A city of exquisite beauty, an important history and vivacious culture awaits in Antigua, Guatemala! Antigua is a city known for its hardy resilience and ever-welcoming nature which attracts visitors throughout the year while giving them the taste of a destination unlike any other.
This beautiful city showcases colonial charm, spectacular architectural artworks and a “we will rise again” attitude beneath three large volcanoes. With the churches, plazas, markets and civic structures of Antigua within a mere stone’s throw away from coffee plantations, volcanoes and indigenous villages, there will be a part of Antigua that will imbed itself into your very soul.
Antigua boasts a dynamic history with an importance that remains in the atmosphere of the city. The city was founded on the Day of Saint James in 1524 on the site of Iximche, a Kakchiken-Maya city. It was first named Ciudad de Santiago de los Caballeros de Goathemala and was Guatemala’s first capital city. After surviving a number of rebellions it was decided that the three year old city would relocate to the Valley of Alotenango.
The city was forced to showcase its survival skills and resilience after it was all but destroyed by a mudslide from the Agua Volcano. In an attempt to create the third Guatemalan capital, the Spanish Conquistadors moved the city to the Panchoy Valley where it remained under the same name.
In 1717 and 1773, two huge earthquakes struck the city and destroyed it, causing the authorities to move the capital once again. With efforts to change the capital city being strongly resisted, the authorities took drastic measures and passed a law stating that it was illegal to stay in the city which was now severely damaged and named the Old Guatemala, Antigua.
The region was repopulated once again in the 20th century and was declared a National Monument in 1944. UNESCO soon came to the party and named the city a World Heritage Site in 1979.
Antigua has a very small population, but what it lacks in crowds it makes up for in ambience. The region holds a high regard for hospitality and the locals are known for their friendly natures and strong characters. While many of the buildings have been restored they have now taken shape as hotels and lodges which offer comfortable and uniquely stylish rooms at affordable rates. Enjoy Antiguan hospitality as you enjoy a destination that is guaranteed to inspire you!
Antigua boasts a story that showcases strength, resilience and determination which can be seen in the beauty of almost every tourist attraction. There is so much to see and do in this cobblestoned paradise that no time seems like enough in Antigua. From the pastel colours of the city to the wealth of intrigue which comes as a result of buildings which have risen again, this city is one that will inspire you to conquer the greatest obstacles.
Make the most of the perfect opportunity to people watch in Central Park or simply enjoy this tranquil natural oasis during the warm, afternoons. Another top attraction is the Santa Catalina Arch, this hotel and restaurant holds an enticing story of its own. While the city of Antigua is alive with a charm that is unlikely to be found elsewhere, the surrounding regions are also perfect for adventurous explorations. Sample coffee and soak up the beauty of the coffee plantations, hike up the mountains and hills nearby as you experience incredible views and step into a world of indigenous communities and villages.
The city of Antigua is well within reach so get ready for an experience that you will never forget in Old Guatemala!