GU­ATEMALA MOD­ERN AND COLO­NIAL

Newsweek - - Guatemala -

The coun­try’s main en­trance is the in­ter­na­tional air­port La Aurora in the cap­i­tal Gu­atemala City, also known by its of­fi­cial name “Nueva Gu­atemala de la Asun­ción.” It is from here that all ad­ven­ture be­gins, upon which all vis­i­tors are wel­comed by the Gu­atemalans with great kind­ness and dis­creet hospi­tal­ity. Gu­atemala City, one of the most mod­ern and in­ter­na­tional me­trop­o­lis in Cen­tral Amer­ica, pre­serves its roots while moder­nity merges with colo­nial legacy. A city in con­stant change, of­fer­ing chic shop­ping cen­ters, hos­pi­tals and state-of-the art aes­thet­ics cen­ters, as well as world class venues for ex­hi­bi­tions, con­fer­ences and meet­ings, theme parks and golf cour­ses. Change is om­nipresent and be­comes most vis­i­ble in the city cen­ter where its his­tor­i­cal build­ings, churches, mu­se­ums, mon­u­ments and art gal­leries seem to defy the cen­turies.

Near the na­tion’s cap­i­tal lies La An­tigua Gu­atemala. It was the cap­i­tal of the Guatemalan King­dom from 1541 to 1776 un­til its de­struc­tion by the earth­quake of Santa Marta. It seems like time stands still in La An­tigua: The largely un­changed colo­nial cityscape with its beau­ti­ful old fa­cades ex­erts an in­escapable charm. Apart from the splen­dor of past days, a breeze of artis­tic free­dom blows through the an­cient cap­i­tal at the foot of the three vol­ca­noes that rarely es­cape the eye of the be­holder.

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