It is the most important political, economic, geographical and social center of the country, as well as the main hub for transportation and telecommunications, which makes it its capital. Culturally it can be considered almost entirely with European influence due to immigration (especially Spanish and Italian) and the coupling of trends born in France and Belgium since the end of the 19th century. This can be seen in the layout of the city, which grew up around the current cathedral, and later in its architecture. It stands out among Latin American cities for its high quality of life, safety, globalization, environmental performance, public services and recognized institutions (hospitals, museums, universities, etc.), being the sixth most attractive tourist capital in the region, leader in Central America. . This has led to a multitude of international and continental cooperation organizations establishing their headquarters or regional representations in the city, which combined with a powerful emerging economic activity (among the largest in the world), important stability and marked cultural, financial and tourist influence, allows it to be considered a Beta global city. It was declared Ibero-American Capital of Culture in 2006. It offers a wide gastronomic offer.

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