In Antigua, we enjoyed everything this city has to offer: cozy restaurants, colonial churches, cobblestone streets, beautiful views, positive vibes… It’s one of those places you never want to leave. And indeed, many travelers decide to stay here longer, enrolling Spanish courses or making Antigua their base for numerous side trips.DAY 3: ANTIGUAAnother day of enjoying Antigua.DAY 4: ANTIGUA, MONTERRICO
From its pastel-colored colonial buildings to its crumbling church ruins, you might think Antigua lives up to its name (which translates to ancient). But there’s a youthful energy that permeates the city, from its bustling markets to the slopes of neighboring volcanoes. It’s Guatemala’s most-visited destination, and with a laidback attitude and stunning scenery, you’ll be tempted to join the masses.
Less than 50 km away from the hustle and bustle of the capital – Guatemala city is the colonial town of Antigua. First look and it feels you’ve been transported to a different period in time; that is if you can ignore those motor vehicles.The city proudly sits surrounded by three volcanoes; its majestic outlook not doomed by the earthquake that turned the city to rubble in 1773. The earthquake stopped the time there it seems – the brightly coloured facades of colonial houses, majestic cathedrals, still standing walls of churches whose domes have caved in, cobbled streets are so inviting. Its a UNESCO world heritage site now; there is still magic in this centuries-old decayed dilapidated town.I was excited about Antigua ever since I decided to visit Guatemala; since this was going to be my first ever Spanish colony experience. And I was not disappointed at all. The orange and red and yellow mansions are fascinating, the flowering trees lining the streets, the whiff of breeze as you walk in the evenings only added to the charm.
An ideal starter country, Guatemala is small enough to be easily navigable on a short trip. The Spanish spoken here is largely intelligible (unlike, say, Chile), it's cheap, and there's an awesome mix of sights and activities -- from partying in Panajachel to climbing volcanoes to wandering the ruins of one of the world's greatest ancient civilisations.