Guatemala Part 4: Antigua this morning

I’ve never visited Antigua during April, when the entire city celebrates Holy Week with sawdust carpets and parades through the streets. So I can’t say what that’s like. What I can say is that February is my favorite time to visit. The weather is warm and there are very few other tourists.

This morning, after I walked Olivia and Patrice to Spanish school, I took a few photos. Above, is my favorite view of the Square, taken from the second floor of the Municipalidad. The Cathedral is on the left, and Volcano Agua in the background. Antigua was just waking up; here, you can see why the city always looks so pretty. Every morning, men sweep the park. This month, they are also repairing the cobblestone streets.

As usual, a group of intrepid adventurers was queued up outside  Old Town Outfitters to climb Volcano Pacaya or go on a mountain bike ride. In the evening, backpackers often hang out in front of Cine Lounge La Sin Ventura. The theater is next door to Mono Loco, another popular night spot. The restaurant is famous for its gigantic plate of nachos, enormous bowls of chili, and outstanding French fries.

For Americans with children who will only eat at Mickey D’s, the one in Antigua has a lovely garden where your kids can run around and play. If your child, like mine, is a particular (read: finicky) eater, pizza restaurants such as El Macarone are a good alternative to black beans and rice.

Antigua boasts one of the largest “fancy” coffee shops in all of Guatemala. Located on the north side of the Square, Cafe Barista serves a range of lattes and cappuccinos extensive enough to keep any java nut happy. Olivia loves their vanilla cake. Cafe Barista’s prices are high, but (just between us), there are very few bargains to be had in Antigua. Think of it as a “charming experience tax.”

Time for me to get outside and enjoy this day! xoxo

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5 Responses to “Guatemala Part 4: Antigua this morning”

  1. Sveta says:

    Thank you, Jessica! I love traveling vicariously with you, and your pictures and explanations have been fantastic! Please, please, please, keep it up. This is an incredible story, and your are continuing to tell it and live it every day. Hugs to you and all yours!

  2. Kathryn says:

    Hey Jessica~
    Awesome post. I’ve thought of taking my kids to Antigua for Spanish school too. Do you mind telling me wh/ one you’re using and how you like it?

    Thanks, Kathy

  3. Nancy says:

    You are out and about – surprised I haven’t bumped into you during any of my daily walks into Antigua to do errands ! Enjoy the rest of your (short) time here !

  4. cathy says:

    oh, reading your posts is getting me so excited for our upcoming trip! while mcd’s is not a favorite place here at home, antigua’s has such a lovely courtyard that we went there more often than i’d like to admit when we lived there. and those pina pies? mmm . . . :)

  5. Sveta, this has been a special and amazing trip. Thank you for sharing our journey! Hugs to you and “the guys.”

    Kathryn: Love the Spanish schools here, and there are so many from which to choose, each a little different. Last summer, in August, I posted a blog about schools, which I will repost soon. Short version: If you want “organized” with books and curriculum, everyone seems to recommend Christian Spanish Academy. Other schools people like: Francisco Marroquin, Tecun Uman, San Jose El Viejo.

    http://www.experienceguatemala.com/en/spanish-schools-antigua-guatemala.html

    We’ve never done a homestay, but have heard people like those too. Definitely recommend Spanish school!

    Hi Nancy: The dance performance was terrific and I plan to post a blog about it soon. Thank you so much for arranging! After school, in the afternoons, we seem to spend a lot of time in the swimming pool at Hotel Antigua–!!–You know how it is with an 8-yr-old! Every minute has been great.

    Cathy: So true. A lovely courtyard and safe for kids to run around. Like you, I try to avoid at home, but here… oh well. And pina pie–that’s health food, yes? It’s got fruit in it! Enjoy your visit! Will be wonderful for you to be back.

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