Antigua Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala

Founded by Spanish conquistadors in 1543, Antigua retains many historic edifices that qualify it as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Antigua is of the oldest and best-preserved Latin American cities. Church ruins and immaculate New Baroque-style Spanish architecture characterize this popular Guatemalan attraction.

Antigua Guatemala was originally referred to as Santiago de los Caballeros de Guatemala and for over 200 years it served as the military governor’s seat of the Spanish colony of Guatemala. Antigua lost its capital status in 1776, mainly due to a series of 1773 earthquakes that laid much of the town in ruins. In the safer nearby Valley of the Shrine, Guatemala City rose to become the area’s new capital, and Antigua would change its name to La Antigua Guatemala, meaning “The Old Guatemala”. Today, Antigua travel retains a flare for the historic, and quite often upon arriving, visitors get the sense that they have stepped back in history.

Hotel Casa Mia: Antigua Guatemala.

Hotel Casa Mia: Antigua Guatemala.

However, this sleepy colonial town of some 45,000 current inhabitants offers modern travel amenities among attractions that suit an array of travel tastes. Antigua is internationally known for its unique architecture and culture. When you are here you can visit the beautiful churches. Dating from the mid-1500″s, the Cathedral of Santiago, the Church and Convent de Nuestra Señora de la Merced and the Church and Convent of Santo Domingo represent some of downtown Antigua’s most historic city center icons.

The city center’s Proyecto Cultural El Sitio, found at 5a Calle Poniente, offers arts and cultural exhibitions from theater events to music and dance events. You’ll find colonial-era artifacts, including portraits and statues at the Museum of Santiago (at City Hall) and you can round out your cultural adventure at the Museum of Colonial Art. Surrounded by City Hall, the Captain’s Palace and the Metropolitan Cathedral, downtown Antigua’s Central Park, or Plaza Mayor, is among the finest plazas in all the country. You also can enjoy tours of a coffee plantation, or a macadamia nut Plantation, or visit Maya villages and learn about Maya civilization. For the adventurous there is zip lining, horseback and mule riding, mountain biking and volcano climbing.

Exotic Antigua Guatemala! - Holy Week processions

Exotic Antigua Guatemala! – Holy Week processions

The vistas in Antigua are simply amazing because La Antigua, as the locals call it, is surrounded by beautiful and grand volcanoes such as the Fire volcano, Acatenango and the water volcano. Before returning to your hotel at 4:30 p.m. You will enjoy looking and shopping in colorful handy craft markets. You will also enjoy visiting a jade factory and see how beautiful jade jewelry is handmade. In the jade factory is a museum with the most beautiful jade works of art and jade jewelry. Guatemala is home to more than 23 different colors of jade, more than anywhere else in the world.

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