Things to keep in mind:
- $1 = 7.8 Quetzal
- I went with my Guatemalan friend so I did not plan
- All pictures were taken with FUJI X100S
The next day, I woke up early and started parking for our day in Antigua. Keep in mind, I have no idea of where I was going or what to expect. We left around 1 pm and there was no traffic. The ride took us approximately an hour. We stopped at this apparently very famous restaurant, Chichoy. It started as a small restaurant and grew to what it is today. It had fresh tortilla, made right there and then and the best chicken soup I have ever had in my life. I spent around 90 Quetzales for soup, papaya smoothie, and tip. A lot of people stop here on their way to Antigua or Lago Atitlan.
If you are driving, you have to get a parking pass, which will allow you to park in the city for a day.
As soon as we drove in, I started awing everywhere I looked. The first thing I noticed, were the tourists with their huge cameras. I immediately felt relieved that I could relax and not feel so paranoid with my new camera. After all, my camera looked like a little old worthless camera compared to those huge DSLRs hanging on all those tourists’ neck.
I felt in love with this little city. The colonial façade, the rustic look, the natural feel, Antigua was simply amazing. I have always preferred big cities over small town but Antigua has proven me wrong. Their locals were very welcoming and I cannot describe how much I loved this place…
After settling down at our wonderful hotel Palacio de Doña Leonor and let me point out first, I could come to Antigua just to relax in this place. It really takes you to a different time and into one of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel. We walked to the nearest typical Guatemalan restaurant. Needless to say, I stuffed my face as per usual. Each dish was probably around 50 to 90 Quetzales. After lunch/dinner we walked around the city.
We had breakfast at the hotel and enjoyed for awhile the calmness of the place. We did more things on day 3 than the day before. We went to a monastery ruined by earthquakes and another monastery infamous by the way they used to punish their nuns. They will lock them up in a room where a drop of water would fall on their head until the water breaks the skull and kill the nun. Yes, you just read that. Around 4 we left this beautiful place and back to the city. We stopped at another famous restaurant, La Cabaña Suiza. I honestly liked Chichoy much much better. We made it back to the city, packed again, and head out once again this time to Panajachel.
From Guatemala city to Panajachel takes around 3 hours. We arrived late at night and I’m glad because I didn’t get to see where we were driving. I would have panicked with the narrow roads and buses driving narrowly close to you.
We settle at our hotel Hotel Atitlan and went to bed early to wake up fresh the next day.