Guatemala City, also known as "Guate," is best known for its ancient Mayan ruins, volcanoes, and Spanish colonial architecture. Getting around the city is relatively easy, and it is wise to understand the local customs and habits before jumping on the road. Guate is an up and coming city that is increasingly becoming a tourist-friendly destination.
Renting a Car in Guatemala City
To rent a car in Guatemala, drivers must present a valid passport, driver's license or international driving permit, and a credit card. La Aurora International Airport is only 4 miles from the city center and within 16 miles of Antigua. Avis, Budget, Hertz, and National along with local car rental agencies are located at the airport. By booking with Skyscanner, travelers can reserve the perfect vehicle at the best price.
Driving in Guatemala City
Most places in Guatemala City are easily accessible by car. There are still some unpaved and dirt roads, so renting a 4x4 is recommended. Driving in Guatemala may take some getting used to. For example, not everyone uses turn signals, and it's not uncommon for drivers to pass on blind curves or to honk as a way of communicating. It is advisable to be careful where you park, especially at night. If parking is not offered at your hotel, the hotel can direct you to a secure lot nearby.
Things to Do in Guatemala City
Guatemala City offers visitors a range of fun activities. Whether travelers want to let out their inner kid at a theme park, experience animals at the zoo, or visit historic sites, there is something for everyone.
Archaeological tours at the ancient ruins of Tikal offer an unparalleled experience of Mayan architecture and culture. This excursion is a day trip, and the guide will collect travelers from their hotels and transport them to Tikal National Park and back. This trip fee includes transportation to and from the ruins, lunch, and entrance fees.
The Iximché Ruins are another great place to visit. This journey features a trip to the first capital city of Guatemala, Iximché, the Spanish colonial town of Antigua, and other local churches, plazas, and shops. This day trip also includes transportation to and from Guatemala City hotels and all entrance fees. For bird lovers, there is a half-day or full-day bird watching tour around Antigua, Guatemala City, Coban, and Tikal. With Cayaya Birding, an expert guide will lead the tour and point out warblers, hawk-eagles, owls, and several other bird species.
To explore the amazing scenery Guatemala has to offer, visitors can sign up with Sin Rumbo, a hiking group that offers private and public tours to caves, national parks, and volcanoes around Guatemala. For more contemporary offerings, visitors can seek out museums, the Ícaro film festival, the Guatemala National Theatre, and even an IMAX theatre. Other popular destinations include La Aurora Zoo and the huge Relief Map of Guatemala.
Guatemala City is a beautiful destination with a rich history and a mix of ancient and contemporary happenings.