*This is Part 3 of 4 posts of my trip to Guatemala. I have provided links to the other posts as well.
After spending 2 nights in Lake Atitlan, we took a boat back to Panajachel and a shuttle to Antigua. Antigua or Old Guatemala was the third capital of Guatemala. It is an earthquake-prone region and in 1773 it was largely destroyed by the Santa-Marta earthquake. At this point the capital was moved to Guatemala City. Antigua has the reputation of being the best preserved Spanish Colonial city in Central American.
Hotel Museo Spa Casa Santo Domingo was our home for the 2 nights in Antigua. I specifically chose this place due to it’s high rating, prime location and the excitement of staying in a museum. There is more than just a museum to see on the hotel grounds including a chocolate factory, a candle store, artwork, gardens, a fountain, and even a crypt- that we happened upon. Had I known there was a crypt there, I probably would not have stayed. There are 2 macaw birds that stay in the courtyard as well. However, I was not impressed by our room. It reminded me of a cave but at least the bed was comfortable and the wifi worked well, which was welcoming after our stay in Lake Atitlan. Despite how lovely the grounds were, I would not stay at this hotel again. I think it is over-rated and over-priced. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the experience.
A short 8-10 minute walk from our hotel, landed us right at Antigua Guatemala Cathedral and Santa Catalina Arch. Antigua is a beautiful city with colorful buildings, cute cafés, great shopping and trendy hostels. We took a self-guided walking tour to explore the city.
Unfortunately, I got pretty sick on day 2 and was unable to leave the hotel room. The night before, I began to feel fog headed and dizzy. I believe it was due to the diesel gas emitted from the vehicles on the street. The next day, I suddenly had a terrible allergy attack and medicine was not helping. So I lost a day in Antigua which was pretty sad because we only had 2 days there. Before we left Antigua to head back to Guatemala City for our flight, we stopped in a little bar which was also a hostel. We had a farewell drink and wrote our names on the wall.
I really wish I had more time in Antigua. One of the things I really wanted to do was hike the Pacaya Volcano and there was so much more to see and do. Two days was not and is not enough time to fully enjoy Antigua.