Volcanoes, Hot Tamales & Sunshine..Oh My! Antigua, Guatemala


I’m not gonna lie–Antigua, Guatemala was full of surprises. I’m not crazy about nature but was pretty geeked at the sight of smoke oozing from  Volcán de Fuego. I wasn’t a huge fan of tamales, but I cooked 8 steamed banana leaf hot tamales filled with pork and ate about 2.  I packed ponchos & rain boots to prepare for rainy season, then danced and sang my heart out during infrequent, short, heavy burst of rain.  Three days later, I’m back in the United States and still in awe of the #1 destination in Central America that stole my heart.

Here’s a snap shot of my first few days!

Kandia JOhnson_Antigua, Guatemala

Antigua, is surrounded by three volcanoes, Volcán de Agua (Volcano of Water), Acatenango and Volcán de Fuego (Volcano of Fire).

Antigua, Guatemala,  a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a well-preserved Spanish colonial town that takes you back in time to the 1700′s. A major earthquake left many of its spanish baroque influenced buildings and streets in ruins. Today, major tourist attractions like museums, hotels, parks and restaurants are built around these amazing ruins, attracting tourist from all over the world.


Peace and Tranquility at Hotel Cirilo. This amazing boutique hotel, built around the restored ruins of a colonial church from the eighteenth century, only features 7 rooms but it packs a punch with the beautiful grounds, services and amenities. Each room also has pool side access.

My second hotel: A luxurious stay at Museo Hotel Santo Domingo. This hotel is home to 7 colonial and archeology museums. It also features amazing views of volcanoes, top-notch service, and food. In addition to history and beauty, rooms includes a fireplace, historic art, and wood beamed ceilings.

How can one small town be packed with so much flavor? From Asian to Latin American cuisine, this town has it all.  I enrolled in  a 3.5 hour cooking class at El Frijol Feliz. This was one of my top three authentic experiences in Guatemala. Although pretty, the big plantain leaf which the tamales are served is not edible. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the inside, I gobbled it up too fast!  Stay tuned for more of my Guatemalan Adventures…



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