An Evening in Antigua, Guatemala


Evening approaches in Antigua and I don’t know the city well enough to venture out after dark, So I plan to hang out at the Hostel and try to catch the sunset. Boy am I in Luck! A group of guests have already gathered on the roof when I arrive, cold beer in hand. The sunset is as spectacular as I imagined it would be as it set in the mountains…WAIT, WHAT…..OMG The Volcano. This is why everyone is here. Volcan de Fuego is an active Volcano and is putting on a show. Smoke and steam can be seen coming out the top and as the night darkens we can see the Orange lava flowing down the sides.

I stand there with my mouth open just staring before I’m brought back to reality by a guest speaking to me. I chat with a couple of girls for a bit, when one girl from China who has been in Antigua for 3 months learning Spanish invites me to A Lantern Festival. Are you kidding me!?! I cannot believe it. I’ve had the amazing day in Antigua, I’ve just witnessed my first beautiful Guatemalan Sunset, I watched a frigging Volcano erupt from my hostel and now….I’m going to a Lantern Festival! Sweet! We follow our leader through town, she knows the streets well. As we get closer to the park the crowd thickens.


Then we  arrive at the park, the center of the event…. and  I am overwhelmed with the emotion. Everyone is there! The park and streets are full of families, couples, and visitors having an amazing time. The Buildings are all lit up and a band is playing music.


I see venders and realize that I too can purchase a paper lantern, light it and send it into the sky…Whaaaaaaat? Holy Crap, I make my way through the crowd and pick out an Orange one.


We find a spot and with the help of some local boys we successfully lit and launch our Paper lanterns into the night sky.

The sight of all the happy people and turn up to the sky and your mind is blown. Its indescribable …The black is speckled with hundreds of lights.It really is beautiful.

The evening of course is not without a few mishaps as lanterns float just above the crowds dripping blobs of hot ash. Some don’t quite make it and the fireballs come spiralling down into the squealing crowd. No serious injuries occurred and everyone seemed to have a Blast! I know I did!


What a really Incredible evening. We make our way back through the crowded streets, lanterns still dotting the sky. At the hostel we head back up to the roof to see the volcano again before settling in for the night. Not up there 5 minutes when we hear sounds behind us and turn to see FIREWORKS! Seriously how much better can this get!?!

I Love Antigua!! The fireworks display was so good, as was Fuego spewing lava into the night sky. But tomorrow is a Travel day and I’m going to need some rest. I’m taking a shuttle to Panajachel in the morning. I hope to then find A boat around Lago Atitlan to Santa Cruz.

Keep following to see what happens next…


ACCOMMODATIONS: Hostel Villa Esthela Night#1 Private ($78Q) Night #2 Dorm ($60Q)


ENTERTAINMENT: Paper Lantern ($20Q)

TOTAL COST:  $293Q = $52.25 CAD


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