We visited Guatemala a few weeks ago and in this post I’ll try to reflect our love for Antigua in 15 photos. Because some places just gets you. From the moment you arrive to that certain place you know you’ll love spending your time there. Places that are more than “fine”, “good” or even “great”. That was how we felt about Antigua in Guatemala. It was the combination of the nice climate, the picturesque streets, the people, the activities, the shops, the restaurants and accommodation options that got us. All of that combined with us being in a very good place personally at that time.
Really enjoying a place comes down to your mental state of mind. Some days you’re just more open and ready to explore and enjoy than other days. When we were in Guatemala we were in a really good place mentally. After a couple of months of tranquility in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, we were eager to explore a new place again.
15 photos of Antigua, Guatemala
Antigua is so incredible beautiful and I have a massive amount of photos from our stay there. It is a colonial style city surrounded by mountains. We found something like that in Oaxaca, Mexico too, which we loved, but as opposed to Oaxaca, Antigua has no new part. There is only the old city and it’s stunning.
Another big plus are the tuc-tucs to take you from A to B fast, and the Uber services to/from the airport of Guatemala City (which we really miss in Playa del Carmen).
The view from the roof top terrace at Bella Vista café
Arco the Santa Catalina is the icon of Antigua. We lived nearby and passed it every day. One morning we woke up early and took an early morning walk. The pictures above and below were taken at 6.45 a.m. A girl was having a photoshoot for her 15-years birthday.
Silence before the storm, aka. the arrival of the tourist crowds later.
We stumbled across an old monastery by coincidence. We paid a little amount to get in and walked around as the only guests. On the first floor we found this window with a picture-worthy view.
Picked up some typical dulce de leche sweets at a local bakery
Our accommodation in Antigua
We had booked a room at Jardin de Stela on Airbnb and already had a nice feeling about it prior to arrival. The owner was super responsive and answered my (many) questions very quick every time. And when we arrived? Let’s say we weren’t disappointed! There was such a nice, tranquil feeling to the place and it was just exactly what we needed. It was so simple, yet so lush and we felt very welcome.
It’s an old restored house with seven guest rooms. There is no service on-site, but still there is a nice personal touch to it; fresh flowers in the room, water in the room upon arrival and serve-yourself french press coffee. Breakfast was included at the local coffee shop Kaffee Fernando just across the street. A very nice detail.
The coffee culture in Guatemala
Now this really talked to us! We love coffee, no doubt about that, and Antigua was beyond expectation coffee wise. So many great coffee shops and cafés throughout the city. I’ll make a separate post about coffee shops in Antigua very soon.
We had pinned a bunch of coffee shops we wanted to try, so we had a little coffee-route each day. Above enjoying an espresso at Don Cafeone and below a flat white and a “pan de queso” (cheese bread) at Bella Vista.
Activities in Antigua
There are bunches of cultural and historical thing to do in Antigua, but I’m much more into workshops and doing an activity than watching/listening.
We climbed the hill up to Cerro de La Cruz our first morning to get an overview of the city. A very recommendable way to kick off your Antigua visit and take some nice photos of the stunning country that Guatemala is.
I was super lucky that a friend of ours was in town at the same time as us, so we did a jade jewellery workshop together one day at Xibalba Joyas . A great experience and I really appreciate the pendant I made that day. There are also coffee workshops and other crafty workshops around for other creative minds.
Climbing the hill up to Cerro de La Cruz was hard and hot with a stroller, but definitely worth it for this view
Family photo anno 2019
The pretty interior at Xibalba Joyas
Jewellery workshop: Find inspiration, draw your design, pick the stone and start working on it.
My Digital Nomad friend Michelle and I wearing our new jade pendants. She designed a wave as a symbol for her passion for surfing and the sea. I made a simple design inspired by an animal tooth in black jade. Check out Michelle’s blog here, where she shares her journey through Latin America (she’s a badass solo traveller!).
Hope to see you again Antigua and in case we’ll never meet again: Thank you for this one-week love-affair