I get asked all the time "whats it like down there?" My short answer is, "amazing, you need to go." But since you are here, I'll give you the unabridged version. At the moment I'm sitting in my room in Antigua. I can hardly hear myself think because the rain is coming down so intensely. The occasional lighting strike lights up the sky accompanied with deafening thunder. This is typical for the rainy season, although it usually does not last all day. Today it was an hour in the afternoon, then again right now mid evening. The climate is very similar to Hawaii, warm with humidity most of the time lending to a lush and tropical landscape.
The streets are cobble stone with thin raised sidewalks. I'm not sure I've ever seen a woman wearing heals, and if she did I'm sure a broken ankle would be next, heck I still occasionally trip with sandals. The city is a large grid with many corners appearing the same which makes getting turned around and backwards a possible occurrence. Once you've spent a little time in Antigua you'll find the grid to be pretty easy to navigate.
My favorite pastime in Antigua is walking down the streets. They are lined with tall colorful walls with viney flowers and greenery spilling over the tops. There are multitudes of ornate doors made of iron and wood. I love peeking inside these doors. More often then not you will get a glimpse of serene hidden courtyards and snapshots of daily life. It really is quite magical. You'll be walking down a busy cobblestone street, come through almost any set of doors into a magical land of flourishing flora and tropical life.
Colors are everywhere! The walls, people, vegetation, buses, food and everything in between all pop with vibrant life giving color. Nothing is over the top or too much. I wish we celebrated colors this way in the states. I think it would make daily life brighter and happier.
Eating is always on my mind, anywhere, ever and lucky for me the food here is spectacular. The fruit seems sweeter, the vegetables bigger, and the tortillas are to die for. My favorite thing to eat is pastries and hot chocolate. I'm not exaggerating when I say the hot chocolate here is the best I've ever had any place in the world. every afternoon I walk to buy pastries and a hot chocolate then sit in the central park to people watch. I like to imagine I'm a female, central American version of Hemingway haha.
I'll list my favorite spots to enjoy and hope you take my urging and just go!