Now that I have achieved my ambition of visiting 100 countries (well, sort of - two of the countries no longer exist), I am building up to putting some top tens on my blog: top ten cities, paradises, archaeological sites etc. But, until then, here are some photos of one of my favourtie towns, Antigua La Guatemala. Built on the site of the Mayan city of Iximche, by Spanish conquistadores in 1543, it was the capital of Guatemala until it was destroyed by devastating earthquakes in 1773. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the number one travellers' town in Central America: you could say it's the Central American equivalent of Cuzco, full of hostels, language schools, restaurants and bars. There are some wonderful places to stay and eat here, including my favourite restaurant in Central America: La Escudilla, where you really should sit in the beautiful courtyard and try their Paradilla Quetzal. But, above all, there are the impressive colonial churches and monasteries which withstood the earthquakes. Surrounding the town, and giving it a magnifcent backdrop, are three smoking volcanoes, which remind you how fragile Antigua's existence is.
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