Antigua is a small Guatemalan town with narrow, stone roads and an amazing view of the Volcanoes. The Centro area was one of Latin America’s first examples of city planning, which explains why the streets look like a grid from above.
This former capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Featuring many 18th-century Spanish baroque buildings, churches, and museums, this small city is definitely worth a visit.
Antigua is a lovely city, and you’ll enjoy the lively and colorful Mercado, the well-known Parque Central, the narrow streets of the Centro area, and the majestic volcanoes. You won’t be able to finish your trip until you’ve tried local foods such as fried plantains or sliced mangoes or taken a tour of a coffee farm.
Top 5 Reasons to Visit Antigua
1. The Colonial Architecture
The Centro District is a stroll back in time. The City Hall, St. James Cathedral, and Church of San Francisco are only a few examples of the 18th-century Spanish baroque structures that may be seen in the area. You can even go on a horse-drawn carriage ride through the Centro.
2. Coffee and Jade
Set in the picturesque highlands of Guatemala, Antigua is well-known for its production and export of jade and coffee. Visitors can take a tour of a nearby coffee farm to see how skilled artisans turn jade into beautiful jewelry.
3. Explore Nearby Volcanoes
The Volcán de Agua and the Volcán de Fuego mountains loom over Antigua at more than 12,000 feet above sea level. The nearby Acatenango peak is even taller at 13,000 feet high. The Volcan de Fuego is still active; you can see steam wafting from it if you walk close by.4. The Parque Central
The Parque Central is the perfect place to relax and people watch in the heart of the Centro area. Arco de Santa Catalina, one of the most interesting architectural landmarks, is right next to the park – making it a great spot for tourists and locals alike.
5. The Food
Antigua boasts an impressive variety of restaurants, so no matter your dietary preference, you’ll find a place to eat that satisfies your cravings. Guatemalan cuisine is extensive and often misunderstood – but don’t miss out on authentic dishes while in Antigua! Traditional foods can be found in small eateries throughout the city center at reasonable prices, or try some delicious street food from one of the many vendors near Parque Central.
What to do in Antigua
1. The Grand Central Park: Where the Trip Began
This Central Park is the beginning of your journey to see Antigua’s most stunning attractions, situated in Guatemala’s historical center. The aged façade of the Antigua Cathedral sets the tone for the colonial history that lies ahead in the streets, while the adjacent Captain General’s Palace offers an opulent political perspective. Explore surrounding streets and get a sense for history; visit the Colonial Art Museum for context, then relax on park benches and enjoy it all.
2. No mountain is high enough to keep me from climbing it.
This hill in the north of Antigua attracts visitors. To the foot of Cerro de la Cruz, walk your way past the memorably yellow La Merced Church and the finely ornamented Convent of las Capuchinas. A stairway leads you up past the beauties of local flora and fauna to a height beneath a canopy of trees. The top is unforgettable – a stoic cross overlooks the city, with Volcano Agua looming over the valley beyond.
3. You could also sell your crafts in one of the many craft markets throughout the city.
It’s difficult to leave this marketplace empty-handed. Dozens of stalls line the streets on both the inside and outside, with artisans creating local specialties in front of your eyes. The colors are as bright as the people behind the booths, who sell everything from souvenirs to delicious foods. There is something for everyone here, whether you want to bargain for artwork, grains, textiles, or delectable sweets. Check out the vendors of Mayan handicraftsmanship if you’d like a dose of regional history.
4. triumphantly arisen
Casa Santo Domingo, which was formerly the city’s most illustrious monastery and has been reopened from earthquake damage and converted into a hotel-museum, is one of Cartagena’s top attractions. The ruins and artefacts within are now on display in galleries around the site, accessible to everyone. Explore pre-Columbian art, discover archaeological discoveries on-site, and be amazed by contemporary work that was inspired by this mystical city. Santo Domingo del Cerro’ s sculpture gardens and murals may also be seen via a hotel shuttle.
5. Volcán Pacaya: Overcome the Earth’s Crust
Antigua Guatemala is a city that will take your breath away. It is Surrounded by active volcanoes, one of the most popular to visit being Pacaya Volcano. The landscape looks like it could be from Mars, making the trek up an unforgettable experience .Choosing between hiking or taking a horse ‘taxi’ ride to get you to the top.. There, visitors can enjoy views of other nearby volcano eruptions and roast marshmallows over steaming crevasses
Where to Eat in Antigua
The best street food in Bogota is at El Mercado, which includes chuchitos, tacos, and sliced mangoes. If you prefer more traditional cuisine in a cozy cafe setting, Hector’s Bistro and Rainbow Cafe are excellent choices. Rincon Tipico and Dona Lupita offer some of the finest inexpensive meals around. Toko Baru gives visitors a unique mixture of Indian, Asian, and Guatemalan cuisines. And finally, If you want a more upscale experience , try Casa Escobar Restaurant or Angeline—both serving French cuisine . An eatery should cost around Q20; A mid-range restaurant will set you back about Q40 ; While an upscale meal could run up to Q90 .
Where to stay in Antigua
Centro – If you’re looking for the Parque Central, Mercado, and most attractions, head to the Centro. This area is typical with its narrow cobblestone streets and many churches, including El Carmen and the Antigua Guatemala Cathedral. You’ll also find the Museo de Arte Colonial here.
Popular Neighborhoods in Antigua
Promenade Parque Perimetral -Just south of the old quarter, this is another peaceful neighborhood in the city’s eastern section. This region is generally quieter and is surrounded by the Río Pensativo. Visit the Santa Inés del Monte Pulciano church while you’re there.
Volcán de Agua – The Volcán de Agua, located six miles south of stunning Antigua, is the perfect place for a hike while enjoying fantastic views.
The Cost of Living in Antigua
The best place to shop, dine on street food, and people watch is the Mercado. The market extends from 1a Calle Poniente to 4a Calle Poniente. Souvenirs, textiles, clothing, jewelry, home décor, and wooden crafts may be found in the southern part of the market. In addition, there are several jewelry and gift stores in downtown Mexico City.
Groceries and Other
The best spot to get fresh food is at the Mercado. Fresh fruit may be found in the western section of the market. There are two supermarkets near La Bodegona and Despensa Familiar, both of which sell a gallon of milk for Q40 and dozen eggs for Q13.