I loved how family friendly Antigua Guatemala was so much I went there twice. Thats really saying something. Its rare you get a beautiful city full of incredible hotels, great food, great wine, great coffee and great shopping in a breathtaking location filled with wonderful warm and fascinating people. Oh and did I mention its child friendly.
Why I love family friendly Antigua Guatemala – Algodones Maya
If you are new to the blog then welcome, if not you may have realized how much I love to shop when I travel. Antigua is not just your usual handmade, folk and craft centers although there are plenty of those. There are some far more sophisticated outfits here too. The Algodones Mayas store was so tempting I wanted all the linens so bad but had to settle for a beautifully soft scarf that a lucky someone received in the mail.
Why I love Antigua Guatemala Casa de la Fuente, 4 Calle Oriente 14
No hassle, tranquil courtyard filled with some of the best embroidery I have seen in Guatemala. I was so pleased to meet an amazing lady from Solola where I had just visited. Who could resist this beautiful work of art. There are lots of other curiousity stores here too. Leaving six vintage cuban hand painted glasses in a cabinet here was one of my more painful memories. Im sure they went to a good home!
Why I love Antigua Guatemala – MICO, 4 Calle Oriente
Coolest toy shop. Just check out the color of that wall. What could possible go wrong apart from your luggage not having any space to take back all the crazy fun wonderful wooden toys that this place has in stock. Sob!
Why I love Antigua Guatemala, Hotel Casa del Santo Domingo
Candle maker, chocolate maker, ancient ruins and a truly celestial tented church are just some of the things a stroll through the magnificent gardens of Hotel casa del Santo Domingo. Oscar was totally entranced by this place and did not want to leave. A particularly beautiful feature are the many Macau parrots on the hotel grounds. One day we will get the chance to stay here too but until then there is plenty of other stuff to enjoy.
Why I love Antigua Guatemala Doña Luisa Xicotencatl
Sometimes you read about all the places you have to go to and how fabulous they are and ya da ya da but I often find that if you get lost and you have a screaming toddler in tow you will find the best pancakes in town, because thats what moms do. After our visit to Dona Luisa’s I read so many reviews of this ancient establishment and they were all right. A beautiful courtyard with a lively atmosphere and fantastic friendly staff. The fresh baked goods are melt in your mouth delicious and not taking some home with you fresh from the bakery is hard to resist.
Why I love Antigua Guatemala, the Earth Lodge
Ok so strictly speaking this isn’t in Antigua but I just can’t resist talking about it. I got a message virtually in the middle of the night from one of my lovely Well Traveled Friends Jill urging me to visit this wonderful place. Luckily I got the message on a Saturday and there famous barbecues with live music are on a Sunday. What a spot. Tucked up high in the mountains overlooking Antigua a small shuttle picks up and drops off visitors regularly (check site for details) This is a fantastic family friendly place, complete with one of the most beautifully located playgrounds I have been to so far. I have been to A LOT of playgrounds let me tell you. Just take a look at my NYC Google map if you don’t believe me. Those hammocks are just genius! Alcohol, grilling + altitude = one happy tipsy traveling mama. Next time we stay, because i’m so desperate to try the steam room.
Why I love Antigua Guatemala – Food and wine spots
Obviously very few pictures exist because I was having too much of a good time. Your just going to have to take my word for it. There are some exceptional restaurants in Antigua and its renown for its culinary scene. Budget dictated we couldn’t visit some of the more expensive spots but there were so many fun, interesting value spots we felt spoiled.
7A North Pizzeria – amazing view, cool modern interiors, pretty good pizza too.
Cafe Boheme – Good hearty sandwiches and great cakes. A perfect lunch spot.
Tabacos y Vinos – Wine glorious wine, fun people and good times.
Rainbow Cafe – Cheap and cheerful, good cuba libbers
Cafe La Parada – Exceptional small coffee shop.
Antigua will always go down in history as the first time Oscar Chang had a McDonalds and didn’t eat it. Single most expensive made in China toy I have ever purchased. I’m going to put it out there though and you can thank me later. When its pouring down with rain and you literally feel like your hotel room walls are crawling closer to you and your hyperactive child there is McDonalds and this one has (see below) this giant indoor play area. Just saying.
Why I love family friendly Antigua Guatemala – where we stayed
Hotel La Casa de Don Ismael – No frills, lovely people, feels like home. Bonus of a kitchen you can use and an enclosed courtyard for Oscar Chang to run around. The simple roof terrace is a great place to volcano watch.
Why I love Antigua Guatemala – What else we did
climbed Pacaya volcano – Excellent!
visited the chocolate museum – Excellent!
walked everywhere – Excellent!