Apr 3, 2008

City Icons: Antigua Guatemala

Antigua’s icon is a sleeping giant. And you don’t want to wake it up.

Dominating this small charming city’s landscape is the 12,000+ feet Vulcan Agua. You can see it from virtually any of Antigua’s many cobblestone streets.

Fortunately the volcano, one of three surrounding Antigua, has not erupted since the 1600s. Its cousins are Vulcan Acatenango and Vulcan Fuego. The latter is still active and erupts regularly.

You can hike up Vulcan Aqua but if you do it's best to take a guide as muggings do occur. It takes about 4-5 hours to ascend. I’m told the climb is strenuous but doable for most in reasonable shape. When climbing volcanoes wearing sturdy footwear is a must. Volcanic rock will shred the soles of your shoes like a misshapen cheese grater.

7 comments:

Rosie said...

Cool post! I've always wanted to go to Antigua - I've heard they have great language schools. I've also heard it feels like "time stopped" in terms of city architecture and development after so many people left as a result of earthquakes and volcanoes. What did you think?

Thanks for the great photo!

Wendy said...

Hi Rosie,
Thank you. It's a lovely place and there are many good language schools. I met quite a few people who were there doing home stays to learn Spanish. It's very reasonable on the pocket. I recommend traveling to Guatemala if you get the chance.

GMG said...

Hi Wendy, here I am for my weekly visit and look what I see: Gone to... Dubai (not Patagonia)!
I was thinking of Dubai before Easter, but the Burj-al-Arab was fully booked. Look forward to seeing the pictures from your room on top floors... ;) and for your comments at Blogtrotter, where I’m still strolling around Bilbao. Also Spanish speaking, but not like Antigua, btw beautifully pictured on your post!
Have a great weekend!
Gil

Wendy said...

Hey Gil,
Can't say I have photos from the top floor of the Burj but I certainly have them of the top floors:^)

Jeffrey Hayes said...

Antigua is definitely a place that I have wanted to visit to practice my Spanish, especially since it is so cheap there. One of my friends just returned from Antigua, and said that the Semana Santa festival was unforgettable. I always thought Spain was more well-known for its Semana Santa festivals.

My friend also said that Antigua is the best city in which to experience the "authentic" Latin America -- with really welcoming people, beautiful colonial architecture, and so much culture. I guess the best way to know for sure is to experience it for myself. The picture alone is enough motivation for me to go!

Anonymous said...

qhippkthi wendy
my wife and i climbed acatenango and fuego in march [ very long hard climb and overnight] fuego erupted when we were on it. will post picture at some point
mike and mary flagstaff az

Wendy said...

Hi Mike,
sounds like a night to remember to say the least!