Like many travellers do, we entered Guatemala via its capital Guatemala City – and left again as soon as we could locate our driver at the airport arrivals gate. Guatemala City has a dangerous reputation and few charms to offer tourists. What it does offer is easy access to Antigua: a charming colonial town beautifully situated in a valley overshadowed by three looming volcanoes.
The picturesque factor in Antigua is high to extreme. Between the rows of brightly coloured houses, you frequently stumble across the ruins of far more impressive structures; whether they were churches, mansions or perhaps theaters, we weren’t always sure.
At the same time, the town is small enough to be very walkable, with plenty to see and do, both within the town and close by. Some of our highlights were a chocolate making workshop at the Choco Museo, roasting marshmallows on the lava field on Volcan Pacaya and lunch at an organic farm that is a hub of community life.
But perhaps our most memorable experience was sitting in the lovely garden of our Airbnb on our first morning. It was a beautiful sunny day and our view of the active Volcan Fuego was crystal clear.