until 9:00pm but you will want to be off the bus before sundown. There are taxis but it is best to call the taxi company directly and agree on a price before you set foot in the cab. You can rent a car if you are up to the challenge of the traffic and parking.
Guatemala City is filled with beautiful churches including Union Church, which serves the English speaking community. The Torre del Reformador is modeled after the Eiffel Tower although it is not as tall, only 75 meters. The Jardin Botanico, which contains a wide variety of native and rare flowers, was the first botanical garden in South America. Children will love the Zoologico Nacional La Aurora and parents will be glad that it is clean and well kept. The MuseoPopolVuh is a natural history museum and the National Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology highlights the lives and crafts of the Mayan people.
If you have saved money on airfare to Guatemala City you can spend your savings at the Mercado Central, a large flea market that handles native crafts. The Palacio Nacional is the former presidential palace turned museum and is the place to buy art from native artists. Restaurants in Guatemala City range from the great, but expensive, Tua, to the family-friendly Hacienda Real. The range of cuisines is remarkable. You can find native cuisine, Italian, French, German, and even great steakhouses. After your meal, you might enjoy a performance at the TeatroNacional. For a bit of the wilder nightlife, go to the Zona Viva for a variety of restaurants and nightclubs.
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