19 Aug Antigua: The Land of Eternal Spring for Yogis
Over the past year, Ellen fell madly in love with Central America. With undiscovered beauty, a thriving yoga and surf culture, and far reaching sustainable practices, Central America is coming into focus for the modern traveler looking for rustic luxe.
To peek through her lens – click here: http://www.ellenmarchman.com/portfolio2.html
For more on Guatemala and its yoga community, read on:
Guatemala has evolved into a convenient destination for the adventure traveler and serenity seeker alike. Just a 2 hour direct flight from Houston or Miami, Guatemala is a magical land of Mayan heritage, colonial history, 22 volcanoes and black sand beaches. Founded by the Spaniards in 1543, Antigua sits in a beautiful valley surrounded by 3 towering volcanoes; Agua, Fuego and Acatenango. Coined “the land of eternal spring” the weather is similar to Aspen, Colorado rather than a tropical city in Central America.
El Meson de Maria is a boutique hotel nestled in the center of town, just one block from the iconic Calle del Arco, main plaza and cathedral. Maria Beteta is the muse and designer behind the hotel while her twin daughters Maya and Ana oversee the property. A former colonial mansion, Meson de Maria feels like a family hacienda with a center courtyard, cozy nooks for reading or working, and a third floor terrace with stunning views of Antigua and all three volcanoes and ideal for sunrise yoga. Each room is thoughtfully furnished with Guatemalan art and antiques yet modern with double, queen or king plush beds, large bathrooms, rose scented towels and Lavario Cosso Italian bath products. There is a bi-lingual manager on duty 24 hours a day, full breakfast each morning, free wireless and thoughtful “café y galletas” set out daily at 5 pm. The staff is incredibly helpful. One morning Carlos ran out to put credit on my phone and change my USD into Quetzal (Q). http://hotelmesondemaria.com/eng/
Antigua’s beauty and rich history blend harmoniously for exceptional yoga practices. Meson Panza Verde houses YogAntigua in a 2nd floor stone casita, which doubles as its gallery for local artists. The casita opens to the gardens from Spanish-style windows offering sweets sounds of birds and gorgeous glimpses of the lush foliage and impressive architecture. The modern studio offers mats at no charge and has daily classes, yoga retreats and nutritional workshops taught by American and European expats who came to visit Antigua years ago, and never left. http://www.panzaverde.com/
Tropical Discovery curates a seamless Guatemalan travel experience from its U.S. office based in Miami. Services including hotel, transportation, tours and activities are booked without a mark up charge and alleviates foreign transaction fees. Within a few hours of contacting general manager Ken Layton, a full itinerary was created including airport pick up, hotel reservations, information on Panza Verde’s yoga program, city tours based on my interest and recommendations for day or overnight excursions around the country. Tropical Discovery also provides a local phone for local and international calls. http://www.tropicaldiscovery.com/