Updated: Aug 9, 2019
Antigua offers old-world charm, a mild climate, living Amerindian cultures, stone streets, colonial churches and some of the most important archaeological zones of Guatemala.
Base yourself in the city of Antigua, a place for relaxing, people watching and enjoying the eclectic restaurant scene. Indulge in the lazy pleasures of outdoor cafes on jasmine-scented plazas, lively festivals throughout the year, and taking in the dazzling dress of the Mayan Indians.
“Stunning experiences all over Antigua? Whether you prefer you will find - food, museums, music, shopping, architecture and more - there’s something for everyone to appreciate.”
Stay at one of the atmospheric places surrounding the main square, ground zero for absorbing vibrant Gautemalan life, tradition and commerce. The plaza is always bustling with activity, lined with cafes, fountains, and vendors selling everything from flowers, handicrafts to tacos in all flavors (a local delicacy).
As the city comes to life enjoy a traditional Antigua breakfast of eggs, beans, meat, tortillas and fruit while basking in the morning sun. After breakfast, wander into the churchesand view the statue of the Virgin Mary.
Tour Antigua’s museums, where artists past and present are on display. Shopping options abound in Antigua where local shops and public markets provide some of the best handicraft shopping in Guatemala, and shipping is widely available. Antigua lures people from the countryside–farmers, craftspeople, and the indigenous Indians–who set up shop in makeshift stalls or atop colorful woolen blankets. Their children wander the square charming tourists, splashing in fountains or blasting ubiquitous torpedo-shaped balloons high into the air.
Local and internations cuisine, highly regarded throughout Gautemal, blends local and colonial traditions and international flavors, fused into a distinctive whole that has remained intact into modern times. The result is a fresh, robust, exotic, complex cuisine offering a wide variety of flavors, aromas and colors. Chilies, chocolate and coffe are the centerpieces of Guatemalan cuisine as well as seafood from its Pacific Coast, including red snapper, sailfish, shrimp and lobster.
Food enthusiasts will enjoy the main market where food producers from the surrounding valley congregate daily. It’s loaded with dried chilies, moles, aisles of spices. Try “angel’s hair,” squash fibers in a green, boiled, sweetened liquid flavored with lime peel, pineapple and stringy, elastic cheese sold everywhere.
Antigua’s historical and cultural treasures lie inside, outside and around the city, including Lake Atitlan, possibly the most beautiful lake on earth. Other nearby villages offer markets and craftspeople who produce folk art, weavings, ceramics and carved wooden figures. Locals cover the streets with flowers during regular processions on holidays.