City Guide: Antigua

I recently went to Guatemala for the first time and it was one of those countries that left me thinking, man, I’d go back in a heartbeat. Unfortunately I only got to spend a long weekend in the country which left me feeling as if there was still so much to see. The parts I did see though were amazing.

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Where to stay: 

I stayed in Villa Esthela for my whole trip. I originally chose it because it was the cheapest on Hostel World, but I’m so glad I stayed there because I absolutely loved it. It’s the perfect distance from the city center (about 7 min walking) but isn’t in a super touristy area so you don’t feel overwhelmed with so many people around. Also, you can’t beat the rooftop views!

What to see/do:

IMG_6668.jpgCooking class: My favorite experience during this trip was a cooking class with El Frijol Feliz cooking school. Along with two other groups of American tourists, we learned to make typical Guatemalan foods such as Hilachas, Chiles Rellenos, and homemade Tortillas. The free wine and beer during the class made for lots of laughs and absolutely wonderful food!

IMG_6533Santa Catalina Arch: This arch is located in the middle of the city and dominates the street it’s located on. The bright yellow color fits right in with the colorful buildings surrounding it. It’s the most photographed spot in the city, so be sure to get your photo taken standing under it!

IMG_6634.jpgChocolate Museum: Want to learn about the history of chocolate, followed by learning how to make your own chocolate? Visit the ChocoMuseo! You can take a class to learn how the ancient Mayan people made chocolate. Not to mention, you will go home with lots of chocolate that you made yourself!

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Day trip, Lake Atitlan: About a three hour drive from Antigua, this lake offers incredible scenery. A ferry will take you from town to town, allowing you to explore different sides of the lake. If your up for a thrill, try cliff jumping in the town of San Marcos. The spot is pretty difficult to find, but the local kids will be happy to take you there for a small tip. I would have loved to stay overnight on the lake, but due to our limited days we couldn’t. If your schedule allows it, I definitely recommend spending more time here!
How to get around: 
Airport transfer: No matter where in Guatemala you’re visiting, your best off flying into Guatemala City. Arrange a shuttle through your hotel or another company to pick you up and take you to the airport. If you’re staying at Villa Esthela, the price will be $30 each way.
Walk: Antigua is a very small city- you can walk everywhere!

 

 

 

 

 

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