Exploring Antigua in Guatemala will immerse you in a very vibrant and culturally rich Central American city. Antigua in Guatemala is a beautiful colonial city. It is located 45 minutes outside of Guatemala City. Antigua was the former capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala. After several major earthquakes had wreaked havoc on the city, the capital was relocated to Guatemala City, but this charming colonial city remains Guatemala’s top visitor destination.
Authored by local Sandra de León
Exploring Antigua in Guatemala
The iconic Santa Catalina Arch was built in the 17th century, and it is a very notable landmark that Antigua is well known for. The arch was built to enable nuns who lived in the convent on one side of the street, to walk over to the convent on the other side, without ever walking on the street. Antigua has a rich history of Mayan tradition mixed with Spanish Catholic influence from the conquistadors
A Great Place to Learn Spanish, Antigua in Guatemala
For travelers who would like to pick up the Spanish language, Antigua is a great place to go. The city offers many Spanish schools and is an amazing destination for travelers who want to get immersed in Spanish while practicing what you have learned with the people around you. If you are planning to study Spanish in Antigua, you should plan on at least a one month stay although longer is always better. While you are learning Spanish, you will also have plenty of time to learn about the culture and history of the area.
The Colonial Beauty
The name Antigua is the perfect name for this historic place rich with colonial beauty. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to many historical sites and other attractions. The Spanish influence on this city has made it a unique spot to visit with beautiful colonial architecture including several very beautiful old Catholic churches. The bridges and fountains and other historical buildings that can be found around the city add to its colonial beauty. While visiting Antigua be sure and take a tour of the city and for great pictures you can hike up to the Cerro de la Cruz where you can get a great view of the entire area.
Festivities and Customs
Roman Catholicism has had a major influence on the people living in the city of Antigua, and you will find almost everyone you meet claims to be Catholic. Because of this, the city comes alive with various customs and festivities throughout the year. One of the biggest festivities can be enjoyed during Easter Week or what is known as Semana Santa in Antigua. During this time, the parades and various events liven up the air a bit as people dressed as Roman soldiers and others march thru the streets reenacting various Biblical events. It is also during this time of year that people around the city make some beautiful carpets in the streets of the city out of flowers, colorful sawdust and other things that will later be trampled under the feet of those in the religious processions.
Beauty Surrounds You
Although many travelers come to Antigua for the historic beauty, there is also much natural beauty surrounding the city as well. The large Lake Atitlán near the city of Antigua is a beautiful place to visit with its clear blue glistening water. Many volcanoes also surround the city with some being active and some nonactive that are interesting to check out. One of the most interesting volcanoes, Pacaya is an active volcano that attracts tourists from all over. You can enjoy a challenging climb to the top of the volcano where you will see red lava rivers flowing down its slope.
Enjoy Your Stay, and Exploring Antigua in Guatemala
When you are Exploring Antigua in Guatemala you will find some great accommodation options that offer you a comfortable stay while you explore the city including several four and five-star options. There are also some great restaurants with tasty and affordable cuisine when your appetite gets the best of you. This combined with all the fun activities to be experienced ensure that you will enjoy your stay in the beautiful city of Antigua, Guatemala.