What makes Antigua a remarkable city?
Many visitors are attracted to its monuments – ruined churches and palaces that dot the city. When the capital was moved to Guatemala City in 1773, the city was abandoned for a few decades and slowly turned into ruins. With more than 30 monuments, the finest restored churches are now open for ceremonies and fiestas as they are revues for wedding & anniversary celebrations. The cobblestone streets with colonial houses provide a perfect scenario for a visit. Its magnificient monuments serve as a background for a historical center that is only one square mile – making it easy to walk around town and explore.
Guatemalan hospitality is the best! People here are so friendly and cordial. Whether you are visiting a restaurant, art gallery, museum or just wandering around town, you will be met with a sincere “buenos días” or “buenas tardes”. On our Cultural Walking Tour of the city, we interact with people along the way – workers at City Hall, don Marcelo as he manicures the Central Park, Clara Luz de Rodenas as she paints her ceramics inside the ruins of the Cathedral, Veronica as she weaves, and the curators at the best museums in town not to mention our Antigua Tours staff!
I enjoy exploring the town to see what is new as we keep up with cultural activities. Concerts, lectures, processions, folkloric dances are part of our daily life. It seems we go from fiesta to fiesta throughout the year. In July, we celebrate our patron saint, St. James (Santiago), and the month is full of fun including special exhibits, concerts and the kids’ parades on and around July 25th – our local holiday!
Local artisans and artists also bring the city to life today as they visit us from surrounding areas. With weavings, water colors and wooden crafts, make sure you take some chocolate home as it is native to Guatemala. We also have (yes, really) the best rum in the world – Ron Zacapa!
Antigua is a great base to explore the country – a visit to a local coffee plantation, an exciting canopy zip-line Adventure, learn more about the Maya through a visit to surrounding villages or a trip to Lake Atitlan or a flight to Flores for a fabulous visit to Tikal! All of these locations easily accessed from Antigua.
Keep up to date what’s going on in the country by participating on my Cultural Walking Tours and enjoy a remarkable city! We will answer your questions about Guatemala’s remarkable past & present. My books will also bring the city to life for you during your visit – including the coloring books for kids! Stay tuned to this blog as we explore the country!