I recently spent a lovely week in Guatemala, and Antigua in particular. It’s a charming town and the former capital of colonial Central America. It’s surrounded by forested hills and the tropical jungle is less than an hour away. Most homes have terracotta-tiled roofs, and their thick adobe walls are painted deep ochre, russet or azure. I stayed at the stunning Quinta Maconda, a colonial property that dates back to 1547 and currently a private residence and boutique hotel.
A favorite room, affectionately referred to as the “pagan chapel,” were several memorable meals were enjoyed:
Another glimpse: the wood storage area
Wandering through the giant Farmer’s Market, which was very colorful and bountiful with baskets overflowing with fruits, vegetables, beans, corn, and beautiful spices. I was looking for copal, a tree resin used as incense that is similar to frankincense. In comes in various shapes and sizes, and contemporary Maya people light it in an incense burner in the morning to start the day. I love the way it smells:
Since I’m always on the lookout for ideas about how to live more sustainably as well as practical alternatives to plastics, I noticed these rattan woven trash bins:
And CFL’s in all the church lamps!
Driving into the jungle for some exploring, many fences along the roads were made from planting small trees close together, an attractive and resourceful alternative to chain link:
One morning, I saw tiny stingless bees for the first time. They make the most delicious honey:
One of my favorite places in Antigua was La Tienda de Dona Gavi, a very cool shop where you can buy homemade ice creams, natural soaps, herbs and spices:
Other places worth checking out:
Casa de los Gigantes
La Casa de las Escudillas
Dona Maria Gordillo
Casa de Artes
To find out more about Quinta Maconda