HJDS Travel Group

Tag: guatemala

A Trip To The Past In Antigua Guatemala

by on Oct.20, 2010, under Travel

The beautiful colonial city of Antigua Guatemala and is located in the Central Region of Guatemala, it sits among three volcanoes (Acatenango, Fuego and Agua) and mountains that give it amazing views anywhare you look at. This city is a lot more than just a fabled colonial, cobblestoned street filled with delicious restaurants, luxury hotels, colorful homes, popular Spanish Schools and handcraft markets. no much people notices that but there are and have been many efforts that it’s people is doing to preserve the same majesty it did when it was the epicenter of Central America’s power during the 17th and 18th century.

This city is filled with the ruins of Churches and monasteries of all shapes sizes and many others that are still working. The ruins of what used to be churches have beautiful gardens and are open to public for a small fee. They were destroyed by the great earthquake on July 29, 1773 and only some were fully restored.

Things you can’t miss:

* Churches, Catherdals, Monastaries, Convents and Ruins

* Central Park (Parque Central)

* Volcano Tours

* Museums, Monuments and Landmarks

* Shop at the local Mayan markets

* Spanish Schools

* Semana Santa (Holy Week)

* Coffee Plantation Tour


It’s full name is: La muy Noble y muy Leal Ciudad de Santiago de los Caballeros de Goathemala but every one calles it Antigua. It was founded in March 10, 1543. It was the third try of the Spaniards on trying to establish a Capital City. It was founded in March 10, 1543. The first one was Iximche and was founded in 1524 near the Mayan tribe Kaqchiquel until they rebelled. The ruins of it are still a touristic destination. So it was moved to Ciudad Vieja (1527), a mudslide that came down from the Agua Volcano (therefore its name) and the whole city disappeared. A few brave stayed and it is still an alive town with a rich culture.

As I mentioned before in 1773 came the great earthquake destroyed most of the Capital and it was finally evacuated and moved to Guatemala City in 1776 completely. Again a small community stayed and reconstructed the city as much as they could. It wasn’t until 1944 that President Jorge Ubico declared Antigua a national monument that the city really prospered and became what it is today. A major touristic destination of the country.

Did You Know?

It was declared in 1979 by Unesco as a World Heritage site.

Marina K. Villatoro, has lived in Central America – Costa Rica and Guatemala for over 10 years. She’s traveled these parts extensively and now loves to organize vacations to these amazing parts of the world. With her first hand experience, she can recommend the best options for you. Contact her for advice and to plan your perfect trip!

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Review – Hotel Casa Santo Domingo, Antigua Guatemala

by on Oct.05, 2010, under Travel

Continuing with my family adventures in Guatemala we wanted to see what all the hype about hotel Casa Santo Domingo was. So one weekend we decided to stay in it. Yes I live really close to Hotel Santo Domingo but I wanted to have the whole experience.

I already knew what the place looked like and what the food was like because we had visited for mother’s day in case you are wondering: The restaurant is in the middle of the ruins if what used to be a church in Antigua’s Colonial days and the food is really good.

They have some different lodging options but I was determined to stay in one of their suites because I had heard so much about them. I’m glad I did, the room was beautiful.

I really didn’t know what to think about the location because normally travelers look for something close to the Central Park, even if everything in Antigua is 15 minutes on foot away from the park. It is half block from the super busy main entrance to this Colonial City and 10 minutes on foot away from the Central Park so it’s not centric. You be the judge!

All over the hotel you can find some weird and some beautiful art pieces but they also have a museum filled with stuff that was found when building this hotel (in colonial times it used to be a convent that got destroyed by earthquakes) which I think is very interesting. From time to time there are also some other art exhibitions. Recently they hosted a classic cars exhibition where they had over 200 of them. It was great! If you want to relax you can also enjoy a walk in the gardens which are beautifully landscaped.

I was there for a wedding once too that took place in the beautiful gardens of El Cerro (the top of a small mountain that surrounds Antigua). It has a great view of la Antigua that looks amazing at night. But if you are going there remember to bring something warm because even with their heaters on the place gets very cold.

My conclusion is that is a beautiful hotel where they do the best they can to make is a 5 star luxury hotel but they dont always accomplish that.

Marina K. Villatoro, the Travel Experta, has been living in Central America – Costa Rica and Guatemala for over 10 years. She has traveled here extensively. Now loves organizing vacations to this amazing part of the world, having first hand experience of all the places with her family. Contact her for advice and to plan your perfect trip!

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Things To Do In Antigua Guatemala – Private Salsa Lesson

by on Sep.26, 2010, under Vacations

It is not very often that my husband and I had some time to spend alone and together and we wanted to do something extra fun. The day went fantastic and ended with a fabulous romantic dinner in Mezon Panza Verde. But in between that we decided to go for a short adventure and do something I have never tried before: A private salsa lesson in Antigua Guatemala.

There are many salsa academies in Antigua so it was hard to make up my mind. But when we were talking about it I remembered that I had been told about a really good place where they offer private salsa lessons called Salsa Chapina Dance Company. So we were ready for this adventure. I was a bit nervous at first because I have no idea of how to dance salsa. But salsa is really good music and worth dancing and it wasn’t that bad, in fact it was actually really good and a lot of fun. Here is how it went:

It is located in the center of Antigua so we simply walked there. When I first got in it the place didn’t look like anything special, it’s just a room with mirrors and some ornaments. We met our instructor whose name is Alexander Miranda and was great with us and so patient. He told us about all the different styles of Latin dance he could teach us and we decided to start with some basic salsa moves. At first I was a bit stiff and my feet were not responding very well but after a little while I got very comfortable and that was when all the fun started. I learned nothing fancy but made great progress in my dancing skills.

Then as I started to feel brave I asked our instructor to show us some Rumba and later some Cumbia. Which are a bit differet but not hard to learn. He also knows merengue an bachata but we didn’t have the time to try that. We decided that we would go back as soon as soon as we had some time (i would love to become a good dancer). But this time we will bring along some friends to come with us. I bet it will be just like a party!

As you can see Guatemala has so many different things to offer. Don’t you miss it!

Marina K. Villatoro, the Travel Experta, has been living in Central America – Costa Rica and Guatemala for the past decade. Traveling with her family to all parts of Costa Rica and Guatemala, she now loves organizing vacations for people and offers first hand experience. Contact her for advice and to plan your perfect trip!

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Behind HJDS Travel Group Blog

My name is Harry Delgado and I am a full time Internet and Small Business developer and marketer. Over 30 years in the Computer systems development, programming, hardware installations and support. Currently making a living from blogs like HJDS Computer Services , HJDS Investment Group and HJDS BlogBiz. You can connect with me via social media sites at Facebook - LinkedIn - Twitter - YouTube.