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Where to stay in Guatemala City

VacationRenter offers 255 holiday accommodations in Guatemala City, and we’re confident you’ll find a vacation home that meets your needs and your budget. If you’re in search of affordable vacation rentals in Guatemala City, you’ll be pleased to find that 20% of local properties cost less than $22 a night. Whether you’re seeking luxury accommodations near Plaza España, a private apartment close to Plaza de la Constitución, or a place that also gives you close access to Guatemala City — our goal is to help you find exactly what you need. Our website lists a wide selection of properties from top travel companies like Airbnb, Vrbo, HomeAway, Booking.com, and many more. It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling solo, going on a honeymoon to Guatemala City, or planning a family vacation for 9, we can match you with lodging accommodations that sleep everyone comfortably. Finding your dream vacation home in Guatemala City, Guatemala has never been this easy.

Where Is Guatemala City?

The eponymous capital city of Guatemala is in the southwestern quadrant of the Central American country. To get to Guatemala City, the best airport to fly into is La Aurora International Airport — the largest airport in the country — which is within the city boundaries in Zona 13. Taxis and shuttles are the recommended mode of transportation for visitors; while walking is best done in groups.

What Is Guatemala City Known For?

The largest and most modern city in Central America with a population of three million, Guatemala City is not known to be a major tourist destination as much as a transportation hub. Locals gather by the hundreds in the main plaza on Sunday evenings where there is music, dancing, and food vendors. The country is known for its textiles, which can be found in markets all over the city, and is commonly referred to as “Guate” by locals and visitors alike.

A Quick Guide to Guatemala City

  • Mapa en Relieve: Mapa en Relieve is a topographical map of Guatemala that is so large, it must be viewed from an observation tower. The land size was created in 1:10,000 scale, but the mountains were created in 1:2,000 scale, making all the mountains dramatically tall and pointy. It was impressively created in 1904, well before modern surveying technology.
  • Mercado Central: A massive indoor market on three levels, Mercado Central offers all types of souvenirs, handicrafts, textiles, produce, meat, and a food court. It is located in a building behind the cathedral that seems smaller from the outside than what it really is because most of it is underground.
  • Palacio Nacional: A former presidential palace, Palacio Nacional was built in the 1930’s on a site that once housed two previous palaces. The imposing structure is across the street from Parque Central and now functions as a museum for Guatemalan culture. Guided tours of the collections include murals depicting Guatemalan history, paintings, sculptures, and rooms furnished as they were during the presidency. The exterior is an especially majestic sight at night.
  • La Aurora Zoo: Between Zonas 9 and 14 is the La Aurora Zoo, founded in 1924 with 287 species from around the world. There are penguins, zebras, lions, parrots, tigers, elephants and so much more. It is not far from the Nacional Museum of Archeology and Ethnology, where you can study ancient artifacts and exhibitions of Mayan culture, from antiquity to Spanish colonialism.
  • Catedral Metropolitana: The city is littered with a large collection of Spanish-built churches, but the landmark Baroque Cathedral, consecrated in 1815, is by far the most opulent and well-maintained. The Cathedral is next to Plaza de la Constitución and adjacent to the National Palace in Zona 1.

Popular Destinations Near Guatemala City

  • Antigua Guatemala : A former Spanish colonial capital city before it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1773, Antigua Guatemala now stands as a UNESCO World Heritage site just one hour from Guatemala City. The main Parque Central is compact and easy to get around on foot. Many of the attractions are colonial-era ruins of government and church buildings that suffered destruction in a series of earthquakes in the 1700’s. Unique sights include coffee and macadamia farm tours, a chocolate museum, and volcano hikes.
  • Volcán de Pacaya: Central America’s most active and accessible volcano is Volcán de Pacaya, located an hour south of the city. It is a moderate hike that requires a local guide, where you’ll pass through forests, molten and cooled lava fields, and charred trees. There are pools of molten lava where visitors can feel the heat and maybe even roast a marshmallow. The heat and sulfur fumes are more potent closer to the crater, and the minor eruptions are best seen at night when the glowing orange lava contrasts with the night sky.
  • Lake Atitlan: Spectacular crater lake surrounded by dormant volcanoes and mountains, Lake Atitlan is nestled in a national park three hours west of Guatemala City. Hike the mountain trails or take a boat trip across the lake to visit the local villages, most notably Santiago and San Juan.

Best Neighborhoods in Guatemala City

  • Zona 10 : Zona 10 is known as the upmarket area with high class accommodation and abundance of restaurants, bars and shopping. A small section of this neighborhood is called Zona Viva, “the lively zone” — a center of all local nightlife. Cultural attractions include the Ixchel Museum of Traditional Costumes and Jardines Botánico. Oakland Mall contains a multiplex cinema and the first restaurant aquarium in Central America, Nais Aquarium.
  • Zona 4: Near the city center is a group of pedestrian streets called 4 Grados Norte, lined in dining, entertainment and shopping. Zona 4 is walkable and between Zona 1 to the north, as well as Zonas 9 and 10 to the south.
  • Guatemala City Historical District: The newly revitalized old city known as the Guatemala City Historical District has been attracting bars, cafes, and restaurants to pedestrianized 6A Calle, which separates the Plaza and National Palace. The main city square, Plaza de la Constitución is surrounded by the National Palace of Culture, Teatro de Don Juan and Central Market. All of these stops are found within Zona 1.
  • Paseo Cayala: Paseo Cayala is an upscale shopping mall area west of Zona 4, designed like a small village with shops, cafes, and restaurants. Safe, clean, and modern with European-influenced architecture — the area is dotted with public sculptures and entertainment includes bowling, gyms, and a golf driving range.

Home-types in Guatemala City

Guatemala City has a variety of property types for you to consider when booking a trip. Here are the most popular property types in Guatemala City:

Points of interests in Guatemala City

Guatemala City has several popular points of interest for you to check out when visiting the area. Here are the most popular points of interest in Guatemala City: