We woke up dazed and confused in Guate, still tired after the long trip from the Petén jungle to the highlands. We packed and jumped into a taxi. Direction zona 7, the terminal from where all the buses to Antigua leave.

Nowadays—am I talking like one of these people?—many travellers prefer the relative comfort of direct shuttle buses that run frequently between Guate and Antigua. But these are minibuses, and I hate minibuses. Plus, they cost 80 Quetzales per person, ten times the price of the regular bus.

Each company has its own terminal in Guate City and they are scattered throughout the city. Además, to make things even more confusing, they don’t really have a name. “How am I supposed to explain the driver which terminal we want to be dropped off at?” I asked Feng. “Just tell him we want to take the bus de pollo,” he deadpanned. Unfortunately, “chicken bus” doesn’t translate as easily. I settled for “bus regular.”

Eventually, the taxi driver dropped us off in a busy street with colourful chicken buses lined up bumper to bumper, burping dark fumes. Driver’s helpers were standing at the opened bus door,  shouting out the destination. “’Tigua! ‘Tigua!”

We climbed in and braced ourselves for the fun but bumpy one-hour ride through the highlands.

Antigua hasn’t changed much. We spent a lot of time there in 2001 and 2003, mostly because it’s quiet, relatively safe and very picturesque. The city is in the highlands, stuck between Volcán Agua and Volcán Fuego. The colourful façades always remind me of Italy… but the population definitely has Maya blood!

Jesus Parade
Detail of the Facade of the Church
Colourful walls and Blue Sky
Old Buildings
Antigua´s Most Famous Church
Colourful Facades
Volcan Agua
The Plaza
Inside the Church
Gallo Beer Truck and Tuk Tuk
Old Walls (and Hospital!)
Chicken Bus
Main Plaza
Volcan Agua
Antigua Street
Old Church

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  1. Jeruen December 29, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Man I cracked up at that bus de pollo. I’ll make a mental note of that bus regular. And I should say, I like this idea of you vacationing before me: it gives me previews of what to see! Finally, I like your macro shots; the contrast between focused and unfocused scenes in one shot is amazing!

    1. Zhu December 30, 2011 at 9:34 pm

      It´s actually called camioneta, the chicken buses I mean. Other better buses are called “Pullman”.

  2. Tulsa Gentleman December 30, 2011 at 12:47 am

    The ongoing adventures of Zhu and Feng. I love the old church with the yellow and white facade. Have fun, stay safe, and keep posting your beautiful photographs.

    1. Zhu December 30, 2011 at 9:34 pm

      Antigua is a city of churches and more churches, some in various stages of decay!

  3. ristinw December 30, 2011 at 4:07 am

    Love watching the photos you add to the blog! Can’t wait for more! 😀 I’m just wondering if you two will also visit Machu Picchu and Easter Island on this trip? 😀

    1. Zhu December 30, 2011 at 8:52 pm

      That would be REALLY far! We are in Central America, not South America. We went to Macchu Picchu in 2001, never made it to Easter Island because it is very remote. We are staying in the Maya region, so Belize, Guate etc.

  4. kyh January 5, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    oh my my my… the place is soooooooooo bonita!!! my kind of place – volcanoes, colonial architecture, and colourful walls and houses. 😀

    1. Zhu January 9, 2012 at 6:21 pm

      Yep, you´d like it!

  5. Cynthia January 18, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Estupendo! It looks really cute 🙂

    1. Zhu January 19, 2012 at 6:34 pm

      Very cute town indeed, a bit of an oddity in Guatemala, which isn’t usually as clean and orderly.

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