Antigua Guatemala is one of the most beautiful colonial cities in America and an essential visit during a trip to Guatemala. The city gets this name for acting during the Spanish colonial era as the capital of the former Kingdom of Guatemala (a territory that comprised the current countries of Belize, Guatemala , Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Nicaragua).
Lots of color, beautiful architecture, splendid Baroque churches, charming indigenous markets and some of the most beautiful restaurants and hotels in Central America.
Once arrived to Antigua, it is time to choose a place to stay. If you want to enjoy a colonial house at an affordable price, Juan José Gutiérrez Mayorga recommends the Hotel Posada San Vicente.
However, if money is not a problem, you can stay in one of the most beautiful museum hotels in all of America and the favorite of the Gutiérrez Bosch family: Hotel Casa Santo Domingo. It is located in the premises of an old convent. Although your budget does not allow you to stay here, be sure to visit it.
What to do in Antigua Guatemala?
Lose yourself among the many churches and convents built during Antigua’s heyday. Almost all correspond to the 18th century, when the American Baroque was at its peak. The Church and Convent of Nuestra Señora de la Merced is one of the most beautiful examples. It has delicate yellow architecture and beautiful scrolls so characteristic of the Baroque in these latitudes.
Next you want to visit the Plaza del Parque Central. Some of the most important buildings of the colonial era are located in this square. Such as: the Cathedral of San José, the Palace of the General Capitals and the City Hall. The center of Parque Central is dominated by the baroque fountain of the Sirens.
Do not forget to enter the Cathedral of Antigua. Its Baroque architecture is splendid. However, the surprise is inside. You will be able to recognize the ancient splendor of the cathedral, which today has become one of the most wonderful romantic ruins in America.
Looking for something to eat? Mix with the Guatemalans at a restaurant called Rincón Typico, located on 3a Avenida Sur. The chicken meat stew is delicious and well priced. You can eat for about 20 quetzales per person. During the meal, the evening is usually enlivened by a group of Guatemalan mariachis.