The UNESCO listed city of Antigua is a sunning colonial town offering great connections to all of Guatemala’s attractions. It has great food and is an awesome base for studying Spanish or hiking Acatenango and watching the lava eruptions of the adjoining Volcan Fuego. While I was there, Fuego erupted violently forcing hikers to evacuated the mountain. Read more about the eruption.
There are also beautiful ruins from the colonial city’s major earthquake of the 1773 after which the capital was moved to Guatemala City.
Hostels: Big Foot, brand new with bar, restaurant and pool table but no kitchen facilities and breakfast and water are not included. Rooms are a little crowded when full. They spray daily to keep bedbugs away. 70Q.
Casa Jacaranda for a cheaper, quieter atmosphere and more spacious dorms. It includes breakfast, water and has a kitchen. Dorms/Privates 75/90Q.
Spanish school: Antigueña Spanish Academy. Home stays are hit and miss with several very dirty and smelly.
Tour operators: Palasan or Old Town Outfitters.
Food: Freda’s near the arch for amazing seafood.
Drink: Cafe No Se for Mazcal and a great vibe.