Flights to Guatemala City

Flights to Guatemala City, Guatemala
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Flights to Guatemala City: The Beat of the Mayan Heart

Destination Guatemala City to know tikal suen

It is a green city in a green country. The trees embellishing its streets, such as the matilisguate or the jacaranda, are protected in 95 square kilometers of natural areas. In Guatemala you can truly breathe. After all, when you travel to Guatamala City you enter one of the most mega diverse countries in the world according to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

And when you look up, you see volcanoes. A little higher, there’s the sky that the Mayas consulted at night. Here, the Spanish legacy (little by little, 96 Catholic churches were built) and the Mayan civilization (the oldest of its settlements, called Kaminaljuyú, is located here) are brought together.

El Salvador shares with Guatemala a pre-Hispanic heritage. Book a flight to San Salvador and visit the Jewel of Cerén, a Mayan archaeological site declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.

Destination Guatemala City to visit Rio Dulce

Tickets to Guatemala will take you to the largest city in Central America. Today, Guatemala City has an area of 692 square kilometers and close to 4 million people. Its average temperature is 20 °C and the climate is cool most of the year, although the rainy season lasts from May to October.

It’s also a place where theater, cinema and painting come to the suburbs. In 2015, it was chosen as the Ibero-American Capital of Culture for its project 'Cultura en tu barrio' ('Culture in your neighborhood'). In 2006, the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art of New York recognized Guatemala City as an innovative urban center for its urban plan as well as for its pedestrian passages, squares and gardens.

You can also explore its surroundings, decorated with lakes, baroque architecture and indigenous markets. On one side is Lake Atitlán, surrounded by the volcanoes of Atitlán, Tolimán and San Pedro. On its shore, 84 kilometers from Guatemala City, is San Juan La Laguna: a town where you can buy fabrics that have been dyed with organic pigments, minerals and plants. On the other hand, 25 kilometers away, is Antigua: a city declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1979, which preserves some baroque churches.

Another town worth a visit is Chichicastenango, 72 kilometers and three hours away, which is known for its market: on Thursdays and Sundays, about three thousand people work there. In Chichicastenango you can find huipiles, the typical costumes of the country, which form patterns related to the Mayan culture recreating figures like the sun and flowers. Now, if you can't leave the capital, you can always go shopping at Paseo Cayalá—where you will also find a varied gastronomic offer—or at the Central Market: three floors full of jewelry, textiles, ceramics and leather.

The Mayan memory is preserved in the archaeological remains and in the different crafts. Book your flights to Guatemala with Avianca and learn more about this civilization.

Where you should go to Guatemala?

Guatemala City has about 300 parks and 22 square meters of green space per inhabitant, much more than what is recommended by the World Health Organization (between 10 and 15 square meters). When you buy your tickets to Guatemala, remember that its name comes from Nahuatl 'Quauhtlemallan', which means 'place of many trees.'

The Green Route of the City

Ecoaventura 

Destination Guatemala City to enjoy an eco adventure

For the past 20 years this private park, located in zone 11, has allowed the citizens of the capital to get in touch with nature amidst an urban setting. The park has 500 square meters of pine forests where you can find flowers such as orchids and chrysanthemums, an artificial lake for canoeing and climbing walls.

The place also has a farm where visitors can observe the traditional processes of collecting eggs, milking cows and raising animals such as ducks and goats. Somewhere between its gardens, the Blue Tree coffee house is a good place to have the traditional corn tortilla with beef or to drink cashew and mango smoothies.

La Aurora Zoo

Destination Guatemala City to know the zoo la aurora

This place is not only famous for its 900 animals; its 16 blocks of wooded land make it one of the largest gardens in the city.

Founded in 1924, the zoo was part of an urban plan to turn the south of the capital into a leisure zone with parks, museums and a racetrack. Today, this project is the only one standing and is a conservation site for species such as the ceiba (Guatemala's national tree).

Here you can also visit Casa del Té, a construction of the early 20th century inspired by the Renaissance period and surrounded by nine marble sculptures representing deities of America, Africa, Asia and Europe.

Jungla Urbana Ecopark

Destination Guatemala City to enjoy the green route

The philosophy behind this initiative is: "Let's write a new Guatemala." At the Eco Park, this dream has come true through the integration of the 'barrancos': areas of the city located on the hills that represent 42% of the entire territory of the capital.

Architects such as Hans Schwarz, Jorge Villatoro and Julián Castillo, along with artists and academics, created public spaces in the barrancos at zone 15 so people could walk along green paths and exercise in nature. In 2017, this initiative, located only 8 kilometers away from Plaza de la Consitución, received an award at the Bienale Spazio Público in Rome.

