Places to See and Things to Do in Antigua
The whole city is full of historic buildings, monuments, fountains and ruins. This city was founded by the Spanish in the XVII Century, and it follows the traditional design of a Main Plaza surrounded by Government and Catholic Church buildings. The city of Antigua Guatemala has more than 30 monastic orders, and built stunning monasteries, convents and cathedrals in the town. These buildings make Antigua Guatemala one of the world’s best conserved colonial cities. The churches and ruins of Antigua Guatemala you will have the opportunity to visit are magical and captivating art works that makes you feel time might have stopped some 300 years ago.
The heart of the city is Parque Central is a park in the center of town. The park is a city block in size, with concentric circular walkways threading among trees and a fountain in the center. The trees are decorated with lights, and there are plenty of benches for sitting and people-watching. The city hall and police office, the cathedral, and several banks and tourist businesses line the four sides of the park.
A large cross is prominent on a hill to the north of the city (Cerro de la Cruz). It is a pleasant, moderately strenuous 30-min walk to the cross from the Parque Central. On a clear day there is a fine vista over most of Antigua and the Volcán de Agua rising high to the south.
Make a Reservation
Some of the well-known convents and churches in Antigua Guatemala you should visit and explore, are:
• Catedral Metropolitana
• Santo Domingo convent is now a five start hotel and museum
• San Francisco convent and San Francisco Church
• Nuestra Señora de Belén convent
• Church and convent of La Compañía de Jesús
• San Juan de Dios convent
• House of the Congregation of the Oratory of San Felipe de Neri
• Church and convent of Las Capuchinas
• Church and convent of Santa Clara
• Church and convent of Nuestra Señora de la Merced
• Church and convent La Recolección
The Art in Antigua Guatemala is embedded in every street and corner of the city. If you look around, everything is a collection of colonial buildings linked by cobbled streets that invite every visitor to enjoy of a beautiful and creative landscape everywhere. The Antigua Guatemala museums and art galleries offer throughout the year, art exhibitions and various activities presenting the different eras in the history of art,. In this article you will find several places you can visit in this beautiful city, if you are an art lover or want to learn more about the topic you will definitely enjoy place like:
• The Coffee Museum
• In The Casa K’ojom Mayan Music Museum
• The Rincón Sacatepéquez Museum
• The Santo Domingo Museum at the Convent of Hotel Casa Santo Domingo
• Colonial Art Museum in University of San Carlos
• Museum of the Ancient Book in Antigua Guatemala
• The Jade Museum in Antigua Guatemala
Spanish Schools (coming soon)
Restaurants and Bars (coming soon)
City Major Events
The Holy week in Antigua Guatemala is famous for its Catholic celebration, which commemorates the Passion, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It takes place sometime between March 22nd and April 23rd, and the entire week is full of solemn activities.
Actually, the celebration begins on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, and reaches its climax on Good Friday, when Antigua streets are thronged with processions and reverent spectator. The processions consist of big floats, or ‘andas’, bearing statues of Christ with a cross, that are carried by hundreds of purple-robed men, commonly called Cucuruchos.
A float with the Virgin Mary Follows by women dressed in black clothing. The processions move slowly through. Antigua cobblestone streets, the feet of the bearers cushioned in the sawdust carpets, which are destroyed as the procession passes over. Visiting Antigua during lent and Holly Week means an extraordinary spiritual rewarding experience which you will never forget.
Besides the processions, there is also another relevant activity in Holy Week in Antigua Guatemala. This place is famous for its spectacular carpets tradition (alfombras de acerrín). The visitors enjoy walking on the streets of Antigua Guatemala not only to see the processions, but also to participate in the detailed elaboration of these colorful carpets to adorn the processional route. Sawdust is then collected and dyed in different colors. Favorite colors are purple, green, blue, red, yellow and black. Flowers such as bougainvillea, chrysanthemums, carnations, roses and other native plants and pine needles are also used.
As you could see, Holy Week in Antigua Guatemala is a colorful week, a lot of traditional folklore, gastronomy of the time, a big economic movement, a lot of spiritual and religious movement.
Christmas and New Year in Antigua
Red is the most prominent color around Christmas time. You can see it in the many people who dress up like Santa Claus; in all the special offer fliers, in the firecracker wrappers, in the fruits. In the picture above, you can see a single stand that sells apples, pears, grapes along all kinds of fireworks and firecrackers.
In Guatemala, Christmas Eve is as important as Christmas. The night of the 24 of December People stay up all night waiting for midnight to have tamales with the family and to open up their presents underneath the Christmas tree. Kids run around the neighborhood given hugs and wishing a Merry Christmas. Right at midnight people burn so many firecrackers and fireworks that you might think it is the third world war. The meal is usually especially-made tamales colorados (red) or negros (black) served with bread slices and freshly-made fruit punch.This is very traditional and is a family gathering; people stays home and share with their love ones, that is why most places will be closed but in new year’s the celebration is out on the streets of Antigua.
NEW YEAR’S IS AWESOME IN ANTIGUA
There are several things that make New Year’s Eve similar yet different than Christmas Eve or Noche Buena, as we call it here. Christmas Eve is celebrated with the family at home or at your parents’ home; New Year’s Eve can be celebrated anywhere: a discotheque, a park, the beach or La Calle del Arco and Parque Central will be the popular venues in Antigua Guatemala tonight. New Year’s Eve is less religious than Christmas’ Eve and there are many more parties to go to we quoted this from antiguadailyphoto.com.