Conceived and designed around the trilling of the seventeenth century public baths (now incorporating the addition of a tasteful modern swimming pool), the real glory of this hotel is its garden.
A gorgeous profusion of tropical greenery is artfully arranged to frame the magnificent views of Antigua's volcano. In the morning take breakfast on the terrace for the clearest view, and in the afternoon, when the clouds roll in, return to the comforts of tea and a wood fire served in the cosy and comfortable garden living room while the tropical rain beats down.
There are a few concerns about overnight volcano treks near Guatemala since bandits have been known to hide out and ambush groups of hikers on Acatenango and Fuego. This happened twice in the week before we took the trip in late 2008. While most local tour companies claim to take 'security', American-run OX Adventures is the only one we found which pays armed, uniformed police officers to accompany the climb. Since these guys have the authority to actually shoot bandits, they're not usually messed with! OX Adventures told us that since they'd starting bringing the police along, they'd never had any trouble, whereas before, all their guides had been ambushed at least once. The police fee is covered by your payment - and they also make for interesting trekking companions!
Get close enough to molten lava to toast marshmallows! Only an hour and a half from Antigua, it's an experience not to be missed.
Buy a ticket to the volcano in Antigua for about 50 quetzals. At the base of the volcano you pay 40 quetzals for entering the parquet. Tours leave Antigua at either 06.00 in the morning or 14.00 in the afternoon.
I found this tour operator "Exotic Travel Agency". They have a fantastic tour that includes three different countries in which to explore beaches, the Maya's history and culture.
in Guatemala City: 54 calle 3-43 zona 11. in Livingston Guatemala: Calle del Comercio, Livingston Izabal. Exotic Travel Agency. 502 79470151. www.caribbeanguatemala.com
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