Botanical Garden of the University of San Carlos

Destination Guatemala City to know botanical garden

Throughout its 17,600 square meters, about 1,300 plants provide air to Guatemala City. Since its foundation in 1922, this space, the first of its kind in Central America, has been a sanctuary for the preservation of the country's flora (considered mega diverse).

Each year, ten thousand visitors walk along its paths to observe trees such as the palo lagarto, the conacaste and the sapotaceae. In addition, during the tour you can see the curious sculpture of 'La Chata' (or 'The Snub-Nosed'), whose name was given after the earthquake of 1918, when she lost her nose.

Parque Ecológico Deportivo Cayalá

Destination Guatemala City to know the Cayala Park

Since its foundation in 1995 as a protected green area within the city, this Eco Park is a meeting point for bird watchers. Its forests are the habitat of 108 species of birds, including the mockingbird, the rattle and the black-headed jumper.

Its 32 hectares are the refuge for butterflies, squirrels, rabbits, weasels, small amphibians and reptiles. In addition to protecting the fauna and flora, the park's mission is to protect its sources of water, such as the Contreras River. Here you can visit the Metropolitan Museum of Birds that teaches about endemic and migratory species.

San Jose de Costa Rica has 1,532 ecological points between parks, forests, tacotales and gardens, which represent 23.6% of its surface. If you loved walking through the parks of Guatemala City, you will also enjoy the ‘Tica' capital.

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Museums Route

Popol Vuh Museum

Destination Guatemala City to visit the popolvuh museum

In the 18th century, the Spanish friar Francisco Ximénez discovered a Mayan text written around the year 1550 in the Quiché language: the Popol Vuh (which can be translated as ‘Book of Counsel’). This museum, with six thousand archaeological pieces, was founded in 1977 and displays the origin, ascent and consolidation of the Mayan people.

Its eight rooms are dedicated to ceramic, carved stone, obsidian and alabaster artifacts that this civilization perfected during 18 centuries. Here you can also visit the largest collection of funeral urns in Guatemala and the colonial art room that exhibits pieces of Christian imagery, baroque painting and silverware.

Ixchel Museum of Indigenous Costume

Destination Guatemala City to visit the Ixchel Museum

Out of the approximately 16 million people living in Guatemala, between 41% and 50% are indigenous. That is why this museum, founded in 1973, wants to preserve, investigate and display its history through clothing.

Here, 7,801 fabrics are organized chronologically from 1532 to mid-20th century in order to understand how the contact with Europeans gradually modified designs, materials and symbols. Its permanent exhibition, donated mostly by private collectors, has costumes that represent the country's 186 indigenous ethnic groups.

Museo Arquidiocesano de Santiago de Guatemala

Destination Guatemala City to visit the Archdiocesan Museum

Most of the art exhibited in this place is anonymous. The hands behind the details in the wood, silver, fabrics and paintings worked with a single mission: to worship. However, among the eighty pieces exhibited (of a total of about 200 collected and preserved between the archdioceses of Antigua Guatemala and Guatemala City), there are names like the one of the Dominican friar Juan Chaves or the artisan silversmith Miguel Guerra.

The museum, founded in 2005, has the largest collection of ecclesiastical art of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries in the city.

Kaminaljuyu Archaeological Park

Destination Guatemala City to visit the Kaminaljuyu Museum

According to the National Geographic Institute, in Guatemala there are three active volcanoes and 29 more at rest. Of course, obsidian—a rock produced from volcanic lava—was a valued mineral for the Mayans

This archaeological zone was discovered in 1936 and it was named Kaminaljuyu: Colina del Muerto (The Hill of the Dead). During your next trip to Guatemala City you can visit the vestiges of its pyramids, an exhibition of obsidian artifacts (weapons, masks and ritual objects) and an artisanal ceramic, alabaster and jade sample.

National Museum of Modern Art Carlos Mérida

Vista de arte en el museo de Carlos Merida en Guatemala

Built in 1939, its original name was National Museum of History and Fine Arts. However, in 1990 the government decided to rename it to honor one of the country's most representative artists, Carlos Mérida, who rubbed shoulders in Paris with Picasso and Diego Rivera. Mérida developed the art of muralism; his work can be found in Mexico at UNAM and in Guatemala at the Civic Center.

The museum's permanent collection, consisting of approximately 500 pieces, establishes a chronological tour through Guatemalan art since the 1900’s through the lives of people such as Agustín Iriarte, Carlos Valenti or Roberto González Goyri. And, of course, Carlos Mérida, whose room comprises approximately 400 pieces between photographs, lithographs and sculptures.

