Hotel Porta has several courtyards including this one, containing the pool just outside of our room. As with all of our accomodations on this Caravan Tour, Hotel Porta was comfortable with a touch of elegance. There is a sister hotel of the same name at Lake Atitlán.
This volcano and two more, Fuego (3835m/12,579ft) and Acatenango (3960m/13,000ft), surround the Valle de Panchoy (Valley of the Lake) that contains Antigua. While Volcan Fuego is the only one of the three that remains active, the entire area has been subject to earthquakes and floods as well as eruptions ever since the Spanish arrived in 1523, and probably long before that.
Pedro de Alvarado and Bernal Diaz del Castillo. Both were conquistadors who landed in Mexico with Hernán Cortéz and participated in the Conquest. Pedro de Alvarado went on to conquer Guatemala (which included most of Central America at that time) and ruled the area until he died, crushed by a horse, in 1541. Diaz del Castillo became a member of Guatemala's colonial Council. Late in life, he wrote "The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico" a gripping first-person account that is a primary source for anyone studying that period. When the box supposedly containing their remains was opened with much fanfare in 1980, officials were dismayed to discover that it contained only animal bones. The original remains had been looted, perhaps as much as 40 years before, the last time the box was officially opened.
This completes the first of two parts of my postings on Antigua, Guatemala. Next week, we will show some of the other ruined churches and convents. If you would like to comment on this or any other posting, please either use the Comments section below, or email me directly.
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Hasta luego, Jim