6a and 7a Avenidas
The heart of Guatemala City was traditionally the strip along 6a Avenida, or as locals refer to it, “La Sexta.” Today, it’s a busy commercial district, its sidewalks crammed with informal vendors and streets filled with noisy traffic.
Some fine examples of architecture sit along this historic street, though you’d never know it because most of it is covered by a profusion of street signs and commercial advertising. The street is closed to all but pedestrian traffic on weekends. It’s not the safest part of town for a stroll, so be extra careful if you do venture out this way, as it’s rife with pickpockets and assorted other riffraff.
Paralleling 6a Avenida is 7a Avenida, with a variety of architectural highlights. Among these is the splendid Palacio de Correos (Central Post Office, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 8:30 a.m.–1 p.m. Sat.), at the corner of 7a Avenida and 12 Calle, featuring a large archway that reaches over to the building across the street.
Also attractive is the nearby Tipografía Nacional (National Printing Press), at the corner of 7a Avenida and 18 Calle. It dates to 1894 and somewhat resembles a gingerbread house.
Both 6a and 7a Avenidas continue their straight course southward through Zonas 4 and 9 before ending at a series of archways marking the northern extreme of the airport runway.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com