Fancy my world

Antigua – Guatemala

Antigua – Guatemala


Few more masks here. But again, everyone is free to wear one or not. Mandatory in some stores or to enter certain places to visit.


Pleasant all year round. Average temperatures range from 22° (January) to 25° (March). The rainiest months are: June, July and September. I recommend the months of January, February, March, April, November, December, to visit Antigua.


I traveled by chicken bus. Panajachel - Solola 5 qtz Solola - Los Encuentros 3.5 qtz Los Encuentros - Chimaltenango 30 qtz Chimaltenango - Antigua 10 qtz As usual, things are going well. At the gas station in Panajachel, I gave my final destination to the driver who informs the next at each change. They take care of your luggage every time. Easy ! Except that in the middle of the trip to Chimaltenango, the co-pilot made me get off in a hurry, on the side of the road, at a fork. He vaguely indicates to me at the bottom right where I should stand to take the next bus that goes to Antigua. Oh firecracker ! Here I am walking on the national on the exit ramp dragging my luggage, truck stuck to the buttocks. On the adventure side, it never stops.😂 So I am not sure which side to wait for. Everyone, of course, goes there with their bewildered look as they pass by in their car. Only locals should do that I guess. Yes, well, I travel like them, here you go ! Several combis pass but I want a chicken bus. After 10-15 mins of waiting, ahhhh, here is mine. Hip hip hooray ! I am coming Antigua.

Colonial jewel with a tormented history

Antigua is a colonial city of nameless beauty, the most beautiful in Guatemala according to the inhabitants, which I confirm. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, traces of its tormented history of volcanoes and earthquakes are visible everywhere in the city… It has remained frozen in time and is admired for its cobbled streets, colonial houses, convents, civil monuments, legends and traditions.. It has a privileged climate and an exceptional view of the Agua, Fuego and Acatenango volcanoes.

TOP 15 to visit

What to do in Antigua?

IMG_20211201_145842 (FILEminimizer)
Antigua Guatemala

To visit

A little history

Founded in 1543 by the conquistadors and designated capital of Guatemala, Antigua was the center of power in Central America during the 17th and 18th centuries. Colossal sums were spent there by the Spanish leaders. It then included no less than 38 churches, a university, a newspaper, convents and an unbeatable political and cultural life in Central America. It was THE center of Central America. But the July 29, 1773, a earthquake completely ravaged the city.

A year later, the Spaniards decided to build a new capital city in another place. Guatemala City then comes out of the ground 40 km from Antigua. To do so, Antigua was stripped in order to enrich Guatemala City but this one will not be completely abandoned. Indeed, residents continued to give a 2nd2nd youth in the city. They had the intelligence to leave the buildings standing, so Antigua kept its colonial character almost intact. In the 19th century, the city regained its luster thanks to the rise of coffee.

During the 20th century, and under pressure from the inhabitants, the Guatemalan president declared Antigua a “national monument” and major restoration works were launched. Antigua then regained its former splendor ! But for a short time. In February 1976, she was touched by a new earthquake of rare violence, causing thousands of deaths and nullifying all restoration work.

Unesco then entered the scene by inscribing this bruised city on the Heritage of Humanity in 1979. Thus, new building sites gave a third youth to Antigua. Since, the city has not suffered any natural disasters. It is an important cultural city where thousands of tourists, especially young students, come to learn Spanish. The city is also rich in handicrafts such as typical textiles, ceramics, silver and gold products, jewelry, metal products, typical sweets and gastronomy. Everything is very well maintained, the facades are neat and the waste collected. This city reminds me a lot San Cristobal de Las Casas in Mexico or Merida 

Click on a photo to start the slideshow

Central Park (Main Square)

In the center of town, you will find a centrale place, as in all the cities of Central America. Essential meeting point of local life. Here, families meet and talk, children run, old people play cards, tourists stroll, street vendors of ice cream and trinkets shout out to everyone what they are selling. A happy bazaar ! 

In Antigua, you will find in this square the Saint Joseph Cathedral, the Palace of the Captains General and the Chocolate Museum.

A must to visit Saint Joseph Cathedral.. Destroyed by the earthquake of 1773, it was then rebuilt while preserving the ruins of the old one, which is accessed from the back, 5a calle Oriente. Inside, you will discover ruins of quite impressive size. Huge brick arcades and massive columns form a setting of rare intensity. Vegetation has crept into the walls and crevices over the centuries. I had never seen anything like it. It is striking!

Entrance: 8 Qtz

Convent of Santa Clara

The first construction of the convent of Santa Clara was inaugurated in 1715, becoming the 4th religious convent in the city. The seismic movements of 1717 seriously damaged the buildings, so that years later their reconstruction began to be completed in 1734. This religious building consisted of two levels. The convent had a novitiate and a section with cells for nuns of this order.

In 1773 and 1874, new tremors of earth caused considerable damage to it, leaving it in ruins. The dome that remained standing until now was destroyed. The vast main cloister was surrounded by arches and windows, some of which did not resist seismic movements. In the center of it, only a colonial fountain in sculpted stone remains. The weight and size of some debris make their removal impossible. The door that currently allows access to these ruins is the same one that was used to enter the convent in the past. As it remained closed with no view of the public thoroughfare, the nuns never went out.

Nowadays, these vestiges are very visited by national and foreign tourists. Also, they are used for various social activities and cultural festivities.

Church and Convent of San Francisco

Born in the Canaries, then immigrated to Guatemala, Brother Peter is a Franciscan popularly known as the " Saint Francis of Assisi of the America. He marked the history of Guatemala because he actively participated in improving the situation of the natives by creating dispensaries, but also by undertaking literacy campaigns, without differences of class, sex or origin. He carried out a great social work comparable to that carried out centuries later by Mother Teresa in Calcutta ? His memory still hangs here, the crypt is still visited by many pilgrims.


