When you get around here on our way, you can see the enthusiastic tourists put the backpack on foot or in the colorful buses, to put a large tourist route between the city, pre-Columbian ruins and colonial markets endless, volcanoes, lakes and more …
Photography by Rambling Traveler
Guatemala in the Aztec language means place of many trees, which is ratified from the moment you step on this country. With varied ecosystems and landscapes in an area of 108,889 square kilometers, two thirds of the territory are formed by volcanic mountains.
Getting around Guatemala is not easy. Much less for whom, as in this case, make a budget. His main means of public transportation are the buses, also known by the international community of backpackers and chicken bus. These buses have the same size as the classics and yellow American school children, those we see in Hollywood movies or chapters of The Simpsons, but painted a thousand colors and packed with passengers, luggage and even animals.
In a seat for two easily accommodate four drivers to drive fast regardless of the state of the route. The traveler must pay close attention to climbing. It is usually necessary to combinations in which, among other things, we need to pray that in time to change bus, someone remembers the luggage you reach the ceiling, all in time to board the next vehicle .
The first destination of this trip was Chichicastenango. In the center of the country, 145 kilometers from the capital, this city is home to a famous market. Thursdays and Sundays, the largest fair of Central America extends for street after street, outdoors, with stalls of clothes, food, crafts, ceramics, wood, masks, flowers, jewelry and more, where prices There, everything depends on the ability to bargain.
Beyond shopping, the town of Chichi is showing a remarkable fusion of Catholic and indigenous rituals. In the church of St. Thomas, for example, very near the market and built in the sixteenth century Mayan structures on the premises knees praying in the dark floors covered with candles and venerating the shamanistic culture industries, in the cemetery, where even today in some cases animals are killed, you see a number of fascinating colors black or gray away from the Catholic tradition.
Places to visit:
From Chichi, took only two stretches in chicken bus to get to Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala’s top tourist destination, designated a world heritage site by Unesco in 1979. In the small town there is plenty to see and the guides offer their services at each point of attraction. That’s how we met Raul and, through their words, a little of the history of Antigua.
The city, which was begun in 1543, was the capital of the then Kingdom of Guatemala. But after a series of strong earthquakes, remembered as the earthquakes of Santa Marta, the capital was moved in 1773 to the present city of Guatemala. Antigua And so today, frozen in time, has a large number of ruined churches, among other baroque buildings, many designed by architect De Porres. These include the cathedral, opposite the Plaza Mayor, with walls dating from 1600, a dome homeless and a beautiful facade.
Photography by John Pavelka
The City Hall, next to the cathedral, home to museums. Convent of the Capuchin cloister aspiring nuns, founded in 1725, is now occupied by the National Council for the Protection of Antigua Guatemala. The Convent of the collection, founded in 1700 as the College of the Crucified Christ Apostolic Missionaries, even in ruins, was rebuilt. The church and convent of La Merced, with its wonderful yellow facade of every detail and baroque houses one of the largest sources of the city in its courtyard.
The Santa Catalina arch Pila Union, created in order that the nuns of her convent are not seen to cross from one side to the other property, is now the center icon of the city. Captains Palace, built in the sixteenth century arches over the main square, occupies an entire city block, now with police offices and tour assistance. Also the churches of Santa Lucia, San Sebastian, San Agustin, San Jose, Santa Teresa del Carmen, San Pedro, Santa Clara convent, San Francisco, the Conception, the Santa Cruz, Candelaria, Santa Rosa Lima, Santo Domingo, St. Jerome.
Apart from such a wide collection of architecture, is the Cerro de la Cruz. To know, one option is to climb in guided groups to appreciate the views of the city and the volcano of water in the background.
Go to eat:
At night there are a variety of restaurants, from Japanese, French, Italian to Mexican and Guatemalan, all dim light and yellow accompanying the magic of the ancient buildings of the city and its cobbled streets. There are bars with dance music where you can drink and meet people. It is advisable to leave early anyway because the 22 places begin to shut down and people are retired.
Photography by Fernando Reyes Palencia
Enjoy your trip!