Antigua  3 Spaces

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You can choose between 6 offices or patio to sit, everywhere is a wifi connection, or you can go to relax... Show More
Karolína Mikysková

Internationally famous for its traditional holy week "Semana Santa" (think colorful rituals and chaotic parades), Antigua (aka la Antigua) is a small city snuggled amidst volcanoes in the central highlands of the south of Guatemala. It is known for its Spanish colonial buildings, many from the 1700s and the baroque "La Merced" church with its ornate yellow and white facade. You will not be the only tourist in this town.

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was the capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala where the ruins of colonial churches will vie for your attention against the Spanish Baroque architecture everywhere you look. Founded in 1543, a major earthquake destroyed much of the city in 1773. From the bustling city it was, Antigua became a provincial town of ruins known as "Antigua Guatemala" meaning "Old Guatemala".

You will definitely get lost when exploring the city as many cobblestoned streets have different names to those on a map and numbers are a hit and miss affair. The trick is to remember Parque Central and branch out from it. Many of the sights you will want to see are in an 8 by 8 block area that is less than 1 km across, so put your walking shoes on and go for it. A word of caution, don't walk alone at night and be careful when crossing the roads as you will have to dodge not only potholes but motorbikes and cars whizzing past as well.

The whole city is a feast for the eyes of historical monuments, fountains, buildings and crumbling ruins to run around. You can hang out on a bench seat in the bustling Parque Central with the locals or meander around its beautiful walkways. Keep the walking shoes on and take the strenuous but pleasant uphill walk to the large cross on the hill where you will get panoramic views over the city. Make sure you indulge in a pancake breakfast at the Experimental Station Valhalla where macadamia nuts reign, as it is a nursery of macadamia trees. There are plenty of artisan workshops to poke your nose into and exploring the local market is a cultural experience, especially when you get lost in the maze of chaos and color. You can spend a day roasting your own coffee if you deign to go on a Coffee Farm Tour, learn how to make chocolate from cocoa beans at a Chocolate Making Class or hike a volcano.

Don't forget to spend an evening gorging on the traditional cooking of the local women in Merced Square.

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