Welcome to Antigua Guatemala!
Truly a remarkable city, this UNESCO World Heritage Site maintains its cobblestone streets, ruined churches and beautifully restored homes. Founded in 1543 and abandoned in 1773, it has come to life and evolved into an ideal place for a vacation. It is centrally located for further travels within Guatemala.
Antigua Guatemala is a beautiful colonial city that was founded in the early 16th century by the Spaniards. Built 1,500 meters above sea level in the highlands of Guatemala, it was largely destroyed by an earthquake in 1773, but many of the original monuments are still preserved as ruins.
A little history about Antigua Guatemala
Public buildings, churches, convents and old stately homes and colonial residences are examples of the baroque architecture and the prosperity of this ancient capital designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.
Antigua was one of the first cities in the New World to use the Spanish grid design in the layout of the streets. Today, Antigua retains its original charm and still has cobble stone streets and Spanish Colonial architecture. Antigua is one of the principal ceramic producing centers in Guatemala. The technique was inherited from Spain in the 16th Century. Other examples of artisan activities that have made this colonial city famous are wax products and traditional candies.
Antigua is located in the tropics and therefore has nice weather all year long. Its high elevation keeps the city from getting too hot in the summer, with the average daytime temperature all year round being in the 70's (degrees F). This is in contrast to some other parts of the country which are closer to sea level and which can become very hot and humid.
The temperature tends to drop into the 50's in the evenings. Antigua's rainy season lasts from May through September. During this season it rains nearly every day in the late afternoon and evening. The remainder of the calendar year is relatively dry and because of its pleasant weather Antigua is a great place to visit at any time of the year
Antigua hosts one of the country's biggest and most important religious festivals: Semana Santa, known in English as Holy Week. Throughout the week processions march through the city and local artists create alfombras, (carpets), on the streets made from colored sawdust, depicting flowers and religious scenes. This tradition is very old and is believed to have begun sometime in the 16th Century with the arrival of the Spanish to the area.