Antigua

Antigua, the country’s former capital, is arguably the most beautiful city in the entire Mayan region. Set amid forest-clad volcanic peaks and full of quirky colonial charm, the city retains a serene tranquility despite its plentiful attractions.

Why visit Antigua ?

  • Round off a hike to the top of Pacaya volcano with a fabulous picnic
  • Taste the delicious local dishes on a guided street food eating tour
  • Soak up the atmosphere at the colourful Semana Santa processions
  • Learn about the coffee trade at a local family’s Fair Trade coffee farm
  • Enjoy the town’s intriguing Spanish colonial history and architecture

Strolling through the cobbled streets is a real joy, as Antigua is not too big and easy to wander around. The heart of Antigua is the Parque Central, the beautiful main square which once represented the epi-centre of the Spanish empire in Central America, and which is still the city hub for locals and visitors alike.

Antigua’s charming colonial architecture is testament to the city’s steady growth and prominence after its foundation in 1543. Palaces, churches, monasteries and schools soon took the place of pine trees and cloud forest, and so the city as we know it today blossomed in its spectacular highland-valley setting.

Antigua’s churches are famous for their bizarre squat-baroque style, with colossal foundations and intimidating buttresses, a futile effort to resist the perpetual tremors that plague the city. Ironically, the earthquake that destroyed the city in 1773 was also its saving grace, as the subsequent abandonment prevented the ruined city from the ravages of industrialisation. Structurally, 21st Century Antigua is almost entirely an 18th Century city, and the dominant style is Iberian-American Baroque, a coquettishly pictorial and flamboyant style which one finds on virtually all Antigua’s church facades.

LOCATION

GUATEMALA INFO

Visa

No visa is required for UK passport holders.

Health Requirements

No mandatory vaccinations are required.

Time Difference

GMT + 6 Hours

Flight Time

14 hours with one stop

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