Antigua, Guatemala
14° 33' N 90° 44' W
May 04, 2010 16:35
Distance 24km

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Beautiful Antigua, Yellow House and Volcan Pacaya!

Being unfamiliar with everything and still a little jet lagged we opt for a cab ride to Antiqua. Obviously not the cheapest option at US$25 - when a chicken bus would have been around $2 - but ho hum, we're still learning the ropes here.

We have a nice beany breakfast and our cab arrives at 9.30 to pick us up. Its around an hour to Antigua. We have a chatty cabby called Walter who chats away to us telling us about things to do and stuff happening in Guatemala. We have booked Yellow house hostel which is recommended in the Lonely Planet and is definitely still as good as it says.  After a little asking about and bumping along in our cab on the cobbled streets we arrive and check in.  Yellow House Antigua (Casa Amarilla) is clean, comfortable and the place is brightly coloured with lots of pot-plants and decent wifi.

 After a (very) brief rest we book a Volcano tour for the afternoon and walk about this beautful city with its cobbled street and colonial style buildings. We are looking for street food but not quite sure how to ask for it...we try 'comida de la calle' and it gets the message across and we are directed to 'D'Marta' eatery.  Joe was in heaven!  They were trays of local stews of different colours and varieties, accompanied by salad, potatoes, and a fresh juice.  They even let us try various dishes before we buy! We get bean stew with pork and chicken in a spicy salsa which are both served with rice, vegetables, spicy salad, tortilla and drink Tamarindo (heaven in a glass) and mixed juice (Q12-15 each, roughly £1 each for a set meal including drink). Since we tried three meals it comes to about Q42.

We left feeling very happy indeed. We grab a sandwich and water for the trip go back to hostel for a quick change swapping flip flops for proper boots and then hop on the transport to the Volcan Pacaya.The journey is around 1.5 hours from Antiqua. Arrival is a little chaotic with kids everywhere wanting us to buy sticks for the walk - whose use we couldn't really fathom until we later worked out they are for toasting marshmallows on the volcano Smile

Our giude takes us for a 1hour walk up to the lava fields and then a 30minute walk across the actual lava (old lava that had hardened). They harness the volcano's geothermal energy for electricity too, and power a few villages off it. It was so wierd to see the lava where it had folded and cooled. Elie (a nice Swedish girl on the tour) had brought along marshmellows so we could toast them over the volcano (we did wonder why they were sellling them!).  You could feel the hot drafts and breezes coming up from under your feet and there are plenty of signs telling you how dangerous it is.  Joe decided to go one better than marshmallows at the top... big stick + Bocadillo (sandwich) + volcano = Toasted sandwich! very very tasty with the melted cheese.

 We walk back down the lava fields and down the hill, very tiring and flash lights needed now. at the bottom we have a beer and coke before getting the bus back to Antiqua. We have a nice chat with Elie and get a traveling few tips before we are dropped off at the Parque Central. We walk back to the hostal via a shop and buy Elies recommended tortillas, beans, chillis and beer. Really hits the spot! Bed is comfy and before long we are snoozing away.......

Photos / videos of "Beautiful Antigua, Yellow House and Volcan Pacaya!":

Parque Central - Antigua. A good place to hang out and people watch in the sun Some of the food on offer at D'Marta Comidas Eatery - this is what we chose - total cost Q42 (quetzals) Some of the food on offer at D'Marta Comidas Eatery - this is what we chose Some of the food on offer at D'Marta Comidas Eatery - this is what we chose Some of the food on offer at D'Marta Comidas Eatery - this is what we chose Some of the food on offer at D'Marta Comidas Eatery - this is what we chose. Anna at D'Marta Comidas Cobbled street of Antiqua The upstairs hang out area of Yellow House Hostel - Antigua Hammock and chill area of Yellow house Hostel - Antigua The view from our window in Yellow House Hostel Balcony View to breakfast area, with lots of green plants Volcan Pacaya - Park Entry You can get a horse to take you up to the lava fields if you are feeling lazy Wise dog - Does not follow us up the volcano Beginning of the Lava fields so....a bit dangerous then? What is Lagma Or Lava?  And what are the types of volcano, and which type is this one... All in Spanish panorama of start of Volcan Pacaya A family outing to the ACTIVE volcano....! Cooling lava folds The tricky path up the lava fields toasting marshallows on the volcano Ellie the Swede toasts marshmallows Joe getting some toasting action Marshmallows for everyone! Yum! Video of toasting marshmallows on Volcano Pacaya