Antigua Guatemala is famous for its lively cobblestone streets, cosmopolitan restaurants, colonial church ruins, and colorful culture. During Semana Santa, an elaborate religious festival leading up to Easter, Antigua’s local flair is taken to a whole other level. Semana Santa is known as one of the most beautiful religious celebrations in America. For travellers considering a Guatemala adventure tour this year, planning the trip around Semana Santa is highly recommended. Here’s why:
1 » Dyed Sawdust Carpets
Antigua is known as a very colorful city. During Semana Santa, it becomes even more colourful with the help of ‘alfombras,’ carpets made from dyed sawdust, pine needles, and flowers. Numerous alfombras are constructed and placed throughout the city, lining the streets before Easter. During the Good Friday procession, the carpets are trampled and completely destroyed, scattering dyed sawdust around the city. It is really quite a sight.
2 » Delicious Food
If you’re into authentic local cuisine, Semana Santa is the time to visit Guatemala. Street vendors are on display showing off their new-age twists on traditional cuisine. In fact, food is so intertwined with the religious components of the holiday, food vendors rent space right outside the church! Typical offerings include enchiladas, empanadas and chupetes (small, triangular hard candies).
3 » Surrounding Attractions
Antigua is located in a valley, surrounded by 3 fantastic volcanoes visible from the horizon. The rugged landscape just outside the city walls is known as one of the most beautiful places for adventure travel in all of Central America. While visiting Antigua for Semana Santa, travellers get an opportunity to bike, hike, and kayak – rounding out a fantastic cultural experience with physical activity.