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Trip Start May 01, 2006
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Flag of Guatemala  ,
Thursday, July 13, 2006

If someone asked you to describe the ideal Central American city, might that description sound like this?

"An honest, authentic blend of ancient colonial architecture commingled with colorful buildings of alternating ochre, rust and white... handfuls of ruined churches, presidios and monasteries dot cobblestone rows of cafes, coffee shops and courtyards... gentle rain clouds build to the north, scenic volcanoes tower to the south..."

If so, your description would sound suspiciously like Antigua, Guatemala.

Antigua is undeniably Guatemala's biggest draw - it's easy to see why. The description above, idealistic though it may be, is not too far from encapsulating what draws droves of visitors year round. The town's tower-rich architecture and flower-rich courtyards woo tourists along with international cuisine, luxury hotels (including Central Americas most luxurious), and all manner of cultural and outdoor excursions. Add a cadre of language schools second in their caliber only to Xela's and you have Antigua... revered by many, loathed by some, but frequented by nearly all who visit Guatemala.

Myself included. Having kept a near-frantic pace since my May 1st departure, Antigua afforded the opportunity to slow down and take a breather (which I've done to the Nth degree). The town's diversions are many and make time fly - days can become weeks, weeks can become months... for some, the months become a lifetime.

And why not? Antigua is comfortable and like all of Guatemala the very embodiment of economical... a European-style enclave that's inspired the arts including painting (the hotels are filled with originals), dance (salsa schools abound) and music (caught a live show by original members of The Buena Vista Social Club).

Sure, Antigua is Central America's not-so-well-kept secret, but the town as a whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts. It takes a little time to uncover the intricacies, find the details, but a little time here goes a long way.

My time certainly has. And perhaps best of all, Antigua was shared with some truly great people... thanks to each of you, especially my Moms, Cynthia, who came down and chilled for a week, reminding me how great family can be.
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Comments

miketart
miketart on

Soooo Effin Rahhhhhhddd!!!
JB,

Seems like you have the lifestyle figured out now. Relaxtion to the hundredth power, yet at the same time learning by fully immersing yourself in the culture. Noticing the finer details of a place is one of the best things to pick up on. It makes you wonder the histoy behind it all, and in the places you have been, those things go back pretty far indeed!

You did miss one detail though...I'm not sure who came down and visited you, you Moms or something, but I think you meant to say, YOUR MOMMY! I'm sure that was a rad time.

Good show man. Where are you off to next? What places in Costa do you have in mind?

Laters,

Mikey Bouy

xtremeeric
xtremeeric on

GET THE FUCK OUT!!!
if you don't leave guatemala soon, your not going to see anything south of panama!!

johnb22
johnb22 on

Re: GET THE FUCK OUT!!!
Dude, I know, I´m wasting away again in Guatemalaville (sing it).

You´re right. I´m leaving for Honduras tomorrow morning at 4am (ouch)

johnb22
johnb22 on

Re: Soooo Effin Rahhhhhhddd!!!
Mike, Mike, MIKEY!

Dude, I knew I could count on you for a MOMMY reference. I almost worked that into the post, but I figured nobody would know the joke and think I was a true mommy´s boy (which I sorta am, I guess...)

Relaxation to the 100th power... LOL!

Off to Honduras tomorrow, then to Costa through Nicaragua... looks like Tenaya´s gonna cruise down, should be a RAHOD time!

Thanks for checkin in, Mikey Man... can´t wait to see you and your wifey and da chief

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