Read more about the article Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua - Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda

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Land of 365 Beaches

After such a little piece of paradise that was Tortola, although anywhere in this trip and all the islands we are visiting are pieces or paradise, we dock in the capital city of a new country in the list of countries visited so far to date, Antigua and Barbuda. That’s 97 as of today, exactly the half of the world’s currently independent nations (it’s 195), and still 2 new ones to come in the next few days to rise to an astonishing 99.

The country name was, likewise almost all other islands in the region, given by  Christopher Columbus in 1493 in his second voyage in honor of the Virgin of La Antigua in the Seville Cathedral. It was nevertheless not a priority island to form a settlement, and has been for majority of the history part of the British Empire and Kingdom, until gaining sovereignty on the 1st of November 1981. Since that date, it remains a member of the Commonwealth, where Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state.

The twin islands country, an other islets in between has some of the finest beaches in the Caribbean, hence why its fame, especially the island of Antigua. Barbuda, while smaller and more secluded, is by far less visited, rarely included in any cruise trip, and as of today is still recovering from the almost total destruction that caused Hurricane Irma in 2017. (more…)

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Read more about the article Antigua – Guatemala
Antigua - Guatemala

Antigua – Guatemala

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The Old Capital of Guatemala

Stunning Antigua, one of the major tourist attractions in Guatemala together with the ancient city of Tikal, one of the former Maya capital cities far in the north of the country.  A must visit for anyone’s trip through Central America and Guatemala itself. This is the former capital of the country; one of the best preserved colonial cities in Latin America, all “thanks” to it’s sad past. Twice destroyed by earthquakes and abandoned after the most devastating one in 1776 on behalf of a new capital city being built at a safer location, named at the time, Nueva Guatemala de la Asuncion. While nowadays we know it as Antigua, or Antigua Guatemala, its original colonial name was Santiago de los Caballeros.

Since the last century it has experienced again a regrowth and transformation with the reconstruction and restoring of almost every old house and church. Nowadays it rather looks a city where no destruction ever happened. So much history and fine architecture no wonder it is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage site.

For me as Spanish, being here was like being anywhere in the south of Spain or the Canary Islands, where the old towns look almost identical in architecture, urbanism and colours to Antigua and of course elsewhere in colonial Latin America. (more…)

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