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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Things to Do in Antigua, Guatemala

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli 

Famous arch in Aniigua, Guatemala

Spanish conquistadors founded present-day Antigua in 1543. At the time it was called Santiago de los Caballeros and for 200 years it served as the capitol of the Kingdom of Guatemala which included the current states of Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, and the modern state of Chiapas in Mexico.

During its development and splendor, it was known as one of the three most beautiful cities of the Spanish Indies.

In 1776, after the Santa Marta earthquakes destroyed much of the town, the capitol was moved to the current location of Guatemala City. Santiago de los Caballeros was then referred to as Antigua de Guatemala, or “Old Guatemala.”

These days you can still savor the beauty of the ruins in the city of Antigua, but there are lots of other things to do in this international city as well. 

Below are some suggestions you will enjoy.

 

Visit Valhalla Macadamia Nut Farm. This is an amazing rancho where macadamia nuts are grown, employing many of the families in the area. Lorenzo, the owner, is quite an innovator and won a gold medal in Geneva for his environmental work. In the world of nuts and berries, macadamia nuts are almost as precious as gold. This is a must-see.

Wine tasting. Visit Tobaco y Vinos. Nestled under the famous Catarina Arch on 5a Avenida Norte, this friendly wine and cigar bar welcomes you in. What a treat! They offer over 350 types of wines and cigars from all over the world. You can have a glass of red wine, chilled white wine, or a classic Cuban cigar from their large humidor and watch people meander down the street.

Wine bar in Antigua

Visit Sobremesa Ice Cream Shop. This closet-of-a-size shop has everything you might want from an ice cream store. You can order Italian coffee, cappuccino or a soda and the list of exotic ice creams available are written on the board. Some of the flavors listed are Chocolate Chile Cobanero, Strawberry Merlot, Strawberry Parmesan, 5x Chocolate, Apple Chipotle, Pistachio Cardamom, and Coffee Rum Walnut.

The Snug Bar and Travel Menu are side by side. Both offer live music and camaraderie, and Travel Menu offers various selections of food. The Snug is an authentic Irish bar owned by an Irishman. Located at 6th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues it's in a quaint space with an Irish clover hanging outside.

Catch some live music. Live music is happening all over town in bars and restaurants. At certain times of the year, there are free open air concerts with international musicians that are not to be missed.

Visit a steak house. There are lots of these in town offering you a great selection. Cafe Escobar is a famous steak house but there are lots more. You can check out our Antigua Home Page and look specifically under Restaurants for listings of places to go.

Visit Casa Santo Domingo. Historical buildings have been modernized into restaurants, hotels and shops. One of the most beautiful of these is Casa Santo Domingo. Bring your camera. There is a museum, some restaurants and a bar.

For a glimpse into the past, take a horse drawn carriage ride. It’s an experience that will take you into the past as the Spanish well-to-do must have lived. Bring your camera.

Climb a volcano. Antigua is surrounded by handful of volcanoes waiting to be hiked. The most popular volcano to hiked, Volcán Pacaya, is located just an hour outside of town. Or you might be interested in hiking either the active and lava spewing Volcán Fuego or the dormant but tallest volcano in Guatemala, Volcán Actenango. Visit a travel agent for more information.

 

Participate in the Sunday walking Street activities. On weekends, the Plaza fills up with vendors and musicians and there is an Andador, or walking street, where traffic is shut off for the day. Wander around, watch mimes and clowns do their shtick, taste wine, go souvenir shopping or watch people meander by. 

Go to the Chocolate museum. Located on 4ta calle oriente numer 14, Tele: 7832. 4520 or ChocoMuseo Calle del Arco, 5ta avenida norte numer 15 C Tele: 7832. 0219. Enjoy the making of chocolate and the final product. Purchase chocolate tea, chocolate bars and other souvenirs for family and friends.

Eat BBQ. Pappy's BBQ is some of the best we have had. Done in the southern Texas style, you can get ribs, chicken, brisket, wings, mixed plates, hamburgers and more. Ask for Blake, the owner, and tell him we sent you!

Pappy's Bar-B-Que

Lose yourself in the Mercado. Antigua has a good market which sells fresh vegetables, fruit, clothing, shoes, cell phone covers, CDs, ready-to-eat-food and more. Take your time. Wander around and visit the bus station that is attached. These dozens and dozens of buses will take you to anyplace in Guatemala you might want to go.

Go to San Miguel Duenas where Chicken Buses are made. Have you ever wondered what happened to that old yellow bus that took you back and forth to school? Probably not, and neither did we... That is until we found them!

Take Spanish lessons. A great place to learn Spanish is in Antigua, Guatemala. There is a big selection from which to choose. A school, an academy, immersion with a family, one-on-one with a tutor. 

Visit coffee shops. Guatemala is Coffee Central. There are countless coffee shops and bakeries all around town. Go to a different one each day. Have fresh French pastry, a piece of chocolate cake, breakfast or simply an afternoon cup.

Visit La Casa Del Ron, House of Rum. Sugar cane, from which rum is made, grows all over Central America. Guatemala is known for its good tasting rum. Casa del Ron is a relatively new addition to the Antigua bar and restaurant scene. Stop by in the early afternoon to check it out and make arrangements to have pre-dinner cocktails later in the evening.

If you visit Antigua, Guatemala, plan to stay for several days. Immerse yourself in the culture and fun!

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About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on Amazon.com.

Retire Early Lifestyle appeals to a different kind of person – the person who prizes their independence, values their time, and who doesn’t want to mindlessly follow the crowd.

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