GUATEMALA

Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow” – Anita Desai
Last December we went to Guatemala just before the Holidays. Among the "hola seño", "no tenga pena", Antigua will stay forever in our hearts.

Ciudad de Guatemala



We decided to visit the zoo. This zoo has nothing to envy to the big zoos of the US. Is impeccable kept and has lots of beautiful animals separated by region.







Tikal

My mom insisted on visiting Tikal. Honestly, at first I thought it was a bit overpriced, but once we arrived I understand why!


In the heart of the jungle, surrounded by lush vegetation, lies one of the major sites of Mayan civilization, inhabited from the 6th century B.C. to the 10th century A.D. The ceremonial centre contains superb temples and palaces, and public squares accessed by means of ramps. Tikal (/tiˈkɑːl/) (Tik'al in modern Mayan orthography) is the ruin of an ancient city, which was likely to have been called Yax Mutal, found in a rainforest in Guatemala. 



Antigua

Antigua is a small city surrounded by volcanoes in southern Guatemala. It’s renowned for its Spanish colonial buildings, many of them restored following a 1773 earthquake that ended Antigua’s 200-year reign as Guatemala’s colonial capital. 



You will found yourself surrounded by an infinitive amount of petite houses, with beautiful gardens and popping colors.




I will recommend to visit the museums of Hotel Casa Santo Domingo! The Museums Promenade is a cultural route created by an agreement between San Carlos de Guatemala University and Hotel Casa Santo Domingo. It is a route that makes it possible to visit the museums installed in what was the church and convent of Santo Domingo and Santo Tomás de Aquino College. During the time of the Spanish domination these places constituted one single unit.




And for an photograpy amateur as I am, this place is full of historic infrastructure with lots of incredible details to photograph.







This is my mom, at El Convento de las Capuchinas. 





Friendly reminder, don't take pictures of the local people without asking! Shortly after I take this one, one of the ladies yell at me. LOL! Didn't see that coming... 





Pacaya Volcano

I was super excited about this one... and the experience was absolutely break taking. It was quite difficult to get up to the top, it took us about 1 hour and a half. My mom, had to rent a horse since it was extremely cold and the way up was HARD. But as soon as we get up to the top of the volcano, all the pain went way. 
You can see all the volcanoes that surround Antigua from Pacaya. 



My top 5 must visit places would be:



  1. Pacaya: Volcano hiking is huge part of Guatemala culture. Of the 37 named volcanoes, three are still active, including Pacaya volcano, the one we hiked. We choose the afternoon tour, and the view plus the sunset was unbelievable. This was my favorite place in Guatemala.
  2. Antigua: Antigua Guatemala is an outstanding example of preserved colonial architecture and of cultural value. The religious, private and government buildings bear exceptional testimony to the Spanish colonial architecture in Antigua. There is no need to take a private tour, just take a couple of days and a map to visit all the attractions (museums, churches,...).
  3. Tikal: I'll recommend the flight, its worth it! We flight with TAG Airlines. The flight will leave Ciudad de Guatemala in the morning, and you will be back at night. They offer the transportation and tour to Tikal by just $100 each, including lunch.
  4. Fridas: best restaurant in town, no doubts! They offer half meals, so you can tried different dishes. I will also recommend you to visit La Cuevita de los Urquizu and Casa Escobar.
  5. Visit the Jade Museum: Ancient civilizations appreciated the jadeite jade stones as ornaments, tools, and burial artifacts. The first civilization to use jadeite jade where the Olmec, Maya and Aztecs, and jade figured prominently in many myths and folktales. This stone is reputed to bring beauty and long life to the wearer. Some Eastern traditions insist that it also brings wealth and good fortune.

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