This summer, my boyfriend and I started our Central American adventure in Antigua, Guatemala.
Volcanoes rise up around the edge of the city, dominating the skyline at every turn. The buildings are painted bright colours, cobbled streets give way to crumbling old churches and buildings and Mayan women sell their crafts on street corners. We immediately fell in love with the small town.
From Antigua, we took a day trip to the town of Chichicastenango, two hours into the mountains, to visit their market which takes place twice a week. It is a sprawling market of Mayan goods and fresh tortillas being cooked. At first, it seems HUGE but you quickly find your bearings in the streets.
The church in the centre of the town, Iglesia de Santo Tomas, is surrounded by flower sellers. You can book a trip to Chichicastenango at any of the many excursion sellers in Antigua, or take public bus. We chose to book a trip, and did so relatively cheaply by assessing the competition between four sellers on the same street – by the fourth shop, the man asked for the best price we had received so far, then offered to beat it. It’s always worth taking some time to browse your options when you’re on a budget!
I would highly recommend a day trip to Chichi on market day – I came home with some lovely Mayan purses and gifts for family.
Another great activity in Antigua is to walk up to Cerro de la Cruz (cross on the hill) – this gives you a spectacular view across Antigua, and on a good day, right over to the volcanoes surrounding.