Guatemala is filled with such a colorful culture, that a lifetime is not enough to fully appreciate the wonders this country has to offer. Even for me, I was born and raised here, I am still getting to know it! This past weekend, my friends and I got the opportunity to experience different activities in Antigua. Usually, people only go to Antigua to walk around and eat but there is so much more to do.
We stayed at El Convento Boutique Hotel, one of the best hotels in Antigua. It is conveniently located near all the major tourist attractions and offers some incredible amenities within its premises. Each room is fully equipped with anything you could need, from a fully stocked mini bar, to a giant flatscreen TV, to as many towels you could need (something that is much appreciated because you never realize how many towels you need when traveling). The size of the rooms are fantastic, and the king-sized bed was HEAVENLY. But, my favorite part is, hands down, the bathroom. The bathroom was probably larger than my own room, and the bathtub was big enough for me to fully submerge myself and not even bend my knees. I rarely take any baths, but with a bathroom this beautiful how could I not. The pool area is super chic with two lounge chairs on one side and a table for two on the other end - perfect for a romantic candle-lit dinner.
Breakfast is included with your stay at El Convento Boutique Hotel, and it is a definite MUST. I have enjoyed every breakfast I have had in Antigua, but I have to say that this is perhaps the best and tastiest breakfast. With a wide variety of multi cultural dishes to order, it is hard to only pick one! I highly recommend the Avocado Toast and the Smoked Salmon Bagel.
Nightlife in Antigua is completely different than the city, mainly due to the cultural melting pot. You get every single tourist at all the bars and clubs - perfect for meeting new people! A great spot to begin your night is El Barrio. This place has different bars that can satisfy any type of drink craving you might have. If you are in the mood for GIANT fishbowls, the Lava is the bar for you. And if you are in the mood for fun-named shots, then I suggest the shot bar and order the Rainbow Puke. To continue your night, a classic club everyone goes to is Vibras. This place has two floors, a dance floor, multiple bars, and a terrace. To end your night go to El Santo Perdido, think of this "pop-up club" as a Brooklyn warehouse rave... a very unique experience and worth trying at least once.
Picture this, you travel to Guatemala and do not know what to get your loved ones back home. Suddenly, you stumble upon Casa Del Jade and think to yourself "what better gift than Guatemala's precious stone?" But, what if YOU made the piece yourself? At Casa Del Jade, there is a workshop called I Carved My Jade, where first you get a person tour of the museum and then you make your own jade jewelry from scratch. You learn about the different types of jades, which ones work best if you wanna carve something on them, and you get to use the machines to craft your perfect piece. I chose black jade, so I could carve the Deathly Hallows on it. At the end of the workshop, you get a unique, custom-made piece. We had a wonderful time and the instructors, Sassy and Diego, where the absolute best! If you are looking for something different to do, this is definitely the spot for you!
If you are looking for great and authentic Guatemalan cuisine, you have to go to La Esquina. Not only is this place aesthetically perfect, but the food options are exquisite! To be honest, it is hard to find a spot to sit at because every place is so pretty and picture-perfect. So I recommend sitting in the middle, to fully appreciate the beauty of La Esquina. Something I really loved about this place was their inclusion of vegetarian/vegan food, I like how Guatemala is adapting to healthier options. So, we ordered different types of tacos and one of them were mushroom tacos! They really taste the same as any regular taco, since you can add whatever topping you want and most of them are vegan. Make sure to leave some room for dessert, because the doughnuts here are D E L I C I O U S.
Other great spots to eat, if you are in the mood for a different type of cuisine, I highly recommend El Cazador Italiano, Ta'Cool, Helados Sobremesa, and Samsara. Each offers its own unique experience and flavors that are sure to stay with you long after you leave Antigua. If you are in the mood for super healthy vegan food, Samsara is definitely for you!
An Antigua getaway is not complete without the classic tourist stops, of course! Make sure to walk La Calle Del Arco, visit La Merced and take full advantage of every Instagram-worthy wall. I have truly seen Antigua through different eyes, and I am sure there are activities I have yet to discover and try. To visit Antigua, is to dive into the heart of Guatemala and the experience is even better with close friends! Thank you for joining me in this adventure.