We spent some quality time in Antigua.
Antigua was established in the early 1500’s as the first Spanish colonial capital of Guatemala, but within a few years it was evacuated after it became obvious that the city was not only right next to a volcano but that it was an epicentre for earthquakes. It was subsequently destroyed a few times due to massive earthquakes, and as a result, what remains today is effectively a Spanish colonial town from the 1700’s! Some buildings still lie in ruins from earthquakes of 300 years ago, while others have been spruced up and gentrified and turned into wonderful hotels and restaurants.
It’s a fantastic place to spend a few days. The indigenous local people wear brightly colored costumes and one can happily spend hours wandering the streets just watching life go by. It feels perfectly safe. There are plenty of art galleries and stores to keep you shopping if that is what you want to do. Antigua is well located for exploring the whole mountain region of Guatemala – especially the wonderful little towns and villages , each which has its own local market, and don’t forget the nearby Pacaya Volcano – one of the most fun experiences you can have with kids in Guatemala – it’s a tough climb on foot, but a much easier horseback ride suitable for all ages (someone is holding the reins and walking next to you).
Antigua just can’t be missed. It’s the perfect place to hang out and enjoy Guatemala.
Guatemala is also a great place for adventure – we didn’t get to do that much, but from white water rafting to caving to hiking and more, it’s all there and all accessible within just a few hours of Antigua.
I’m now planning great family trips to Guatemala. Read more about it over here.