Spring Break. Have two words ever made a sweeter sound?
Now that you are in the hunt for your own Spring Break getaway, do you really want to head to Cancun with the crowds and those prices? The best spring break vacations are the ones where you dictate the pace and the price, and for those reasons, Antigua should be at the top of your list.
While it is not the first name that ‘springs’ (God, I am terrible at puns) to mind, Antigua (we are talking about the city of Antigua in Guatemala, not the island in the Caribbean) is slowly emerging as one of the dark horses of the college getaway.
The city is situated between three volcanoes, including one that is active at a low level virtually all the time. The 13,045 ft (3,976 m) tall Volcán de Fuego (Volcano of Fire) emits smoke and steam every day. The horizon is dominated by these three megalithic natural structures, while the rest is virtually flat – this makes for some very unique and beautiful visuals.
Because it is still growing into its boots, you won’t see the huge swarms of bodies typical of other Spring Break destinations in the region. Take that as you will. Neither will you find the sky-high prices for drinks, entertainment and accommodation.
There are a number of boutique hotels in the city and most of them are only too glad to cater to private parties throughout the year. Scoring a great deal on a group Spring Break getaway might be just the thing so you can have the perfect base – you can party the night and day away without having to reach for your wallet (or lose it).
Much of the economy of Antigua is based on and around tourism. It is home to many buildings and monuments from the time the region was under Spanish rule. Some say that it is the city with the best preserved architecture from the colonial period in all of Central America. It seems to be true from the pictures and is even better in real life.
Language has emerged as one of the strongest areas of the Antiguan economy and contributes greatly to the local economy. The city has emerged as a favorite among those who wish to earn Spanish through immersion. If you don’t think ’learning’ is a dirty word during Spring Break, Antigua might be the spot.
Antigua also is a great way to have a Spring Break that makes a difference. There are a number of charity organizations that allow you to volunteer during your vacation building schools and teaching the local children.
Guatemala gets very wet in the rainy season. The dry season between November and April is perfect for a visit, and coincides with Spring Break.