First leg of travelling over. I’m back in Antigua, booked myself into a lovely little hotel for a couple of days to essentially relax and enjoy the last few attractions in Guatemala.
Where am I staying?
San Rafael, my hotel is located just under the arch – superb location, 5 minutes walk to the main square. It is a small boutique hotel, I think a max of 9 rooms and it used to be a private residence before.The public areas are stunning – I have been lounging about making use of them.
The room is BEAUTIFUL, sitting area, comfortable bed, massive bathroom – BLISS.
- Grubbiness factor = erm. Nada. Nothing. Cleanliness as expected with this calibre of hotels. Pristine and lovely smelling room and sheets.
- Bed = 10/10. So so comfy. And the room is dark and night – perfect sleep.
- Shower = 10/10. Rain shower, hand held, lovely toiletries.
I love this hotel – and if I didn’t have to think about budgeting, I would stay in hotels like this all the time.. luxurious, small and with character. But I’m happy with travelling normally most of the time and then taking it up a notch for a few days – I’ve always done this and have stayed in some brilliant hotels – keeps me happy 🙂
What did I eat?
Breakfasts are included in the hotel, everything from continental, to pancakes to traditional with a twist. My go to has been a version of ‘Antigua’s best breakfast’ that comes with eggs, frijoles, platanos and cheese.
Replace eggs and cheese with mushrooms and hash browns, and yes. This could be Antigua’s best breakfast. I have thoroughly enjoyed eating it. Nice presentation – check out the frijoles! (And they have an amazing home made salsa – es muy picante!). There is fresh orange juice and fruit to start. And their coffee is excellent!
What I like about this place is breakfast is a la carte – made to order (order what you want and as much – just finish it) so there is no wastage of food. Other things I’ve been eating are falafel wraps from Roots Juice Bar – extremely tasty and fresh (extra guac of course) and a liver cleanser (beetroot, apple, celery, lime). They have a whole range of juices – all tasty sounding.
Rainbow Cafe is another go to for veggie/vegan options (thank you Happy Cow). I had the falafel plate – wanted to compare them to Roots. Roots wins. These ones were a bit dry, but the tahini sauce and pico de gallo made up for it. And they had hummus which was very good. I also had a Jamaica iced tea – it was really good, nice and sour but a tad too sweet for me.
I went to the market one day and came across a truly local place. For Q25, I got a plate of rice, veggies and frijoles and a horchata. Simple and tasty, and what really elevated the meal was their home made pickle. STUNNING.
Please don’t hesitate to eat in a place like this – local, high turnaround, simple yet clean – it was a really good meal. I really enjoyed it. Dinners were back at Frida’s – Nachos con Verduras sin queso y crema. YUMMO. Those salsas are some of the best I’ve had!
I also went to La Fonda de la Calle Real – a popular place that serves authentic Guatemalan food. I wanted to try Pepian, a stew with a sauce made from pumpkin seeds and tomatoes and coriander – and they had a veggie version here!
What came was chayote (or chuchu/shushu) in a rich sauce. It was really dark and full of flavour – but I found it quite heavy, only had 1/2 of it with the rice. The little tamale was stuffed with frijoles, but was super dry. Didn’t eat it. I also had a Jamaica juice – nice and tart and not too sweet (finally!!!!). Other than that, I’ve been overdosing on fresh juices…
Eating perfectly ripe avocados on their own,
And I also had a cheeky Chinese takeaway. I can’t do MSG – and I appreciate that they were honest enough to say they use it, and that they wouldn’t for me. They didn’t… the noodles were simple yet tasty and light. I react instantly to it and I know the tell tale signs – so thank you Chinese takeaway place (yep, forgot the name, but it is on the 5th Avenida)
Antigua is such a beautiful town I have enjoyed walking around, exploring the markets I didn’t get to see the first time round, meandering around the streets day and night (it is so safe), having random conversations with locals and tourists and generally just taking it all in.
I finally decided to do some shopping and bought a few money purses. Antigua is also the jade capital of Guatemala, so I had to get myself a souvenir. If you want really pretty jewellery at a really good price, please go visit Jose – tienda cuarenta in the Artisan market.
At first glance I thought, erm…nothing here – but he has got some amazing stuff and is very knowledgable. I got a Lila jade ring, and a jaguar jade ring (seeing that in the Mayan Calendar, my zodiac animal is a baby jaguar – and I like that colour of green), and another rose quartz pendant (you can never have to many!). All at very reasonable prices!! And he even resized a ring for me.. Muchos Gracias Jose!
I also went back to Cerro de la Cruz -the views this time were just as good as last. I can see why so many people enjoy Antigua. It has a bit of everything and I’m glad I stayed here for a bit longer. Next stop – Costa Rica. But first – a stop to Honduras.