About Antigua Guatemala
Antigua, planned by the Italian architect Juan Francisco Antonelli in 1542, was the first planned city in the New World. Outstanding architects, among them Diego de Porres, developed a creative spirit in buildings and public works, such as the Fountain of the Sirens in the Royal Plaza.
Antigua, the city, conserves all its colonial charm. Public buildings, churches, convents and old residences are examples of the baroque architecture and the prosperity of the past of this ancient capital, declared a Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, in 1979. Another interesting aspect of Antigua is how it blends this old Spanish colonial charm with the indigenous Mayan peoples who live in and around Antigua.
You'll be charmed by the narrow cobblestone streets and by the 16th-century churches and convents, whose beautiful fountains and gardens have been well preserved. Antigua maintains an excellent quality of life, which makes it an excellent place to study. It´s close proximity to other attractions, within Guatemala
and neighboring countries, also makes it an ideal jumping off point for weekend excursions.
Antigua, however, has all the amenities and comforts of a modern city. A variety of hotels and restaurants cater from locals, to backpackers, to an international luxury crowd. Shopping in Antigua is some of the region´s best, as you will find hand made artesan crafts in abundance. Cuisine ranges from traditional Guatemalan food to delicious international restaurants serving everything from pizza to sushi.Antigua also boasts an incredible nightlife. With a variety of bars catering to both tourists and locals, Antigua remains
safe at night, so you can test out the salsa moves you learned in your afternoon dance classes.
Antigua is especially beautiful during Semana Santa, or Easter Holy Week, when the streets are carpeted with elaborate decorations of colored sawdust and flower petals. Antigua is known throughout the world as one of the most popular locations to celebrate Semana Santa, second only to the celebration in Seville, Spain. Every day there are processions, intricate mosaics laid down in the streets of colored sand and flowers. It is Guatemala´s largest celebration of the year.
Check out our reccomended Packing List and Weather page for more information on Antigua living
¿Salsa Classes, Coffee, Museum Tours?
Visit our weekly activities page for information on included afternoon activities
Or learn more about life in the beautiful country of Guatemala
Tecun Uman Spanish School, The Difference is in the Experience
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