Just before celebrating the first day of 2018, I found myself walking in the streets of Antigua, Guatemala’s former capital and open-air museum. In my opinion, the easiest way to get around the town, is to do so on foot. Each street has its own way, and the streets are made of old cobbles and stones which would certainly make driving a little more challenging.

In 1773, the Santa Marta earthquake struck the country with an epicentral magnitude of 7.5M. Unfortunately, most of Antigua (formerly called Santiago de los Caballeros de Guatemala), was destroyed in the disaster. Antigua at the time was the colonial capital of Central America but as a result of the quake, it lost the title to Guatemala City.

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I began by visiting the Cathedral with a donation entrance of 1$. This building comes as quite a surprise since the front of it is completely intact, while the inside has been reduced to ruins by the earthquakes.

After this, we climbed to the viewpoint of Cerro de la Cruz to enjoy the panoramic view on Antigua and its volcano Agua. The clear and sunny sky made for a really pleasant walk.

While going down towards the city centre, we noticed a lot of museums were closed due to the upcoming celebration. We still managed to visit the Iglesia y Convento de las Capuchinas, which is one of the finest examples of an 18th-century convent in Guatemala. It was consecrated in 1736 but like the rest of the city suffered damage during the 1751 and 1773 earthquakes respectively, and was abandoned by order of the Captain General at the time.

After that we walked towards the San Francisco church, one of the most frequented sanctuaries by the local population because of the shrine of Peter of Saint Joseph Betancur.

Antigua is a wonderful town. Every house is picture-worthy, and every street corner is so alluring you feel an invitation to continue down the street. It’s lovely, charming, and full of History able to be explored via great museums and remains.