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Popular Sites in Guatemala City



Guatemala, originally called 'La Nueva Guatemala de la Asuncion', is 'Guate' to the locals residing in the state. It is the largest of the cities in the state of Guatemala and the seat of the Guatemalan government. Being also the largest city in Central America, it serves as the capital for the local Guatemala Department.

That notwithstanding, the origin of the name is still unclear till date. There have been theories, however, that Guatemala may mean the 'land of trees', although the historians claim that it may be a corruption of the local tongue by the Spanish invaders.

All said and done, in order for any visitor to be able to feel the spell that the city easily casts, there are some places that should be included in your itinerary when you plan your trip to Guatemala. The following are some interesting must-visit places:

Avenida la Reforma

This is a pleasing boulevard with scores of gardens, monuments and restaurants with nightclubs, for those who do not set with the sun! It was designed and built in the early years of the 19th century and bear semblance to the Champs Elsysees in Paris. It starts from the Plaza Obelisco, where a torch stands constantly lit to symbolize the self determination of the Guatemalans and act to separate zone 9 and zone 10 of the city.

Cerrito del Carmen

This is the peak of a hill where a hermitage that was built way back in the 16th century is found. Inside the museum built on it lies the image of the Virgin del Carmen made of imprinted silver that was bestowed by the barefooted Carmelite and the people attending the worship in 1620. From this summit there is also an out-of-this-world view of the city center, with the sides enclosed by foliage and undergrowth forms a gorgeous forest with paths meandering and benches lining the park within the city.

Miguel Angel Asturias Cultural Center

This center goes by the common name Teatro Nacional and marks the center of the culture and heritage of the City of Guatemala. It is located in the civic center of the city and was built as a replacement of the ancient Fuerte de San Jose. It has a characteristic design of a seated jaguar, making it stand out from the surrounding buildings.

This center was named after the Nobel laureate and Guatemalan writer Miguel Angel Asturias and includes a large proscenium theatre named after the architect, a small black box theater and an outdoor amphitheater. It also goes without saying that there are various plazas and salons including the famous Marimba National Institute.

La Aurora Museum Complex

Guatemala city also boasts of the national museum of anthropology and archeology, the house to the museum of the modern art and a children's playground. This complex also hosts a large fairground and a zoo that ensures that it is not only the adults who can have fun but also the children who are with them can thoroughly enjoy their day here!



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