Antigua and Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

We arrived in Antigua in Guatemala after a long shuttle ride from Honduras. There was a crazy amount of traffic due to the highway closing for a few hours to complete road works. Why you would just close an entire highway for a few hours and let cars just build up is beyond me. But hey, we eventually made it!

We arrived in the main square in Antigua and knew straight away that we would like this place. It’s an incredibly beautiful town, all cobble stoned streets. The old colonial buildings also looked stunning at night.

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We stayed at the Terrace Hostel, which was ok. It did have a great roof top terrace bar with a spectacular view of one of the several volcanoes surrounding Antigua, however it was a bit run down and the bathrooms are no good. But we still loved this gem of a town.  It is also the perfect temperature here as it gets a little bit cold at night, we thoroughly enjoyed this aspect after the hot and humid weather we had been used to.

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There are a bunch of museums that you can visit and we chose to go to Casa Santo Domingo. It is an old monastery that has been converted into a high end hotel and a few museums. It’s pretty cool and definitely worth a visit.

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The best thing to do in Antigua is simply to walk around and explore the town. We loved the colonial buildings and the markets and the beautiful roads. We even found a place that made incredible banana bread and we ate a whole loaf.

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While in Antigua, we decided to pop out to Lake Atitlan for a couple of nights. We headed to San Pedro on the edge of the lake and it turned out to be a pretty long and pretty bumpy ride. Once we arrived and had a look at the lake we realised why everyone always raves about it – the lake is stunning. There is also always local people doing their washing and bathing in the lake. It is very picturesque.

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We timed our visit to San Pedro very well because it was festival. The bad news was that I got very sick just as we arrived. We aren’t sure what caused it but presume it was the water. I won’t go into any details (ew) but I was bedridden. However Andrew, Mark and Jo were still able to get into the spirit, which was good. It’s kind of hard not to with fireworks going off all day and all night.

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Views on the way back to Antigua

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After our two nights in San Pedro, it was back to Antigua for one more night before heading further north in Guatamala. Unfortunately I was still plagued with sickness, which was annoying, but we still loved being back in beautiful Antigua for one more night.

Here is a breakdown of our costs for 5 days:

Budget = US$364 (NZ$500)

Accommodation – US$101

Activities – US$14

Food/Drink – US$130

Travel (incl. Taxis) – US$90

Miscellaneous – US$4

Total spent – US$339 (NZ$465)

So we were US$25 (NZ$35) under budget. It probably helped that I was sick and so we didn’t go out too much.

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