Local Travel Guide: (Antigua) Guatemala Part 2 « Tanya & Victor

Local Travel Guide: (Antigua) Guatemala Part 2

See our first week in Guatemala chronicles here.

During our second week in our Guatemalan travels, the new year quickly approached, and we got news that Victor’s grandmother wasn’t doing too well. While we had a checklist of things that we wanted to see and do, we decided to put those in the back-burner for another time. We tried to be supportive and hanged around Guatemala City for a little longer. We escaped for a couple of days to beautiful Antigua after our trip to the Pacific coast for New Year’s. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Victor so happy during the Holidays and that was a gift in itself.

While we were in Monterrico, I begged my sister in love to go to the beach, the real kind, where water is a turquoise blue and its temperature rivals a jacuzzi in the Bay Area. My excellent idea brought sand fury to places in our bodies where one should never get sand with each roaring wave that came our way. Funny, I had remembered the Pacific to be well more pacific than that. With each wave that almost swallowed us, we neglected our personal things for a bit and found that it wasn’t out of the ocean’s reach too. Alas, our travel camera paid the price and with it some precious memories. Note to self: don’t underestimate water, especially Ocean water. Thank God for insurance and Canon Protection Services!

Having only spent New Years in the Bay Area, it was almost magical to see tropical fireworks and hearing the whole coast lift in a unified cheer when the clock struck 12. Everyone greeted and embraced each other, friends, family and strangers alike. We had started the new year, and even though it was away from my traditional sense of new year’s, the joy and gratitude were as familiar as the previous years.

After our tropical getaway, we spent another few days in Antigua Guatemala. We had planned to go to Xela, one of Victor’s favorite towns. I also wanted to see the beautiful outdoor market of Chichicastenango. Next time. We walked and went to as many museums, shops, workshops and co-ops as possible. Antigua is very European influenced, so I could spend my entire time there and never be able to see all of it. From it’s touristy corners to authentic foods and textiles, I always walk away inspired and with fresh ideas. We scouted so many places for possible projects that we can’t wait to share soon!

On our last days, we enjoyed the company of our family. Victor was able to say goodbye to his 95-year-old grandmother. She passed just a few weeks after our departure. We’d like to dedicate this post to her as she knows that without her we wouldn’t have beautiful Guatemala in our roots. Hasta pronto abuelita Tini la recordamos para siempre.

Where we stayed: There are many beautiful hostels, hotels, inns and Airbnb’s in Antigua, but we recommend Casa de Don Pedro (everything is walkable distance) They can also recommend guides and breakfast included.

Transportation: You can get to Antigua in a short (or long traffic depending) by Uber for $17-$25. Hail a Tuk Tuk (motorbike taxi) if you get tired when walking around Antigua Guatemala. For only 20Q you can around the city easily.

Budget-Friendly Eats: Ta’cool

Fine Authentic Dining: El Cazador Italiano o Almacen Trocoli

Favorite Cafe: There are so many but we like the classic & Cafe

Attractions we did: Convent de Capuchina, Santo Domingo Ruins, Iglesia La Merced, Museo del Hermano Pedro, La Antigua Universidad de San Carlos, Santo Domingo, Parque Central (spontaneous Marimba performances), Chocomuseo, El Mercado de Artesenia, El Cerro de la Cruz, El Tenedor for outdoor activities and fine dining.


  • We recommend comfortable walking shoes because of the uneven streets and all of the cobblestones. Similar to Rome.
  • Antigua has beautiful weather, dress in light layers.
  • Don’t forget to pack your camera, Antigua is a beautiful and scenic city full of character and history. If photographing in film, bring enough rolls! We ran out and there’s no store in any place that carries 120 film stock.
  • Make time to visit El Mercado de Artesenia (the Craftsmanship Market). You can barter at these market shops and will find unique items.
  • Take Quetzales for stress-free transactions. Although there are many ATM’s and major banks throughout the city, sometimes processing debits in some stores will cause alerts back home resulting in blocking your card even if you made a travel note.
  • Antigua is very diverse and there are many English-speaking services available, but you’ll be treated like a local if you speak Spanish.
  • For the best bread in all of the world visit Panaderia San Antonio de Cuchicuchi

Victor and his nephew walking over waters, one of my favorites sights in the world and hopefully a vignette into our future.The view from the backyard of our Airbnb in Likin. Mario Hugo finally making his debut in the blog {pictured on the right}! Enric, the biggest daredevil of all the three-year old’s.The little river behind our Airbnb opens up to the coast.  Finally, in Antigua and every corner is begging for a picture. Litterally. Obviously we don’t get enough of this little guy. Santo Domingo Can you picture a styled shoot here? Or perhaps a workshop? Stay tuned!Pink walls and my sister-in-love with our boy Enric.  Taking a stroll on our way to El Parque Central, the towncenter.El Convento.
Universidad de San Carlos, the first university of all Guatemala now serves as a museum. Some of the Mayan women selling their textiles, they were kind enough to pose for me. Oh these vines remind me of Rome. A capture from our Hotel Casa Don Pedro Victor in his element. Arches for days
Experimented with Cinestill 800 for these captures. Love the crisp it lends the image and the punch for colors.  Love little shops like this one. I can easily spend hours in each one.  Photographed on Cinestill 800
Sometimes I get carried away eating fruits especially mangoes when in Antigua.
The View from Victor’s grandparents’ house, our usual stay while in Guatemala.

Film scans: The Find Lab





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