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Travel guide to Antigua, Guatemala

I went to Antigua, Guatemala for the first time and it for sure it a hidden colourful gem surrounded by volcanoes. 
The name Antigua means ancient and when you enter the city you see a lot of ancient monuments, cathedrals, and architecture. 
Antigua Guatemala was the cultural, economic, religious, political and educational centre for the entire region until the capital was moved. They have kept the ancient architecture which is Spanish inspired and very colourful. All buildings are bright colours; from pink to orange and old bricks. 
There are also a lot of green and flowers. Its truly a beautiful place to walk around in and the city (I might want to say town) is not huge. The center of Antigua is easy to navigate in as all roads are straight (like walking in Barcelona or New York) so its easy to walk around. I was in Antigua for 3 days and I think I walked on all the blocks (I also walked 10-15 KM a day). 
When walking in Antigua then you have the view of Acatenango volcano which is incredible to see. 
Antigua is located about 50 min. drive from Guatemala City which you can fly too. 
I flew from San Jose, Costa Rica to Guatemala City which was a 1 hour and 40 min. flight and then stay 3 nights in Antigua. I would have loved to explore more areas in Guatemala which I will do next time for sure. 
Antigua is filled with cute handcraft shops where you can find interior items, sops, ceramics, and much more. 
Also you will find a lot of organic coffee shops and cafés. They are all hidden in gardens so you just have to open the front door and see what is hiding inside. It is really just about exploring what this place has to offer. 

Here are some of my discovering that I hope you will enjoy and get inspired of:
View of volcano in Antigua. 
Hotel Santo Domingo - a beautiful hotel and museum which is ancient and a must see.
Also a stunning hotel in the high end but just entering the garden is worth the visit. 
 Hotel El Convento - Another high end hotel in Antigua. I stayed here and enjoyed our outdoor bath and terrace. 
 AKA SHA Shop - sustainable shop where you can buy a lot of skincare and beauty.
El Gran Café - a place you will enjoy if you appreciate good coffee. 
RAIZ - Another cool coffee bar
 Union Cafe - a cute café I went for Sunday brunch. You can sit in the garden and enjoy vegan pancakes and smoothies like I did. 
 Sabortico Restaurant - I loved this place! A hidden gem of a delicatesse shop and cafe/restaurant with garden and a lot of different seatting areas in the garden. 
There is such a cosy vibe to this place. 
 Sabortico Restaurant
Fridas - a modern version of a Guatemalan dinner. I recommend the tortilla soup.
Amanecer Juice Bar - if you are craving a juice or smoothie this is the place to go.  
La Pasta Nostra - an Italian restaurant which is cute and cosy. I enjoyed a tasty ravioli with spinach, cheese, and pesto. 
 Quiltro - This restaurant was wow. If you are into fine dining then this is definitely the place for you to go. A must! The chef has been working at Noma in Denmark and other world renowned restaurants and decided to open his own in Antigua. 
The restaurant is inspired by the Guatemalan cuisine so you eat a lot of vegetables. 
You have the choice of a 8, 10, or 12 courses tasting menu and the price is not like Noma. The 8 course tasting menu was 60$/person including a glass of wine. 
I had such an amazing experience here. It was definitely the highlight of my trip. The restaurant has an open kitchen and the clean furnitures mixed with the colourful ancient building is just wow. 

 Quiltro - our menu 
 Quiltro - Kale tostada with avocado. 
Me happy and satisfied outside Quiltro restaurant. I am also in love with the colour of this building.  
 Bye for now. And thanks for reading. 
I hope you enjoyed my guide. 

Safe travels 
Julie Pallesen


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