“Even though I was raised all around the world, I always go back to Guatemala because that is where my dad’s family hails from. I make an effort to spend at least one night in Antigua whenever I’m there. When you arrive, it seems as though you are being transported to a distant period because it is so beautiful and rich of culture. It’s not hard to picture horses and carriages passing by. I return there for the most significant events, including my 2019 wedding. I showed a group of friends around the city the day before the festivities, and I recall seeing the city fresh in their eyes. We strolled the cobblestone alleyways and visited many of these tiny marketplaces, such as the Mercado de Artesanas, where you can see many Indigenous women selling artisanal items that are almost entirely handcrafted, ranging from silver to ceramics to textiles, while sporting beautifully colorful huipiles. I got to practice my bartering at one of them. The dealer charged my friend’s daughter an absurd price for the knitted bag she requested. I resisted leaving as we were about to depart, saying, “No, no, I’m going back in there.” I managed to negotiate a lesser price, purchased her the bag, and then paid the extra amount to the vendor. Tuk-tuks are ubiquitous in Parque Central, so we rode one of those too. We also tasted the native ice cream, which is prepared by freezing freshly squeezed fruits like strawberry and coconut. Oh, my God, I’ve never had ice cream this fresh in my life, my companions exclaimed. We spent the entire day in Antigua, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., getting lost as we wandered from market to market and stopped at several food stalls to sample different foods, such as freshly baked tortillas that you could smell from a block away or rellenitos. Despite how much I’ve traveled, I believe Antigua has a certain enchantment that I haven’t truly experienced elsewhere. It’s not because it’s my home; rather, every time I go, I find a new establishment, whether it’s a cafe, shop, or market. Every step you take tells a tale. According to Betsy Blumenthal
Father of the Bride and Irma Vep, two current HBO Max streaming titles, both star Adria Arjona.
Condé Nast Traveler’s July/August 2022 edition included this article. Join the magazine’s mailing list here.
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