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Handicrafts Route

Guatemalan artisans took from the Mayan culture, the Spanish colony and the Caribbean influences. In 2017, Guatemala exported 80 million tons of handicrafts, equivalent to 63 million dollars. Multicolored sculptures, native stone jewelry and typical costumes are sought in the US and Europe. This is a route through the main markets were you can buy handicrafts:

La Aurora Craft Market

Destination Guatemala City to know the market The Aurora

Its proximity to the city's airport, the National Museum of Modern Art and the zoo has turned this place into a popular stop. For 44 years, in this market you can find huipiles (typical indigenous costumes), clay pots and vases, woven beads, blankets and masks that represent Mayan rituals.

Mercado de Flores

Destination Guatemala City to know the market flowers


During the entire year, this market displays the color of its flowers. Its construction, carried out in 1971, was part of the plan to modernize the capital. In its 185 stands you can find roses, sunflowers, chrysanthemums, gladioli and the monja blanca, an orchid variety that is Guatemala’s national flower.

A total of 1,600 square meters of the market adjoins the Cemetery of Guatemala City, so it is possible to observe the funerary arrangements made by Guatemalan artisans.

Guatemala Central Market

Destination Guatemala City to know the Central Market


What began on February 15th, 1871 as merely a group of 60 outdoor stores, today is a 9,334 square meter complex with three floors.

The first floor, dedicated to handicrafts, comprises 310 stalls that sell objects like the 'muñecas quitapenas' (cloth dolls believed to make anguish disappear), bags made with traditional fabrics, sandals, wristbands and handmade wicker baskets. On the second floor, dedicated to gastronomy, you can try one of the country’s most typical dishes: the pepián: a chicken stew with chili sauce and seeds, which in 2007 was considered a cultural heritage of the nation.

Colón Market

Destination Guatemala City to know the Colon Market

400 stores selling products as varied as typical costumes, crafts, fruits, vegetables, shoes and typical food. The real allure of this place is its piñata shops: in its outdoor stalls you can buy these figures made of wire, paper, glue and paint that represent superheroes, Guatemalan myths, politicians, cartoon characters, animals and many more.

From the Temple of the Two-Headed Serpent in the Tikal National Park you can see a carpet formed by the trees that kept the Mayan citadel hidden for more than a thousand years. Check out our flights to Guatemala City and connect to one of the largest archaeological sites to enjoy its impressive views.

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What to eat in Guatemala City?

Restaurants

Guatemalan cuisine is characterized by the emphasis on recipes and ingredients of Mayan origin. Our flights to Guatemala City will not only take you to archaeological sites; they will also allow you to approach the flavors of a pre-Columbian culture. Here are some restaurants that have worked to rescue these traditions.

Flor de Lis

Destination Guatemala City to enjoy the restaurant flor de lis

Specialty: Local and signature cuisine

Chef Diego Telles travelled to Spain and Denmark to study cooking. For 16 years he has turned each dish into a small story or a trip. That is the philosophy of Flor de Lis, a restaurant that has positioned itself in only five years as a place to try outstanding signature cuisine. "With our food we recreate the Popol Vuh, a Mayan book that we all read as children," he says.

This story comes to live on the steaming sweet corn croquettes with quesillo. However, the dishes change according to the season: herbs, spices and mushrooms are grown in pots or collected in a vegetable garden in the city. Without a doubt, the tomato confit, the only permanent dish on the menu, is a must: a nixtamalized, fermented and pickled sweet "that takes you back to your childhood," according to Diego.

Siete caldos

Destination Guatemala City to enjoy the restaurant seven broths

Specialty: Local and international cuisine

Twenty-five years ago, a Greek man opened a Guatemalan restaurant: Demetrio Moliviatis traveled through the 22 departments of the country to taste their seasoning, learn about its ingredients and fall in love with food. He is the father of the current chef, Mirciny Moliviatis, who explains how typical Guatemalan dishes are prepared by a Greek family: "My father is more Guatemalan than anyone, because he decided to be one." Mirciny grew up surrounded by pots and pans, bubbling soups and aromatic spices. To perfect her vocation, she traveled to Spain and trained with chef stars such as Karlos Arguiñano and Juan Mari Arzak.

Siete Caldos rescues the country's culinary wealth. Its ingredients come from market squares, orchards and regions that offer chili peppers, tomatoes, spices, beans and other products that will turn into a kak'ik (a slightly spicy soup with turkey) or a suban'ik (a tamale served in mazán leaves). However, the Greek heritage is also essential, since another specialty of Siete Caldos, one of the most requested dishes, are gyros, the typical food of this Mediterranean country.

