Posted by: Gary Guertin | December 6, 2010

16. Panama Canal Cruise–Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala–Part 4

Hi All,

Forgive me if I repeat, but if you haven’t read Parts 1,2, & 3, read them first.

In Part 3 we left the Church and Monastery of Merced and headed back down another street (7h Avenue North, as we had come up to the Church on 5th Avenue North, see the map) on our way to the City Markets.  Here’s a look at another street:


The first market we hit was the City Market:


and the second market was next door, called the Artesian Market:


Believe it or not, we had started to run out of time, so we asked what the quickest way to get across town because we were told we had to see the Hotel Casa Santo Domingo.  If you look at the map in Part 1 you will see that we had to go from the far left of the map (the circle around the Country Belize is about where the markets were in Antigua of coarse) to the far right (where the hotel is circled on the map).  The locals told us to take a motor scooter taxi, so we did.  Here’s Susy getting out of the taxi:


Yes, I was in there too.  The ride on those cobblestone streets was incredible.  It shook us so much we thought our insides would come out.  The things had no shocks and the driver went tearing down the streets.  What a ride.

Anyway we arrived at the Hotel Casa Santo Domingo:


and we were in for another surprise.  This is the place to stay in Antigua.  I could show you dozens of photos but again I’ll just have to pick out two or three to give you a flavor:


That’s Susy entering the hotel, then you go down a long entrance hall:IMG_1482

to the reception area:


then the hall continues past dining rooms and lounges/bars until you come out in a huge courtyard that was beautiful.  First we look right at a First Communion Luncheon that was being held:


and then left at a garden café, some ruins, and a museum:


Susy and I were overwhelmed by the view, the gardens, etc. so we stopped at the courtyard café for a refreshment.  I have to show you one picture we took in the garden, which was full of parrots:


Two love birds, and parrots.  Now you may ask where are the rooms in this hotel.  They were everywhere, around this big courtyard out back, down the long halls through the center of the hotel located in small courtyards like this (rooms on right)


We left the hotel, went next door to a Jade store and caught a ride back to the Central Plaza just in time to catch the bus back to the ship.  We listened to Mary Ann tell us more about Guatemala (14 million habitants) for the enjoyable ride back and climbed back on the boat exhausted, but happy that we had spent one of our best cruise days.

Here’s Susy at the end of the day:


I have to close Part 4 and our trip to Antigua, Guatemala. It was a memorable day, but it’s on to the Panama Canal on Sunday and Monday.  I hope you enjoyed seeing the pictures as much as we did living it.  I’ll try to post these in the next few days.

Love You All,

Gary (alias Gagu)


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