Would be strange not to visit Antigua, an old capital of Guatemala. But it’s so full of students of language schools that is already a bit annoying.
Antigua is situated just some 40km from Guatemala City but is much safer and much calmer. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has an amazing view on three volcanoes (Volcán de Agua, Acatenango and Fuego), good food and too many language schools. Between all the tourists discovering Guatemala it’s quite hip to chill out a bit in the old capital, stay at some family and study Spanish. And eat and party.
We didn’t like it too much. Luckily we had a nice place to stay for two nights: close to the central park, in the garden of a friend of a friend (thanks!) and we had calm time to walk through sweet streets. But it didn’t take long to get to know all those streets – Antigua is really tiny, if you have a “capital” in your imagination. It was a main spot of the country for more than 200 years, from 1543 to 1776. In XVIII century the volcanoes around were very active, destroyed the city and made authorities consider moving the capital to another city.
On every street of Antigua there are not only language schools but also travel agencies. You can go with them on the top of volcano, to the Atitlan Lake, to temples of Tikal and to all the other places around. We checked them a bit because of those volcanoes trips (we didn’t want to go alone) and the funny thing is that all of them offer absolutely the same. No creativity there, no funny offers, even if the concurrency is big and amount of tourists high.
At the end we decided not to climb on the volcano (it’s a long trip in a bigger group, we would have to carry also Hanna for many hours and only at the end it could be interesting: lava and views, but the weather forecast said something else and we didn’t want to waste the time). But we met a group of Misses of all the Central America’s countries.
Misses were surprisingly not very pretty, standing and smiling. They had a photo session in the middle of the town. But in the moment we appeared on the square – the photographers moved all the lenses on our Hanna, who, of course, went into the middle of the circle and started to smile. A small miss of Guatemala was jealous and tried to get in touch with Hanna, but Hanna was afraid of her. That’s how it was with this Antigua and us: something didn’t fit somehow.