Guatemala City was selected as the Ibero-American Capital of Culture for 2015, surely in large part due to its wide selection of museums. Without a doubt, the best of them sit side by side in Zona 10. These twin gem museums are found east of Avenida La Reforma on the campus of the Universidad Francisco Marroquín, the university of choice for wealthy Guatemalans. If you visit just one museum during your time in Guatemala City, make it the Museo Ixchel de Traje Indígena. The Ixchel Museum of Indigenous Dress, named for the Mayan moon goddess, contains fascinating exhibits on all aspects of Mayan culture, but focuses on weaving and the diversity of traditional indigenous huipiles and corte. Inside are displays of Pre-Colombian artifacts, astounding watercolors by Carmen Petterson, and artwork by the famous painter Andres Curruchiche. Entrance includes a short film on the evolution of indigenous dress. There is also an overpriced gift shop where you can take home one of many marvelous souvenirs.
Right next-door is the Museo Popol Vuh, another quality museum that details each important period of Guatemala’s archeological history. The exhibit takes its namesake from the Popol Vuh, the most important and complete piece of Mayan literature to be discovered. While small, the showrooms display the very best of Guatemala’s ancient artifacts, including breathtaking jaguar-shaped ceremonial urns and beautifully carved temple pieces. Casually displayed in the middle of the museum is an exact replica of the Dresden Codex, one of three painted Mayan books to survive the Spanish conquest. Entrance at both museums costs Q40 and you can pay an additional Q10 to take pictures. Both are open from 9am-5pm Mon.-Fri. and 9am-1pm on Saturday. For more information on how to get to museums and what you can expect, be sure to check out the Guatemala City section of the travel guide.
Photo Credit: Guatificate