Unusual this painting in the church. Does he remind you of anyone? 🙃. But what is Macron doing taped to the wall with his bunch of bananas? 🤣. I found that hilarious mouahaha.

The Merced Church

It is one of Antigua's most iconic buildings. TheMerced church is one of the most visited in the city, its facade has been photographed by thousands of national and foreign tourists. Built by the Mercedarians, it has an admirable baroque style elaborated in stucco, in addition to having two low bell towers, eight large twisted columns with ornamental motifs.

On the facade of the temple, you can see the coat of arms of the Mercedarian Order, as well as the images of several saints of this order, including San Pedro Nolasco - founder of the Order of Our Lady of Mercy-.-.

Despite the intensity of the earthquakes that hit the colonial city, this church remained standing. Only his convent is completely in ruins. 

I could not visit the interior because shorts are prohibited. 

To visit around Antigua


Price 80 qtz: transport + entry + activities included. Their office is located just before the Cerro de la Cruz climb in Antigua. I opted for this solution. I also met in the shuttle Irene, a Spaniard who has been traveling in Central America for a few months. Unfortunately, she is flying back this afternoon. But the few hours spent together will be super nice. 

So what is Hobbitenango ?

New Zealand is well known for having the famous Lord of the Rings movie set and attracts many visitors every year. Hobbitenango would be a competitor to this one, so let's take a closer look. Here you will find a few hobbit houses, a cafeteria, a restaurant, small paths offering some spectacular viewpoints. The entrance ticket includes the various activities that are offered such as miniature golf, archery, machete or ax throwing. By far the best attraction is the swing called “the Scream”.

Overall, opinions are divided on this place. Some love it, others it is really the opposite. For my part, I found it cute, funny but ultimately disappointing. This village concretely includes 2-3 houses to visit, the rest is inaccessible to visitors because it is reserved for rental. It is tiny, so the tour is quickly done. To do: The Scream which promises some fun sensations and then that is it. Dragging our paws, we stayed painfully an hour and left quickly to Altamira located 15 mins walk. Up to you …

Click on a photo to start the slideshow


Open Monday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Entrance fee: 25 qtz

Located 30 mins drive from Antigua, near the village El Hato, Altamira is a hotel and restaurant best known for being one of the best viewpoints in the whole country. He is especially famous for his giant hands with a panoramic view that offer grandiose and unique shots. It is a mandatory destination when visiting the colonial city of Antigua.

Altamira is also the ideal place to relax, enjoy nature and the breathtaking view of the Acatenango, Fuego and Agua volcanoes. You can walk among the nature trails and enjoy many other attractions such as an eco-park which has a climbing wall, a miniature golf course, a trampoline and various spots for perfect your photos. 

If, like me, you love photography, you are in for a treat. A real playground, I had fun like a kid.

Tips: go all the way down, there is a guy with a drone. 75 qtz for 25 photos, same price for the video. All delivered the next day between 8h and 8h30. Very serious. Bring a jacket, it is a bit chilly up there when the sun is hiding. Buses leave from the city center and drop you off at El Hato. 

Ascent Acatenango

"One of the strongest experiences of my life"

If there is one must-do in Guatemala, it is Acatenango. Its ascent gives you a view of the Fuego erupting every 15-20 mins. I can assure you that you will never forget it. Concretely, how does this happen ? I tell you everything in the next article. For surely, it deserves a writing on its own. Below are some pictures while we wait...


- Pension in Antigua - "Daily happiness" -

Private double room including 3 meals a day for 15 dollars. Shared bathroom. Simple, quiet, functional and comfortable. Carolina, the hostess concocts Guatemalan menus to die for. Thanks to her talents as a cook, I was able to discover and enjoy typical dishes of the country. We feel like at home. The meals are made in family with her husband Edgar, Sabrina their daughter where everyone speaks Spanish. They speak slowly and correct you if you make mistakes. Perfect ! Carolina is very caring and to be honest, I had been taken care of like that for a long time. A real mom.😊Gabriel, another guest in the house made us laugh. This young American of 25 years old told us regularly about his adventures in the city. A boutentrain. Loved this place, highly recommend. 


Ahhhh! The return of Soumia and Amit. So happy to be back in Antigua. Again ! Coffee or aperitive. We love spending time together. A real pleasure these two! 

From left to right, Edgar Carolina and Gabriel, my little family from Antigua 😁. 1st pension experience, I am fullfilled. . 


Vegetarian restaurant with an attractive menu. Balanced, fresh and tasty. Pleasant decor. Great service. A place to go back. 

El Viejo Café

How to have an excellent coffee in a small garden sheltered from the noise of the street. At the entrance to the establishment, a range of pastries worthy of a French bakery. To do !


Wow! It was intensive, there are so many things to do here. Emotionally, it took me a long time to come down from my volcano. I stayed perched up there for a long time. Even today, when I think back on it, I tell myself that I was immensely lucky to experience such a thing. I can still hear the steady roar of the Fuego, like the heartbeat of the Earth. I wish you to live such a strong moment because today I can tell, I am happy and fulfilled. Resumption of adventures because this country promises many diverse and varied things. Let's go, let's go, let's go friends! 

Next destination: Rio Dulce 

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Salem Saidi
February 19, 2022 3:22 pm

Magnifique voyage tu me rappelle les dessins animés les cité d or tu es notre zia française

Marjorie Guillaume
February 20, 2022 2:42 pm

J’adorais ce dessin animé. Je suis flattée de te rappeler ce personnage. Merci à toi. Gros bisous

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