About a month ago, a friend invited me to Guatemala and she said we will also visit Antigua. I was all in for the fact that I love the way Guatemala sounds.
However, I am going to admit to my ignorance; I thought Antigua was in the Caribbean and didn’t realize there was one in Guatemala. Basically, I had no geographical reference of this country.
So allow me to enlighten you:
1. Guatemala is part of North America even though it is in the Central American region. Think about the seven continents.
2. Guatemala uses the 110-volt. Can I get a hallelujah? You don’t need to travel with an adapter.
3. Guatemala currency is the Guatemalan quetzal (GTQ). 1 USD = 7.5 GTQ. We (USD) get more bang for our buck.
4. Guatemala City is divided into 21 zones or”zonas.” The zonas are numbered sequentially in a spiral pattern beginning with Zona 1, the most central and oldest zone in the city. In general, the city is laid out on a standard grid, with avenidas(avenues) running roughly north-south, and calles (streets) running east-west.
5. Guatemala City has a great metro system. You probably thinking that the metro is a train or a subway. It is the bus. It cost 1 GTQ to ride the metro. Basically, it cost $0.13 USD to ride the bus. Lastly, the metro is divided by color lines that goes into the different zones.
6. Guatemala City is relatively safe. While walking or on the metro, you will see a high number of police presence. However, the police are not carrying weapons. In some ways, they are peace officers.
7. Go with the understanding that the Guatemalan don’t speak English. Have your smartphone to translate and brush up on your high school Spanish.
8. Guatemala City is an old city with old charm. The history and architecture are preserved.
Lastly, the people are so friendly and helpful. During my short visit walking through the city, I felt safe even on the crowded metro.
Consider adding Guatemala on your list of countries to visit. You will truly have a memorable time.