Reflections and photos shared by Dianne Sivulka
I'm home from Guatemala! Just a few days ago, I got back from another small group tour to this beautiful country in Central America! As I was looking through our photos, I thought I'd pull out ten of my favorites to share here.
Even though Guatemala has many other special places that I hope to visit in the future (like the Mayan ruins of Tikal, the Petén region, and Semuc Champey to name a few), this third visit again included a good number of days in the Spanish colonial city of Antigua. It is gorgeous at every turn and still takes my breath away!
The great thing about visiting a place over and over again is that it becomes quite familiar. I was more at home on its cobble-stoned streets and squares. I enjoyed cappuccinos at my favorite cafes and stopped in at my favorite boutiques. I no longer need a map to get around, but can easily zip through its Avenidas and Calles like a local. And saying good-bye isn't so hard, because I know I'll be back! Maybe with YOU!
Enjoy these ten photos of Antigua, Guatemala!
Standing in the ruins of a 16th-century cathedral largely destroyed by an earthquake in 1773, I noticed that Fuego was puffing again. This happens throughout the day, and I'm told that a little bit of steam throughout the day is a good thing!
Mayan women selling textiles on the streets of Antigua is a common sight. These ladies are taking a break in the shade and I wonder what they're talking about.
Another beautiful hike to Pacaya Volcano, located about an hour from Antigua. This 5k roundtrip hike is a popular tourist attraction in Guatemala because it's one of the few volcanos you can hike in just a few hours.
Another scenic ruin in the heart of Antigua, this one is of a Jesuit church. It sits next to a still-functioning Jesuit school and a Jesuit museum.
This was my first time to visit during Lent. It was so interesting to witness all the festivities happening daily throughout the city in anticipation of Holy Week, the most prominent holiday in Guatemala. Dyed sawdust is formed into a "carpet" with the help of a stencil. The streets of Antigua are lined with these carpets on Good Friday as a procession of Christ going to the cross is commemorated.
Agua Volcano sits prominently above Antigua. This dormant volcano is a focal point from almost anywhere in the city. This shot was taken at Cerro de la Cruz, a park located above Antigua and about a 20 minute walk up a well-manicured path.
Spa Day! I had heard great things about the spa at Casa Santo Domingo (our hotel of choice while staying in Antigua), but had not previously visited. Let's just say, I concur. It is a fabulous place to relax away an afternoon. The pools and hot tubs are built into the ruins of a convent and the service is exceptional!
One morning we cycled to a 100-year old coffee farm. Riding on cobblestoned streets was quite the adventure! We ended the tour back in Antigua in front of Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de El Carmen and walked across the street for a garden lunch at Epicure. Agua stands in the distance.
Sunset at El Arco de Santa Catalina. This colorful landmark dates back to the 1600s and is said to be the most photographed location in all of Guatemala. If you want a picture with few people in it, you must get up with the sun and be one of the first people there.
I discovered a lookout spot on the roof of the Casa Santo Domingo, and early one morning I caught Fuego spewing lava! Fuego is one of Guatemala's active volcanoes and although it can be seen puffing gray smoke several times a day, this was another level and exciting to see in person!
If you're interested in visiting Antigua, whether it be on a small group tour or on a customized trip with your family and friends, contact us today. Our full-service travel agency can help you plan every detail for a memorable visit to the beautiful Spanish colonial city of Antigua, Guatemala.