Santo Tomas de Castilla or Matias de Galvez is located in Guatemala. The city used to be a residence of the Belgian colonizers in the nineteenth century. Since 2004, Santo Tomas de Castilla Port opened for cruise ships traveling the Caribbean. Since the 1960’s cargo ships dock at the port to compliment the cargo port at Puerto Barrio; since then Santo Tomas de Castilla has become one of the best places to vacation.
There is a shopping village in the city which has plenty of items to offer. Your shopping bags will be full with the local made products as well as some international products. You will find that there are many unique items that you can bring home as presents or souvenirs. Major upscale products can be found in The New City’s Zona Viva or Zone 10.You should also visit Zone 1 or the Old City’s Zone for items such as textiles, hand-crafted wares, artworks, and shirts that are made by the indigenous people. One of the most famous markets in the city is the Chichicastenango. This market offers the best products in town. You will also find international items in this market with a mix of indigenous items.
Things to Do
There are a number of very nice festivals in the city. Most of the festivals are religious and they give importance to the indigenous Guatemalan tradition. During festivals, people look forward to the hearing the Marimba in the villages. These are people who play musical instruments such as woodwind chirimia and drums. For nature lovers, you can try the Bananas Crossing which is a trek that features the history of the city. You will have a better appreciation of Guatemalan history and culture after the trek experience.
Also, you can try Finca Tatin. It is a boat ride to Rio Dulce where you can fully appreciate the scenery. For hikers, PG and Pueblo Viejo is the place to go. For a tour of the city not using the conventional public vehicles, you can take a boat ride and enjoy the beautiful view.
Restaurants and Bars
If you want a relaxing ambiance while having a very good meal, you can visit La Dolce Vita. For the best seafood in town, Las Gaviotas is best for this kind of menu. For Mexican cuisine, visit Mikado which offers a variety of dishes. If you want a hearty breakfast, lunch or dinner with a view of the beach, visit the Paradise Café. The restaurant also offers a wide variety of good drinks and plenty of cold beer as well.
Other highly recommended restaurants include Las Gaviotas and Grace’s Restaurant. You should also visit neighboring Tikal and Flores to try the local cuisine.
Santo Tomas de Castillas has become one of the busiest ports in Guatemala. It has become a favorite destination of cruise tourists because of the events, food and attractions.