As promised, these are the sites that have made it possible for me to plan my trip and have been utterly invaluable to me as well.
Next stop Guatemala!
Links can be read by clicking anything highlighted in red below...
My favorite sites and links:
Virtual Tourist: Real travelers sharing their stories and tips. Perfect!
Lonely Planet: The basic
Thorn Tree@Lonely planet: The place to go when you need to know the low down.
Trip Advisor: A good basic stop to see what travelers are saying about hotels in the area and so much more.
Frommer's : Old school and utterly invaluable.
Spirit Air: I got my ticket out of LA on Spirit for $268 and that includes my $12 trip insurance. They have the best deals to Guatemala City and then it's a 45 minute shuttle to Antigua. The flight is 4 hours non-stop. They have the most amazing red light specials!
SleepRentBuy: Great site for hotels in Antigua.
Good Time Bob: This fellow created a simple list of hotels in Latin America that is both descriptive and wonderfully easy to navigate.
NY Times online: This article on Antigua is fabulous!
CNN/MONEY.COM: A good article on winter vacation finds that has some nice details about Antigua. Definitely worth a read.
Antigua Tours: I am NOT a tour chick but Elizabeth Bell has done a great job with her website and has provided some solid information about Antigua. I plan on taking her cultural walking tour when I get there.
Telegraph online UK: Nice article about Antigua from someone who has been there and loved it. Good stuff.
The Gringo's Guide: Good information and very simply laid out.
Yahoo Travel: It is always advised to get the low down from travelers who have actually been there.
wikitravel: I found this site to be both simple and solid in what it offers. A great reference point.
Hotel Casa Cristina: My first stop there.
Hotel Casa Rustica: My second stop there.
Casa Santa Domingo: Because although I won't be staying there I fully intend to have a few cocktails (and perhaps flirt with a fellow or two) on the terrace. This is the place to stay for a serious treat in Antigua. History meets Luxury.
Reilly's Irish Tavern: Because as a newly made Irish citizen I am obligated to go to the only Irish pub in Antigua!
Guatemala Story: This site is nothing less than fabulous.You can check out hotels that are affordable all over Guatemala and get the low down on the best Spanish schools in the area. You pick out the places that interest you, send a query in and you are sent back a map with all of your hotels of interest on it, directions how to get out of the airport and how to get to your town and even a packing list. I salute David Unger for creating such a fabulous site. Brilliant!
My chat about Guatemala/Central America over at Slow Travel:
So there might not be much information about this area over on ST yet, but I hope to change that. Thanks to all who participated and to my comrade Leslie for getting the transcript up. I see Guatemala on the horizon for some of my fellow travelers! Perhaps we'll even meet up there and share some time and space together. I'd surely enjoy that.
Seriously, try something new from time to time. Step out of the box and play...