Out of the mountains and into a little colonial village called Antigua. The vibe ofthe city is all over the place because of the cobblestone streets and dilapidated churches but then also trendy coffee shops and upscale shopping. I was ready to be amongst a ton of tourists from Florida and Texas, but as we looked around we found that maybe 1 out of every 20 people on the streets was a European/American tourist. For the most part, local Guatemalan's and other locals from Central America come to Antigua. This gives it a great local feel and I was still very much aware that I was in Guatemala.
A view from our roof
We splurged a little and put ourselves in a cute little hotel (mostly so we could tell our families we were out of the roach motels)
So, this would be our home for New Years! We explored everything from the local market to a hike up a volcano. The market was an odd mix of offering washing machines, nike shoes, fruit smoothies and of course pirated movies. But it did give me my favorite meal in all of Antigua which was eaten standing in a parking lot, obviously.
The volcano hike was a steep climb up 2,000ft with our security of horses in tow. Once at the top you can do a little shopping at the local "Volcano Store" or just check out some unreal views of mountains of volcanic ash. We were given the chance to get into the crater and said of course, mostly because it was so warm and cozy. I mean, warm and cozy because of the fiery lava hanging out underneath. If you have ever seen Dante's Peak you will understand my fear of being cooked alive in this sauna in the ground.
Next up, New Years in Antigua! Supposedly there are people on stilts and what I can only imagine as a war zone of local fireworks. Keeping the hair in a tight pony tail so it doesn't go up like kindling.