Our New Year Eve plans included driving out to Antigua and spending the day in town before having a cookout at a house on the outside of town.
Antigua is a small town in the highlands of Guatemala, known for its Spanish Baroque-influenced architecture. It used to be the capital for the Kingdom of Guatemala in the 1500s. Now, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site and serves as the home base for many tourists visiting Guatemala.
The city is surrounded by volcanoes, including the Volcán de Agua, which is visible from many spots in Antigua.
There are many parking lots around Antigua as well as street parking. We opted to park in the parking lot of Hotel Casa Santo Domingo, which is the premier hotel in Antigua. We walked around the hotel and hung out with some parrots in the courtyard. They also have several museums on the property – a Colonial Museum, an Archeology Museum, a Pre-Columbian Glass Museum, and a Silver Museum.
Further into town is the famous Arco de Santa Catalina, one of the most distinguishable landmarks in Antigua. Located on 5th Avenue North, it was built in the 17th century and connected the Santa Catalina convent to the school. If you walk through the arch and turn around, you get a lovely view of Volcán de Agua through the arch.
Along the street are also tons of street vendors and restaurants. We stopped inside two of them to have a drink and lunch during the day.
There are many, many stores and small tiendas along the streets of Antigua. I did so much quality souvenir shopping here!
Pro Tip: Wear comfortable shoes because all of Antigua is cobblestone!