The appeal of Zona 1
Vibrant and appealing, Guatemala City’s Zona 1 has a come a long way in the last 10 years. It may be the home of the presidential palace, main plaza and Central Market but Zona 1 was once a no-go area for visitors. Take the time to explore its notable treasures and urban landscape during the day, but like any other cosmopolitan city, ensure you keep your wits about you when the sun goes down.
Zona 1 is perfect for budget-conscious travellers; in fact, it’s considered a hidden gem, especially the appeal of bustling 6a Calle. Comfortable and affordable, Hotel Spring enjoys a quiet setting amidst the historic centre, while Hotel Pan American and its sophisticated guest rooms is within steps of the eclectic Camino de la Sexta precinct.
Zona Viva (the lively zone)
If Zona 1 is the city’s historic heart, then Zona 10 is where the city’s urban renaissance came to life. This cosmopolitan district hosts most of the city’s best restaurants, boutique shopping and world-class hotels, with a small pocket of the area, known as Zona Viva, well regarded for its pumping nightlife.
Whether you’ve got the budget of a backpacker or deep pockets of a jet-setting executive, you’re guaranteed to find a suitable base here. Best Western Stofella is a great all-rounder option with comfortable beds in a character-filled original building, while the InterContinental is a luxurious alternative with an outdoor pool and two indulgent restaurants.
Fly in, fly out
Guatemala City is often overlooked for Antigua, but those that do choose to visit will be pleasantly surprised at the sheer greatness and marvel of country’s capital. Though, if you’re only passing through, then a stay near the airport will offer both comfort and convenience.
There are a handful of accommodation options within minutes from La Aurora International Airport. Budget friendly hostels like Hostal Hermano Pedro and 2 Lunas Guest House offer airport shuttle services, as does the mid-range Hotel Princess Guatemala.