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Just Back from 6 Days in Antigua

New York City, New...
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17 posts
69 reviews
Just Back from 6 Days in Antigua

Just returned this weekend from a wonderful trip to Antigua. The city totally exceeded my expectations. Here are a couple of tips for you!

-- We stayed at the Hotel Soleil Antigua, located just on the outskirts of the town, but no more than a 10 minute walking distance from Parque Central. One of the biggest fears I had was crime or feeling unsafe. Never once did we feel unsafe in Antigua. We walked everywhere and took a cab back to our hotel at night only because the streets do not always have sidewalks or street lights.

-- We had some of the best food during our trip. Our favorites were Cafe Condesa for breakfast, San Martin for breakfast and fresh pastries and bread, and Calle la Fonda for a great dinner. We also had a great Chinese lunch at Mulan. If you are looking for familiar favorites, Antigua has a Wendy's, McDonald's, Burger King, Domino's, and the most gorgeous Taco Bell in the world.

-- The city is full of colonial charm. One of the highlights was simply walking into churches and courtyards to admire the scenery. We also loved taking a cooking class at La Tortilla, which was fun and enjoyable. I would definitely recommend this to anyone wanting to get a sense of the authentic Antigua. We found a very large supermarket (with a live band!) that offered hundreds of Guatemalan and American foods as well as the local farmer's market.

-- The Parque Central was the cornerstone of the town. It does get a bit annoying with all of the vendors trying to sell everything from scarves to blankets to trinkets to macadamia nuts. A simple "No gracias" sends them on their way. We enjoyed the market stalls that line the park on the weekends.

-- We took two day trips: an afternoon excursion to Volcan Pacaya to roast marshmallows on the side of the volcano and a full-day trek to Lake Atitlan where were took a boat ride to three surrounding villages.

10 replies to this topic
8 posts
1. Re: Just Back from 6 Days in Antigua

Thanks, really helpful. I’m going to Antigua for 7 weeks starting in October. I notice that some people are posting about difficulties using MasterCard debit cards to withdraw money; any advice?

The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
Level Contributor
13,719 posts
331 reviews
2. Re: Just Back from 6 Days in Antigua

Thanks for taking the time to post a trip report. Did you have favorite colonial ruins in Antigua? I hope you have a chance to get back to Guatemala at some point to take in more of what's on offer.

Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
1,172 posts
69 reviews
3. Re: Just Back from 6 Days in Antigua

Thanks for the report.Jeez that is a nice taco bell, I had to take a look after you mentioned it...curious who was eating in it.

Osoyoos, Canada
Level Contributor
1,065 posts
59 reviews
4. Re: Just Back from 6 Days in Antigua

Thanks for the report! Wow a nice Taco Bell AND a nice Mickey D’s...will wonders never cease?

Au Gres, Michigan
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12 posts
4 reviews
5. Re: Just Back from 6 Days in Antigua

Did you get vaccinated for typhoid?

Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
1,172 posts
69 reviews
6. Re: Just Back from 6 Days in Antigua

Typhoid? Taco Bell and Mickey D’s aren’t that bad ...are they?

Buenos Aires
Level Contributor
966 posts
11 reviews
7. Re: Just Back from 6 Days in Antigua

Well, Taco Bell is known for its rats so I would be more worried about leptospirosis at that chain. Mickey's uses kangaroo meat, so watch out for parasites jumping from sandflies at that chain.

But seriously, many frequent travelers choose to get typhoid vaccine for many reasons. We had a discussion about that on the Guate forum a while back and I realized I was unsure if I had had it. I checked and found notes indicating that when I went to a travel doctor before I went to the Amazon, he recommended it and I got it along with the yellow fever shot. Typhoid is related to salmonella and is food-borne, normally, so if traveling = eating out a lot, and if you combine that with eating out in places where the water may be no good, it just makes sense to get that shot. At least in my opinion!

The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
Level Contributor
13,719 posts
331 reviews
8. Re: Just Back from 6 Days in Antigua

Typhoid vaccine can be a shot or pills; the pills last longer.

Level Contributor
290 posts
1 review
9. Re: Just Back from 6 Days in Antigua

Nice report. It really is a great little town.

I am familiar with Hotel Soleil Antigua. It is a little bit of an undiscovered place, probably because it gets a lot (maybe most) of its guests from Guatemala City, especially on weekends. Personally, I find that as one of its perks - it is not a typical "tourist" hotel. A little off the beaten path, but it has a van that will take you into town and pick you up if you don't want to walk.

Rhode Island...
Level Contributor
1 post
5 reviews
10. Re: Just Back from 6 Days in Antigua

How did you get to and from Lake Atitlan that day?

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