10. Antigua Guatemala: Morning Tour from Guatemala City
Antigua Guatemala, once the third largest city in all of Spanish Colonial America and for 200 years the capital of Guatemala, is today a peaceful, beautiful, and partially restored colonial city. Cobblestone streets wind through the city of majestic churches and monasteries.
After pickup in Guatemala City, transfer to Antigua Guatemala to meet your local guide and begin your gentle 3-hour walking tour. Visit the Jade Factory and Museum to admire ancient Guatemalan carving traditions. Continue to the ruins of El Carmen church and browse for souvenirs at the craft market beside the ruined building.
You will see La Merced Church of Guatemalan, which features an ultra-baroque style, as well as two bell towers. On the facade of the church in its upper part is a sculpture of San Pedro Nolasco, founder of the Mercedarian Order.
You will also see Santa Catalina Arch, built to connect the nuns between cloisters to avoid being seen. After the earthquakes of 1773, the arch became important due to the alterations that were made. These alterations included the construction of a turret and the inclusion of a Lamy Amp Lacroix clock of French origin.
You will then see Central Park, which is situated in the traditional grid pattern used frequently in urban planning in the Spanish colonies. The park is surrounded by the Palace of the General Captains, the Town Hall, the Cathedral of San Jose, and the Trade Portal. Here in the park, you will also find the Las Sirenas fountain. This fountain has a traditional folk story where the Count of La Gomera ordered the fountain to be built in memory of his daughters, who after giving birth, did not want to breastfeed their children. The count then ordered his daughters to be tied to a trunk in the center of a waterhole, where they died of thirst and hunger.
Continue your way you will visit the La Unión tank, which is one of the most iconic laundries in this city (only the big houses had proper washing facilities). For this reason, most of the inhabitants (housewives) went to public laundries. This was inaugurated on February 3, 1853.
At the end of the tour you’ll be transferred back to your hotel in Guatemala City.