By Rose Overbey
Antigua
Guatamala
Photo gallery
Antigua, Guatemala has a well deserved reputation as one of the best preserved colonial cities in the Americas. The height of this city's population was in the 1770's. A set of earthquakes in that same decade lead to a sharp decline in residents. Without the pressure of a growing population, colonial churches remained untouched and visitors can still see the beautiful styles of architecture that were inspired during the decades of the city's growth. 

EscapeWizard.com invites you to see Antigua, Guatemala for yourself. La Aurora International Airport (GUA) in Guatemala City is the closet airport. It is about 30 miles away from Antigua, but shuttles are easy to find. Book your flight today with EscapeWizard.com: To do so, please follow the link to make flight arrangements (www.escapewizard.com/flight.php). And, when booking your hotel with EscapeWizard.com, just click on this link (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl) to book your accommodations today.

Antigua is a popular tourist destination. For good reason, beginning in the 1540's it was the headquarters for the Spanish Colonial administration which was responsible for governing a majority of modern day Central America. Under Spanish influence it grew for 200 years. EscapeWizard.com suggests you begin your tour of Antigua at the heart of the city. The Parque Central is located in the center of the city. The park is rich with trees and walkways throughout, benches for resting, and a fountain in the middle. The roads around the city were designed in a grid-like formation coming out from the Parque Central. Surrounding the park are local government offices, a cathedral and banks. Today the Parque Central is a lively hub of activity and a wonderful place to start exploring the city.

EscapeWizard.com surmises that after a trip to the Parque Central you may be drawn to the Cerro de la Cruz, a cross which sits high upon a hill to the north. A manageable walk, a trip to the Cerro de la Cruz is rewarded with a wonderful view of the area. It's recommended to travel with a police escort though, as the trail winds through a poor community and robbers have been known to prey on tourists.

Because of Antigua's history as the capital city of Central America for almost 200 years, the buildings have a strong European influence. EscapeWizard.com recommends visiting some of the churches throughout Antigua. There is a cathedral right outside the Parque Central. Another beautiful church to visit is the Nuestra Señora de la Merced -- or commonly referred to as La Merced.

If you're up for an adventure EscapeWizard.com recommends climbing one of the volcanoes in the area. Three volcanoes, Acatenango, Agua and Fuego, surround the city providing a breathtaking backdrop to the city. Climbing each is a challenge, but the view from the top is worth the journey. It might be worthwhile to travel with a guide, particularly to Fuego -- which is still active and often spits smoke, steam and lava from its crater.

EscapeWizard.com urges you to explore Antigua for yourself. The mixed architecture throughout the city will enchant you. You can get around town on a "Chicken-Bus" which charges reasonable fares to get around town. These buses are very crowded and it's recommended you familiarize yourself with their routes before you just hop on one. Be sure to be aware of your surroundings and take advantage of services that are offered to keep you safe from robbery -- such as police escorts, or shuttles to and from the airport. The city is a wonderful and enchanting place to visit, but like any foreign experience it should be approached with awareness. Just click the link above and book your next trip to Antigua with EscapeWizard.com.