The site contains Antigua Guatemala sights - photos, descriptions and travel tips. The list is based on popular guides and is presented by type, name and rating. Here you will find answers to questions: what to see in Antigua Guatemala, where to go and where are the popular and interesting places of Antigua Guatemala.
The architectural heritage of this city of Antigua-Guatemala is a real asset of world art and culture. Most of the surviving buildings or fragments of them are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. In this list there is also the Cathedral of the city, or rather the preserved ornate and pompous facade of the building.
Initially, this magnificent cathedral was built approximately in 1541, and for decades it has undergone changes from the emerging earthquakes. So, in 1680, the largest cathedral in Latin America was rebuilt after another shock, but after the earthquake of 1773, little survived. Although restoration work was carried out, the temple was partially restored.
Bird Island is a tiny island located east of the island of Antigua, the state of Antigua and Barbuda. You can get on it by boat from the capital of Antigua - the city of St. John's. The island with beautiful clear water and snow-white sands, on which tropical plants grow, attracts fans of ornithology.
The island got its name due to the huge number of birds that live here all year round. It is a unique place, since it is inhabited by a large colony of frigates - oceanic birds of the copepod family, which is also called the Weather Bird.
The frigate is a national bird of the country and is striking in its beauty. The wingspan of the largest representatives of this species, the males of which have a red sac on their chest, swelling during the mating season, reaches 2 meters. Birds are not at all afraid of people, calmly hunt fish, build nests and raise chicks. You can watch them for several hours, they will not pay any attention to you.
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The Volcano Pacaya in Antigua is one of a series of volcanoes located along the Pacific coast of Guatemala. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Its height is 2500 meters.
About 1100 years ago, after a powerful eruption, Pakaya volcano was partially destroyed. Between the beginning of the 16th century and the beginning of the 19th century, 23 strong volcanic eruptions occurred. Then, from 1860 to 1961, the volcano slept, an eruption occurred in 1961, another one in 1965, and since then the volcano has been erupting continuously. Sometimes the eruption is especially powerful, as, for example, in 2000, when the authorities of Guatemala were even forced to close the airport.
Tourists have the opportunity to climb to the top of the volcano. After passing about 4-5 kilometers, they will be able to admire streams of boiling lava from a height of 2.5 thousand meters.
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Tikal National Park
One of the most significant Mayan architectural monuments that have survived to this day is the ancient city of Tikal, located in the heart of the tropical forests of modern Guatemala. The city was the capital of the Mutulan kingdom, one of the most powerful Mayan kingdoms.
The city has thousands of archaeological sites. To date, about three thousand objects have been discovered and described, and more than ten thousand have yet to be explored. Of greatest interest are six large pyramids, with temples on the peaks dating back to the 7th-8th centuries. In addition to the traditional designations in Roman numerals, these temples were given romantic names - the temple of the jaguar and the temple of the mask, the temple of the two-headed snake and the temple of inscriptions. In addition to monumental architectural monuments, Tikal is known for carved inscriptions and ornaments, as well as multicolor ceramics.
Tikal National Park is proud not only of unique palaces and pyramids. Much work is being done to conserve rare and endangered species of wild animals, such as ocelots, bakers, monkeys, parrots and, of course, jaguars.
The Church of Calvary, or Calvario, is located in the city of Antigua, in Guatemala. This catholic church was built in 1655. It is located at the end of Calvary Street, on which once stood wooden crosses marking the 1392 steps of Jesus Christ on the way to Calvary. In 1643, crosses were replaced by small chapels, subsequently destroyed by an earthquake and rebuilt in 1943.
In front of the church there are solemn gates with three doors and three small bells, next to which you can see a large cross. In the churchyard you can admire palm trees. There is also a sacred tree behind a small fence.
The church inside is decorated with statues of saints, paintings on religious themes are placed on the walls.
Central Park in Koban
Coban is a district center in the department of Alta Verapas in Guatemala. The city was founded by Dominican missionaries in 1543. The name of the city in the language of the Kecchi Indians means "foggy place." The basis of the local economy was the cultivation of coffee.
Koban Central Park is located next to the city's cathedral. On the other side of the park is the governor's palace and the city hall. A small triangular park, laid out on top of a hill, is a favorite meeting place for locals. In the center of the park is a statue of Manuel Tautou, a member of the Independence Movement, one of the leaders of the uprising, called the Bethlehem Conspiracy.
The central park of Koban hosts all the important events in the life of the city. For example, every year at the end of July, the finale of the annual Rabin Ajau folklore festival dedicated to the choice of Queen Maya is held here. Unlike traditional beauty contests, the main criterion for choosing the “daughter of the king” is how the name of the festival is translated, its leadership qualities and contribution to preserving the traditions of the Mayan people.
Located away from the main tourist routes, the Takalik-Abah archaeological site is not very popular, and even gives the impression of a somewhat forgotten place, but, nevertheless, is interesting enough to spend a couple of hours or two in it.
The ruins of the once prosperous city of Quirigua cannot be called very spectacular, but they are so important for the history of the region that they are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The fact is that several dozen steles were discovered here, which told a lot about Maya.
This city dates back to the post-classical period when the Mayan civilization collapsed, but the Spaniards had not yet arrived on the continent with their destructive colonial mission. It is felt that the scope and scale are not the same as before, but still there are plenty of objects.
Another tourist "outsider", also related to the post-classical Indian world. Located in the highlands, far from all other attractions, and not too often visited. And this is in vain - there are not so many details, simple forms prevail, but very atmospheric.
Mishko Viejo, another architectural monument left to us by the Maya Indians, even at the peak of prosperity was medium in size, and it was not preserved perfectly. Nevertheless, he has actually a “face”, and the relatively small distance from him to the capital makes his visit an elementary task.
The Yashha complex is located on the inaccessible territory of the Mayan Biosphere Reserve, where several large urban centers (Nakum, Narankho) are found in the jungle, but you can often get to them only by horse-drawn transport. About five hundred structures have been excavated in Yashha, among which are the Royal Palace, the Northern Acropolis, the Astronomical complex, two ball stadiums, the Eastern Acropolis, the Shadow Square and the Twin Pyramid Complex, connected by a network of sacred sakbe roads.
Tikal - Guatemala's main attraction
Tikal, located in the rainforest valley in the north of Guatemala, is one of the main tourist attractions of the country because of its beauty and ancient secrets that it keeps. The name Tikal translates as “a place where the voices of spirits are heard” or “city of voices”. In the past, the city boasted a population of a quarter million people or more.
Today, however, all that remains of this ancient city is the beautiful Mayan ruins. The city is surrounded by a large hunting reserve full of monkeys, parrots, deer, macaws and other exotic species of animals. You will need to set aside at least two days for a thorough study of this natural pearl.