Antigua Guatemala is among the world’s best conserved colonial cities, it is a magic and captivating small town that makes you feel time might have stopped some 300 years ago. From its colonial architecture to its beautiful surroundings; strolling through town on the cobblestone streets, you will experience the splendors of ancient times!
Antigua Guatemala was once the third most important Spanish colony in the Americas. More than 30 monastic orders called Antigua home and built stunning monasteries, convents and cathedrals in the town. Its setting is majestic, nestled between three dramatic volcanoes: Agua, Fuego and Acatenango.
Founded in 1543 and abandoned by its inhabitants after the earthquakes that destroyed it in 1773, Antigua Guatemala, declared cultural heritage of mankind by UNESCO, has recovered part of its original splendor and opens up to the visitors like a baroque flower of a thousand pastel colored petals.
Many of its ancient churches and monasteries remain piles of rubbish, half broken and cracked facades allowing glimpses of its old beauty, which somehow gives an air of outstanding nostalgia to its cobble stoned streets. Other colonial buildings remain in good shape, and others still have been restored to their original splendor. In any case, walking around “la Antigua” as it’s simply called by locals is an unforgettable experience of color and tranquility.
Antigua hosts the largest celebrations for Lent and Easter in the Western Hemisphere. The tradition of Easter processions, brought to Guatemala by the Spanish conquerors, reaches its summit in Antigua Guatemala. While many are attracted to the solemn religious fervor, others enjoy the beautiful “alfombras” (sawdust carpets) of mind flipping complexity, which are made, of pieces of ephemeral art that are destroyed when processional cortèges of great solemnity, rich embellishments and overwhelming spirituality pass over them.
Antigua Guatemala has been transformed as dwelling and business place and for sure has something to offer for all travel tastes. Its colonial history that is always present combines with an array of cultural activities which include art galleries and exhibits, performing arts, popular arts, films, forums, and cultural tourism in general.
Antigua Guatemala offers an outstanding variety of international and local cuisine, with restaurants to suit anyone’s taste. And Antigua is also among Latin America’s most popular cities in which to study Spanish, boasting more than 75 schools.