The beautiful colonial city of Antigua and is located in the Central Region of Guatemala, it sits among three volcanoes (Acatenango, Fuego and Agua) and mountains that give it amazing views anywhere you look at. When you travel to Antigua Guatemala you feel like you traveled back in time. That is because the local government and its people are working hart to the old it as well maintained as possible.
This city is filled with the ruins of Churches and monasteries of all shapes sizes and many others that are still working. The ruins of what used to be churches have beautiful gardens and are open to public for a small fee.
Best Things to Do in Antigua
- Churches and Ruins – You will find one every three blocks.
- Central Park – The perfect play to chill out with a coffee.
- Pacaya or Acatenango Volcano Tours
- Museums and Monuments – They are all within one block of the central park.
- Try some of the many restaurants of all Kinds
- Shop at the local Artisans markets – Try to buy only from the ones in formal stalls, street vendors are forbidden but instead, tons stalk travelers for blocks.
- Enjoy the Night Life
- Learn Spanish
- Learn Latin Dances – Merengue, salsa, Bachata…
- Holy Week – Antigua gets crazy full during this time, but if you enjoy art, you will love the processions even if you aren’t religious.
- Coffee Plantation Tour
- Go on a canopy tour in Finca Filadelfia
- Take the chocolate tour in Chocomuseo
- Buy some Jade Jewelry
Some other Fun Facts:
Its full name is La muy Noble y muy Leal Ciudad de Santiago de los Caballeros de Goathemala (The Noble and Loyal City of Santiago de Los Caballeros de Goathemala). It was founded in March 10, 1543. It was the third attempt of the Spaniards on trying to establish a Capital City for Central America. The first one was Iximche and was founded in 1524 near the Mayan tribe Kaqchiquel. You can still see some of the old ruins of it in the Chimaltenango department. This was in fact the first capital city of al Central and South America.
The second one was Ciudad Vieja (1527) until a mudslide that came from the Agua Volcano flooded it completely and the whole city disappeared. A few brave stayed and it is still a small alive town. But all the original buildings are buried meters below the new town.
It was then moved to Antigua but in 1773 came the great earthquake that destroyed most of the City and it was finally evacuated and moved to Guatemala City in 1776. Again a small community stayed and reconstructed the city as much as they could. It wasn’t until 1944, when President Jorge Ubico declared Antigua a national monument, that the city really prospered and became what it is today.
A bit later in 1979, it was declared by Unesco as a World Heritage site. Ever since the efforts to preserve it have doubled. They have a strict building and remodeling set of guidelines to be able to maintain its look.
Visiting Antigua is one of the highlights of a trip to Guatemala. If you come I bet you won’t want to leave this colorful and small city.
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