After the Acatenango volcano hike it was time to it easy for few days and focus on exploring beautiful Antigua.
In this post I’ve listed best things to do in Antigua and I’m sharing my photo diary with you.
Antigua is a city full of colour and local life in Central Guatemala and it’s the previous capital of the country. Many young travellers make a stop here to adventure on the volcanos and to study Spanish in a local environment. I felt Antigua to be very easy to approach and the city has a nice vibe to it.
The city is located only about 50 kilometers away from the capital Guatemala City so it’s easy to get to by bus or hiring your own ride.
The city of Antigua has been on the UNESCO world heritage list since 1979 thanks to it’s colourful history.
The best things to do in Antigua
Antigua is such a popular choise to travellers because it has so many things to do anf I’m sure everyone will find something for their liking. Check out my suggestions below:
Explore the volcanos
The city is located in the valley surounded by volcanos to choose from. Take an easy day trip to Pacaya to see lava up close, hike and camp on Acatenango like I did or go more extreme by peaking the Fuego.
There are many different tour company’s in town to choose from at all different budgets. In Antigua I ended up choosing Tropicana and absolutely loved their local guides.
Adventure in local markets
After some colourful souveniers or local food? You’re in luck here.
Head for the chaotic Mercado market for endless rows of local stalls and local restaurant. I had lunch here in the tinies restaurant run by a local family.
Considered to be more touristic option for traditional Guatemalan souveries I recommend Mercado de Artesanias. This market is filled with cute jewellery, clothes and art but it definately has a tourist extra in the prices.
My people I met while travelling came to Antigua to take a Spanish course while living with a local family. Antigua is good city to practice since it’s easy to get close to the local life. And I’m sure that home stay is in incredible experience.
Ask recommendations from other traveller or from your hostel.
Learn little bit of history in the old town
Antigua is filled with old colourful colonial style buildings, parks and churches. I recommend to grab a coffee and your camera and to go for a walk. My favourite way to explore a new city is just getting lost walking on the streets.
Visit Antiguas most iconic landmark – the Arch of Santa Catalina or La Merced church that is the best preversed and the most gorgeous Baroque style church in town.
Have fun in the nightlife
Since Antigua is filled with young travellers the part is on! Enjoy happy our drinks in your hostel and head out for a bar crawl. Some of the wildest pre party goes on in Tropicana and continues all night around the city. If your timing is right you might be able to head for a rave in the mountains 😉
See Antigua from the Cerro de la Cruz viewpoint
A short walk up to the hills near the city you can find a beautiful view point of Cerro de la Cruz.
During a clear day you can see all the volcanos around Antigua and all the land marks in the city.
+ Bonus: Hostel recommendation – Three Monkeys
I stayed in Three Monkeys hostel during my stay in Antigua and can’t recommend it enough! The house is so pretty with the little courtyard and garden and they also have a roof terrace to chill on. Three monkeys had a really relaxed vibe and it wasn’t a crazy party place. They had really cool staff in my time that really made my stay here.