What is your favorite Central or South America destination and why?
Antigua in Guatemala as it is a great jump off point to go and visit the surrounding destinations in the same way that you can use Cusco in Peru to visit the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu.
Using Antigua as a base you can visit the beautiful Lake Atitlan with its cool mountain cultures and the incredible Maya Ruins at Tikal.
If you loved visiting Peru, they you will definitely love traveling to Guatemala, I highly recommend you to check it out!
What is your favorite activity/tour to do in Antigua?
My favorite activity is to go out on a boat on Lake Atitlan. Just relaxing with the incredible volcanic landscape surrounding you is unbelieveable. It makes for a big contrast to living in Buenos Aires, as you can really escape from it all!
What is your favorite dish from your Antigua?
Not so much a dish, but my favorite thing in Guatemala, especially in Antigua are the different smoothies you get get. They have so many exotic fruits, some that you would never have seen or heard of, meaning the only way to find out whether or not you like it is to try it in a delicious smoothie. My favorite by far is just a simple Guatemalan Mango smoothie, and is made even better when sitting out and watching the day go by or whilst enjoying the sunset over Lake Atitlan.
What would you say is the one place travelers to Antigua have to see, do or try?
Antigua and its cobbled stone streets are always perfect to visit all year round. However, if you happen to be there during Semana Santa (Holy Week), which leads up to Easter, you are in for one hell of a treat.
With costumed processions, reenactments of the crucifixion as well as other ceremonies, your bodily senses will be spoilt for choice!
The main attraction of the festivities is the bright and colorful ‘alfombras’ or carpets that are laid out throughout the streets. The cobblestones are leveled off using sand or sawdust and then dyed in different colors and with interwoven exotic flowers and plants. Make sure to have your camera handy to take a photo of these intricate patterns as once the procession passes over it, these temporary works of art are ruined! This is certainly one of the most spectacular events I have seen and witnessed since I have been in South America and should definitely be at the top of your list of things to see!
What would be your one travel expert piece of advice to give to travelers going to Antigua and Guatemala?
Prepare yourself for a unique and truly indigenous cultural experience that is the safest to enjoy in all of Central & South America.
Where in Central/South America is next on your list for places you want to visit and why?
Belize has to be next on my list! I really want to visit the Tikal Ruins in Guatemala and then make the short journey to the Cayo District in Belize.
“I have heard that the Caana at Caracol is truly impressive!” – Marc Harrison
In the Cayo District I would also like to go canoeing to the caves and explore the jungle there. From the Maya ruins in Belize, I would then like to finish up this vacation on a paradisiacal beach at Ambergris Caye, just relaxing in a hammock and listening to the palm trees in the wind and watching the calm turquoise waters…pure bliss!
If you had to choose one essential item you always take traveling with you what would it be?
A journal to write down all my thoughts, ideas and feelings. Afterall, who am I to argue with Oscar Wilde who once said, ‘I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train’.