Antigua – Celebrating Guatemala’s Rich Spanish Colonial Past
Founded in the 16th century and Guatemala’s capital until 1776, Antigua is a cosmopolitan destination with a rich colonial past. Its long cobblestone streets are lined with colourful stucco houses, crumbling-but-beautiful ruins, and a generous offering of boutique hotels, shops, galleries, and mouth-watering food options; whether you prefer fine dining or street eats, there’s no going hungry in Antigua.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, this city of approximately 35,000 sits in a fertile valley surrounded by small-scale coffee farms, indigenous villages, and three imposing volcanoes. At the heart of town is the Parque Central, a European-style plaza that attracts everyone from families to shoe-shiners to ice cream vendors; most congregate around the park’s main feature, a fountain with four artfully sculpted bare-chested mermaids.
At its architectural peak, Antigua was home to more than three dozen Baroque churches and monasteries. After a massive earthquake in 1773, however, most of its structures were damaged or reduced to rubble (one exception is the iconic Santa Catalina arch, which has stood solidly in place since 1694). In the centuries thereafter, efforts were made to rebuild and restore, and the city now comprises a gorgeous mix of impressive monuments and melancholic churchyard ruins.
cobblestone streets are lined with colourful stucco houses, crumbling-but-beautiful ruins, and a generous offering of boutique hotels, shops, galleries, and mouth-watering food options
Antigua offers visitors a diversity of experiences such as Viaventure’s own unique “street food” tour where guests learn about the city and country’s history and culture through the traditional food served in local eateries. Other tours include, picking & processing coffee with local farmers, seeing how the famous “chicken buses” are made and visting the bustling local markets of Antigua and nearby Comalapa. Also on offer are a varity of hiking and biking trips as well as Golf at the nearby Pete Dyer designed course, “La Reunion” and some of the world’s best deep sea fishing for Pacific Billfish.