Founded as a commanding outpost during the conquests in the 1500s, it became the capital of Goatemala after devastating landslide obliterated its prior location a few kilometers away (now rebuilt as Ciudad Vieja). Antigua has conserved the colonial architecture, cobbled stoned streets, capitalising a large part of its charms from its multiple pastel coloured house façades. Plenty churches, some in ruin, spread all around town.
In recent years it has become a gastronomical hotspot – cafés, themed restaurants, bars… A vibrant community of expats lie here, and it is a favourite destination for visitors coming to Guatemala.
Places to check out whilst in Antigua are:
- Antigua itself! Be sure to walk Fifth Avenue, with its iconic arch!
- The earth lodge (up in the hills). Great for a lunch and spending the afternoon.
- Finca Filadelphia: coffee tour, zipline, restaurant
- Cold spring water pools at “El Pilar”.
- Finca “La Azotea” – for its coffee tour and museums.
- Choco Museo – Free history tour of Cacao. Pay to make your own chocolates from bean to bar!
- Tour of Pacaya Volcano (most accessible), Acatenango (day hike or overnight – more strenuous 4-6 hour climb up!)
- Visit San Francisco church – this is where Santo Hermano Pedro is buried (first Saint in Central America, canonised by Jean-Paul II in 2002). Be sure to also check out the church gardens (pay a small fee) around.
- Santo Domingo Hotel – beautiful gardens and restored ruins as you walk around the hotel. They also have an awesome restaurant just out of Antigua on a hill with great views of the volcanoes and the valley – ask them about the transport up leaving from their hotel!
Perfectly located between Guatemala City airport and Lake Atitlán, it is 1 hour drive from the airport (then a further 3 hours to the lake). Be sure to ask about our house Baraka Antigua located in the outskirts of Antigua – a perfect resting place for your arrival to Guatemala prior to journeying on to the lake, likewise a good refuge a few days prior to leaving the country. Baraka Antigua offers peace and quiet, textures and colours and many spaces within the house and the garden to be in. Perfect to share with other particpants from your retreats and workshop at Eagle’s Retreats.