Surrounded by the three majestic volcanoes of Agua, Fuego and Acatenango, Antigua is considered a jewel of Spanish Colonial architecture in America. A visit to Antigua is an essential stop during your trip to Guatemala. Antigua is located 45 kilometers (27 mi) from Guatemala City and was declared a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site in 1979.
Antigua still preserves traces of the past which highlight colonial baroque art in its architecture, seen in the many ruins of churches and monasteries and the ornate walls that surround private homes. The Mayor Plaza (Central Park) is surrounded by the old Cathedral, Captains General’s Palace and the City Hall. Time in Antigua would not be complete without sitting in the park and admiring the mermaid`s fountain and local colors. The celebration of Holy Week (Easter) in Antigua reflects the fusion of Spanish Catholic traditions with the colors and Mayan rituals of the region. Starting at Lent, weekly processions parade through the streets decorated with carpets made with sawdust, flowers, fruits and vegetables. Easter week has daily processions and activities that draw visitors from around the world to see the rich colors and traditions of Antigua and Guatemala.
There are many other year-round activities close to Antigua which include a canopy tour/zip line, coffee tour, village tours, world class golf, Spanish classes, carriage rides through the cobblestone streets, and much more. No matter how many times you visit Antigua, you will never cease to be amazed at the quality of the many cafes, restaurants with traditional and international food, and small typical markets full of colorful handicrafts.