The International Steam Pages

Antigua, Guatemala's World Heritage Site

Just a U$0.60 bus ride (one hour) from Guatemala City is Antigua, the acknowledged best preserved Spanish colonial town in Central America. In many ways I found it 'too perfect' and a potential tourist trap but no-one can deny its claim to fame. Three hours were enough for me before I had to escape back to the harsh (but acceptable) realities of Zone 1.   

A transport of delight...

A typical traditional Spanish house, but this one is the office of a car hire company!  

The twin peaks of the volcanoes of Fuego and Acatenango lie to the south west:

While solitary Agua lies to the south:

On the north side of the central square are the town's administration buildings:

In the park, tourist are 'persuaded' to part with their money buying local handicrafts:

Antigua is most famous for its churches, including the half ruined cathedral in the central square:



The church of La Merced has this most impressive west facade:

But the church of San Francisco has the most impressive 'local atmosphere'. This is the sepulcher of Saint Pedro Betancourt. 

Opposite is a small area for private prayer:

While my favourite experience here was the lady who keeps some of the votive candles tidy:  

Potential visitors should get here soon before the town becomes 'totally plastic' as the local people are forced out by the ever increasing numbers of hotels, Spanish language schools, internet cafes, hotels and fancy restaurants....   

Rob Dickinson