Blogs from Antigua, Capital Region, Guatemala, Central America Caribbean

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Sunshine and blue skies greeted us in Antigua. In 1543, this little town became the Spanish capital - a beautiful place, set amongst green mountains. The town thrived, with huge churches and public buildings. But three of those mountains are volcanoes and in 1773 the underground rumblings became a catastrophic earthquake. Practically everything fell down and the Spanish moved their capital once again. Two hundred years later, in 1976, another huge earthquake hit the town. It destroyed much of the restoration work that had been carried out. Today, one or two of the destroyed buildings have been restored once again. Most have just been left or only partially restored. For example, the cathedral's entrance hall has been restored to become the local church but the rest is untouched - the ruins sprouting green vegetation. Most of ... read more
Buying mangoes
Volcano Fuego
Street scene


Oh no, it's snowing. It must be time to head off into some sunshine. We plan to visit three Central American countries that are all new to us - Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Each country spans the width of Central America from the Atlantic to the Pacific and each country is about the size of England. Guatemala is the most northerly. Here we will be staying in the old capital, Antigua before heading to Panajachel on Lake Atitlan. A bit like the English Lake District but the mountains are volcanoes! Travelling east, we will cross into Honduras. Our first planned stop is at Copan and its ancient (1500 BC!) Mayan ruins. Copan is also in the middle of the jungle, so we'll be looking out for monkeys, sloths and parrots too. Then onward to the Atlantic ... read more


We were dropped off at the bus by Carlos the owner of Casa Verde hostel in the morning with our friend from Norway. The bus arrived from San Salvador an hour late and we headed to Guatamala City sitting at the back of the bus by the toilet. On the bus we met another kiwi and the four of us caught a local chicken bus to Antigua. As we were first on the bus we ended up sitting towards the front which turned out to be a bad idea, as the locals would prefer to squeeze onto an already full seat rather than walk a couple of rows further back to an empty seat. Let's just say at times it was rather cozy. Antigua is a beautiful city with cobblestone streets and some stunning buildings. It's ... read more
In hospital
Pupusa place
Cooking class dinner


Sigh; last day. We had said farewell to Becky and Benny the night before as they had a departure transfer of 07:30. Made plans to meet with Randy and Janice at 08 for breakfast, then decided to wander around, find our new hotels (all of us had to move for our post night), search for carpets and enjoy the morning, with plans to meet Justin at 1pm for lunch in the main square. Well, Old Town Outfitters had given me a map with the hotel marked on said map, even highlighted all pretty like. We found Randy and Janice’s hotel easily enough; other then there being 2 hotels with almost the exact same name one block apart, we knew at least *one* of those was theirs. Then came ours. Let’s just say it was a good ... read more
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April 17th (I wrote this before I found out about Opie, so figured it needed to be posted to my dear followers) Yay! Our bike riding excursion to the coffee plantation and the smaller villages was today! Yipee - exercise in the hot blistering sun at 3,500 feet elevation! woot-woot! And once again I booked this! We had breakfast, then walked up to meet OldTown Outfitters and walked a few blocks to get our bikes. Larry’s bike wheel was semi flat and asked to have it filled. The guy couldn’t fill it (kept pssstttttt slowly) and said Gee I have to get you a new bike as your tire is flat. (you think?) Renting bikes in any developing nation is always entertaining; this was not the worst or the best vehicle, however it would do. I ... read more
super unique flower in the coffee plantation
Took them 18 clippings to get one to grow!
OK, I"m a sucker for flowers!


We were so excited to know that we had 3 nights in the same hotel, and if it wasn’t for the Semana Santa holiday we could have stayed here 4 nights. So nice to actually unpack; knowing you are staying put for a few days, crazy broken shower and all:-) Larry had gotten up early, wandered all the way to the square (about 10-15 minute walk) and brought back REAL good coffee. I was all ‘so where did you go; Guatemala City?” (I thought he was going to the restaurant) and when I looked up and saw the real coffee I squealed. Apparently I was too busy inhaling the coffee to say thank you - so I figured a PUBLIC thank you would help to make up for it!! We had the official city tour with ... read more
Fountain in central Park
Becky and her new friend. Big smiles!
Main Cathedral


Today was our last (YAY!) travel day. We were all happy about that as it was getting a bit tiring being in the van all the time. We had a half hour boat ride back to Panachal, then about a 3 hour van ride to Antigua and we would be FREE from travel. FREE AT LAST! Kidding. sort of. This last van was very small with little leg room (and that’s saying a lot coming from me) with dark windows. I must admit I was feeling quite claustrophobic in it and restless. Then Justin put on a video (it actually had a small TV screen) of Mel Gibson’s movie the Apocalypto from 2006. Justine figured after all the Mayan sites we had visited (3; 2 in Honduras and one in Guatemala) we would appreciate seeing an ... read more
Beautiful, calm morning for a canoe
Local fisherman on Lake Atitlan
Waterfall along the highway back to Antigua


Our Arrival The bus from Guatemala City dropped us at the bus station near the market. The town is a few minutes walk past the market stalls. Where We Stayed Hotel Posada Refugio II - Down a small street opposite the Terrace hostel on 3a Calle Poniente between Calzada Santa Lucia and 7a Avenue Norte. Q100 for a double room with private bathroom and hot showers. Kitchen available on the roof terrace. No internet but we picked up free wifi the whole time we were there. Try and get a room upstairs. Posado Vero - Down the other small street on Calle Poniente. Q80 for a room with shared bathroom. Really strong internet and a bit of a roof terrace with laundry sink. What We Did Walked around town looking at the many churches and ruins. ... read more


This is how we went from Santa Ana El Salvador to Antigua Guatemala on chicken buses for about $6.50. 1. Catch the 210 bus to Ahuachapan from the bus station in the market. We got on it at 6:45am as it was making its way through the market. It took until 7:00am to get out of the town. It cost 50 cents and arrived in Ahuachapan at 8am. 2. Catch a minibus to Las Chinamas border. The bus from Santa Ana drops you on the side of a road on the edge of town. Walk towards the main road in front of you. On the right are signs to the centre of town. Follow the signs and go right down a hill towards a 'Bomba' sign. There was a minibus 11a parked on the side of ... read more


YYYAAAYYYY!!! It's time for Ned to go on Vacation with a capital "V"! hastagvacation! Super excited, I feel like I haven't done a get down and dirty, hang with the locals on their mud floors, eat street meat, fresh fruit, end up with 'ahem' bathroom issues due to previously mentioned events; feel better and do it all over again! My last visit to the Central/South America continent (which is without question my fav) was in Dec 2010 when I did Chile, Argentina, and Easter Island. That was the trip that started this blog, truth be told, and I am beyond delighted to be here again, about to set foot on Spanish soil. My language skills may not be any better, but I will have a heap of fun trying!! Of course preparations for this trip were ... read more




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