Antigua was founded in the early 16th century and was the colonial capital of Guatemala. It is less than an hour away from Guatemala City. Antigua is an outstanding example of Spanish colonial architecture and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. The city is filled with colonial-era mansions, churches, and convents. We did a cultural walking tour with Elizabeth Bell focusing on the city’s history, culture, and restoration efforts. We wandered around the small city and visited the City Hall, Palace of the Captain’s General, the San Jose Cathedral, a jade workshop, and Paseo de los Museos inside the Hotel Casa Santo Domingo.
We stayed at the El Convento Hotel which is a nicely restored former convent with only 26 suites. It is located across the street from the Capuchin Convent and about 10 mins walk to the main square.
The city of Antigua follows a traditional colonial design where the main plaza is surrounded by Government buildings and Catholic Churches with a park in the middle. Many Antiguans like to hang out in the park especially in the evenings and on weekends.