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Map of Guatemala

Map of Guatemala


Antigua is a small quaint town with characteristic colonial architecture and a nice place to visit while in Guatemala.

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Antigua is located between Guatemala City and Lake Atitlan and is a logical place to visit on the way to Lake Atitlan (see map on the left). Antigua has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage City. Located in the valley of Panchoy at 1,500 meters above sea level and near the Agua and Fuego volcanic summits, Antigua has been visited by frequent earthquakes.

The main town square is the center of commercial and cultural life in Antigua. Here we found many of the local Maya people selling their beautiful weavings and textiles as well as musical and dance performances as shown in the slide show above. The main industry of the town is some 80 Spanish language schools. Tourim is, of course, also very important for the economic life of the town.

Nearby you can also visit interesting shops including shops that specialize in Jade, a stone considered sacred by the Maya as evidenced by many archeological findings. In these shops, you will find interesting replicas of mosaic death masks worn by Maya kings into their next life as well as other replicas of important Maya archeological findings. These masks include the death mask of King Pacal of Palenque Mexico and the death mask of a King found in a royal tomb at Tikal (shown on the right).

Jade was found and mined in the remote Motagua Valley which is about 200 kilometers from Antigua. The jade found here ranges in color from black to various shades of green and white.

We took a small tour van from Antigua to visit nearby Panajachel in Lake Atitlan and Chichicastenango. These are must see places to visit if you are in Guatemala.

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