We found Guatemala’s ancient capital and now most popular city with tourists well worthy of its reputation. On our first visit, we spent a few nights at the Earth Lodge some 8km out of town. A working avocado farm as well as overnight stop, it is set above the city in one of the hills to the north.
Yoga, hiking, reading and a daily communal dinner are the main activities on offer, all accompanied by breathtaking backdrops…
… which generally include the twin peaks of Volcán Acatenengo (the one we hiked up) and the regularly fuming Fuego, towering over the city below.
Volcán Agua, further around to the south, is the other near 4,000 metre peak that dominates the skyline.
Down in the city itself, Antigua’s cobbled streets are lined with numerous brightly painted houses, shops, restaurants, bakeries, bars and travel agencies.
As with Granada, colonial architecture is a common sight around the centre of town.
There are also a considerable number of impressive ruins. The notorious 1773 earthquake claiming numerous architectural victims around the city.
There is much to see in Antigua, with its thriving arts scene. It also has live music in several venues 7 nights a week, various museums, a cultural centre and theatre and even its own moonshine!
With all the surrounding hills and volcanoes, the area is great for mountain biking and Roger took a half-day’s trek up to a respectable altitude, affording further views of the stunning scenery.
What really made Antigua stand out for us though is the food. Quite simply the best choice of restaurants – many with surprisingly good vegetarian and vegan options – we’ve come across in Central America. We’ve visited on three separate occasions so far and it is this that we most look forward to each time!