Established by Spanish conquistadors in 1534, Antigua is recognized as one of Latin America’s most historical and enchanting cities. Once the political and religious epicenter of all Central America, Antigua was home to nearly 40 towering cathedrals connected by a grid of cobblestone streets in a valley dominated by coffee fincas and three volcanoes.
A massive earthquake leveled the city in 1773, and Antigua was essentially forgotten for the next 100 years. In the late 19th century, families began to return, rebuilding Antigua stone by stone into is former grandeur. Rather than bury the cathedrals in the ground, the city decided to repair many and preserve the rest in their fallen state, giving Antigua a feel that is equal parts majestic and mysterious.
Today, Antigua is a world-class tourism destination with spring-like weather year-round and lots to do. In between the ruins you’ll find five-star dining options, quaint hotels, textiles and crafts galore as well as a lively café and bar scene. Many a traveler has been seduced by Antigua’s charm, making it an easy place to call home (present company included).
But the best thing about Antigua is the people. Although clearly a tourism destination, Antigua remains an authentic Guatemalan town where locals greet you at the market and are as likely to be found enjoying a Sunday afternoon in central park as you are.