Today, the main item on the agenda was to get from Antigua to Guatemala City for my flight out on 25 September.
Another instance of untrustworthy travel agencies, which left me standing in the central plaza, waiting for a minivan. I bought a ticket from one of the agencies at the central plaza (about 40-50Q, be sure to negotiate!) for a bus at a designated time. The minivan never showed up, and once again, no apologies were offered. In the end, I ended up on a minivan that was from a rival company. If you are ever getting tickets from any of the agencies south of the fountain, go for the one that is a little more to the east side. It was the one that was a little more to the west that was unreliable.
After arriving in Guatemala City in the late afternoon, I checked into Barcelo Hotel, which was in Zone Viva. After a bedbug scare in Playa Del Carmen, I decided to go with safe options that would definitely be clean, and avoid backpacker operations for this trip. Barcelo is pretty decent value for money. For about 60-80 USD, you can get a single room with a hearty breakfast thrown in. There are also plenty of facilities, including a pool, a well-equipped gym, and a futsal (!!!) court. They also offer free airport transfers both ways, and it is in the middle of the business district, and surrounding by 24-hr fastfoods, so starving or being out of money wouldn’t be one of your chief concerns. My room came with a balcony, a large array of bathroom amenities, and a pillow menu, too. I would highly recommend it for middle-of-the-road traveller.
Somewhat broke, I couldn’t afford the fare to the old district, so I simply walked around Zone Viva. It is pretty modern, with malls, and the requisite international chains like McD, and there are clubs around, but it didn’t appeal much to me. I tried some Mexican fastfood, and it was pretty offer. I think I have been spoilt by the real deal.
Large single room
Mall in Zone Viva, Guatemala City