La Cocina de la Señora Pu

Destination Guatemala City to enjoy the restaurant of the lady pu

Specialty: Local cuisine

As an anthropologist and a member of the indigenous community of Santa María de Chiquimula, a town 164 kilometers from Guatemala City, Rosa Pu Tzunux felt the need to recover traditional Mayan food. This recovery did not only intend to explore flavors, "but also the centennial processes, from the very essence of the craft," as Rosa says. Thus, the cooking, the pickled vegetables, the seasoning and the service seek to emulate Mayan traditions.

Rosa researched this cultural heritage at the San Carlos University of Guatemala and embodied it in her thesis 'Anthropology of the Mayan cuisine'. The restaurant is a meeting point where you can try communal dining with meals prepared in sight and by the fire. The ingredients are entirely Guatemalan and include corn, different types of chills, spices and cocoa, which is a special ingredient for Rosa given its historical Mayan importance. Some of the most representative dishes on the menu are the Mayan barbecue, shrimp to King Kiq'ab's taste and 'pato al tukan'.

Another gastronomic destination that has rescued dishes and ingredients of pre-Columbian origin is Cusco. Search our flight options and try an alpaca steak accompanied by a refreshing chicha morada.

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Typical Dishes

Kak’ik

Destination Guatemala City to enjoy Kakik

Pepián Stew

Destination Guatemala City to enjoy a pepian stew

Made with different types of chili peppers, garlic, pepitoria seeds, sesame and chicken. Along with kak'ik, it is considered an intangible heritage of Guatemala.

Torrejas

It is customary to eat this dessert during Holy Week. It is a slice of bread that is breaded in egg and then fried. It can be sweetened with honey and sometimes seasoned with cinnamon.

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A chef

Destination Guatemala City to know the gastronomy

Mirciny Moliviatis

Known as 'Misha', Mirciny is head chef at Siete Caldos family restaurant. This chef has 25 years of experience in typical Guatemalan dishes such as kak'ik, suban'ik and shrimp casseroles. Trained by internationally renowned chefs such as Karlos Arguiñano and Juan Mari Arzak, Mirciny travels her country with her show Desafío Culinario to explore Guatemalan tradition. She is also an award-winning author: her book Viviendo la receta was recognized in 2016 as the second-best recipe book at the Gourmand Awards in China.

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A recipe

Rellenitos

This dessert contains two of the most basic ingredients of Guatemalan cuisine: plantain and beans.

For 4 servings

  • 6 large plantains
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon powder
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 2 cups of blended black beans
  1. Cook the plantains in water without removing the peel.
  2. Blend the plantains with a teaspoon of cinnamon and a teaspoon of vanilla.
  3. Season the bean paste with the remaining cinnamon and vanilla.
  4. Take some plantain dough and form a cake the size of your hand.
  5. Put one and a half tablespoon of beans in the center. Close the plantain dough in a round shape and fry it in a pan until golden brown.

Your tickets to Guatemala with Avianca not only take you on a trip to the 'country of eternal spring'; they also take you to explore its identity through its typical dishes. Book now!

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Recommended Events in Guatemala City

Any time of the year is good to travel to this Central American country. Now, keep in mind the following plans when you book your flights to Guatemala City.

 

Holy Week in Antigua

The cobbled streets of the city are painted with colors due to the sawdust carpets that families prepare for the passage of the processional litter. This is a syncretic practice between pre-Columbian and Spanish traditions of the 14th century. The carpets can measure between 5 meters wide and 24 meters long.

Dates: March and April

Guatemalan destination to enjoy Easter

Empire Music Festival

This event has taken place outside the capital since 2014 and has brought together artists such as Calle 13, Calvin Harris, J Balvin, Incubus, Skrillex, Steve Aoki, among others.

 

Dates: early May

Barriletes Gigantes Festival

30 kilometers from the capital is Santiago Sacatepéquez, where giant and colorful kites—known as barriletes—are flown above the cemeteries on All Saints' Day.

Date: November 1st

Guatemalan destination to enjoy the giant kite festival

 

Find our flights to Guatemala City and experience culture through its typical dishes. Visit Antigua and Lake Atitlán, and explore archaeological sites that speak about the history of the Mayan people.

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Airport

La Aurora International Airport

language

Language

Spanish

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Currency

Quetzal (GTQ)

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Average temperature

20 °C (68 °F)