One of the most impressive things about visiting the Alhambra is the amazing plaster detail work, with elegant yet geometric shapes. This close up detail of a pattern shows just how complex the designs are, but in reality whole walls and rooms of the building are covered with panels like this.
It's not unusual to happen upon a religious ceremony when in Latin America, with its strong Catholic roots. We ended up in the middle of the annual Corpus Cristi festival in Antigua, Guatemala, and enjoyed watching neighbors decorating the streets with confetti, pine boughs, and flowers.
Antigua, Guatemala has been an increasingly popular destination for tourism looking for the charm of a colonial town in Central America. The town itself is adorable, with colorful building facades, ruins of huge churches destroyed in earthquakes, and plenty of restaurants, hotels, and tourist activities. Although Antigua is pretty well set up for tourism, it's a good idea to have a some ability to speak Spanish.
We came across this church outside of Antigua, Guatemala on a bike tour to a coffee plantation. The whole picture includes the accents of a typical gothic-style church, but I like this section of the photo, with the fading of the colorful paint and typical streetscape.
One of the best preserved Mayan ruins in Honduras, Copán is a great place to visit for the ruins and the cute town with the same name. The ruins are a beautiful contrast of jungle and stone...watch macaws fly overhead and imagine the plaza as the center of trade in the height of the Mayan civilization.
The Alhambra in Granada, Spain is one of the most famous and well-preserved examples of Mudéjar-style architecture typical of the Andalucia region in the south of Spain. The amazing patterns and detail used in the Alhambra palaces and the Alcazar in Sevilla are truly breathtaking.
Famous for its colorful facades, Antigua, Guatemala is a picturesque colonial town, and the previous capital of Guatemala.
This picture was taken from a hammock at my hotel in El Salvador in the town of Las Palmas. Las Palmas is a nice cool mountain, a definite contrast to the hot, jungle air of Suchitoto, El Salvador. Learning some Spanish is definitely a good idea before heading to El Salvador, since its tourism industry isn't as developed as neighboring Guatemala and Honduras.
Casa Popenoe was my favorite attraction in Antigua, Guatemala. A beautifully restored colonial home, Casa Popenoe gives a window into how a royal official lived in the 17th century. With an impressive courtyard and garden, a rooftop terrace, beautiful woodwork and period furniture, and pigeon holes formerly used for carrier pigeons, the house is well worth a visit.