Together with 37 volcanoes, 23 separate languages, 19 unique ecosystems and countless Mayan and Colonial ruins, it’s not surprising that Guatemala - a nation no bigger than Tennessee - is cited four times in the #1 Bestseller, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die.
Antigua, Guatemala’s most beautiful and historical town, is like having a little bit of Europe, just south of their border, but in a fraction of the cost. Additionally, with daily direct flights from New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Miami, Atlanta and Dallas, Guatemala is easy to access and in less time than it takes to fly to Europe or Hawaii.
Nestled between three dramatic volcanoes in Central America, Antigua, Guatemala is one of the world’s earliest and most beautiful colonial cities.
In Antigua travelers investigate the ruins, museums, art galleries, restaurants and stores that are scattered throughout the famous cobblestone streets of this former capital of Guatemala. Centrally located, Antigua is also the perfect base from which to take short trips to other popular destinations such as Lake Atitlan, the Pacific Coast and the world famous Mayan Temples of Tikal. Known as the”land of the eternal spring”, Antigua includes a humidity-free average temperature of 75 degrees all year round, so there is never a bad time to see.
So whether you want a leisurely horse carriage ride during this centuries old town, or a day in the outdoor market discovering incredible hand-crafted treasures, or a heart-pounding trip throughout the tree-tops onto a zip-line… whatever could inspire and renew you is likely to be located in Antigua…
ABOUT LAKE ATITLAN
Perhaps it happens when you’re gazing at the towering volcanoes disappearing into the distance as you skim across an early, blue coloured lake on your way to discover your next lakeside Mayan Village. Or maybe El Mirador heli-tour strikes you when you’re admiring the sunlight on a morning in a place so beautiful it makes you catch your breath. Here, in this enchanting place, it occurs - you disconnect, and then reconnect to something which profoundly enriches and renews.
Regarded as one of the most gorgeous lakes in the world, Lake Atitlan is a stunning all-natural wonder that’s seduced travelers for decades. Ringed by three soaring volcanoes, the crystal blue lake of Atitlan is home to more than a dozen lakeshore villages. In lots of the villages that the Mayan culture is still widespread and the traditional dress is still worn.
Complementing the standard villages are some”funky tourist cities” like Panajachel, San Marcos and San Pedro, where travelers from around the world meet, mix and have fun. Atitlan is a really unique wonder of the Earth, or as one recent visitor described it Lake Atitlan is like having too much of a fantastic thing! Just a short distance away from the lake will be the world famous open market of Chichicastenango. In Chichi, tourists get a glimpse into another world filled with Mayan rituals, rituals, processions and obviously an infinite choice of magnificent and authentic Guatemalan handmade products.
The undisputed center of Historical Mayan Society, Tikal sits in the heart of Guatemala’s northern rain forest -which makes this sacred area the home of Mayan history in addition to home to hundreds of species of monkeys, toucans and parakeets.
The Tikal National Park, a protected area some 370 square kilometers, is a moving, mystical experience for visitors - emphasized by the magnificent pyramid ruins of the lost Mayan universe. For many years visitors from all over the globe have come to Tikal to transfer their minds, spirits and bodies back in time while viewing a new day sunrise at dawn since they are surrounded by the ancient Temples of Tikal.
* One of the most beautiful and distinctive features of Antigua will be the spectacular 400-year-old ruins which can be found on just about any corner of this enchanting, centuries-old city. Many of these ruins can actually be leased for various private events - creating any celebration, meeting, ceremony or wedding uniquely memorable.
* Casa Santa Domingo, a 5-Star Resort which is built right into the ruins, is Antigua’s most famous and impressive hotel. This hotel warrants serious consideration from anyone planning a trip to Antigua.
* Another luxury resort in Antigua that has opened is El Convento.
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Author Turan Klausen
License CC BY-NC-ND 4.0