What to Do, See & Eat in Antigua, Guatemala

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Advisor - Tracy Cistone
Curated By

Tracy Cistone

  • Guatemala

  • Luxury Travel

  • Boutique Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Arts & Culture

  • Active Travel

  • Adventure Travel

  • Solo Travel

  • Hiking

  • Local Culture

  • Hidden Gems

a street lamp with a mountain in the distance
Curator’s statement

One of the more famous towns in Guatemala, there is plenty to do, see, and eat. Antigua is only an hour or so away from Guatemala City, so it's a great place to stay before or after your flight into the country. This town is rich in history and has endured many natural disasters, but despite this, it is thriving and popular destination for travelers who like to stay off the beaten path but still appreciate a certain level of luxury.

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Where to stay in Antigua, Guatemala

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Things to do in Antigua, Guatemala

historic yellow building with a yellow car parked on the street in front
  • Stroll the cobblestone streets, do some shopping of local handicrafts, then relax at one of the many quaint bars or cafes.

  • Take some Spanish classes: Antigua is one of the most popular places to learn Spanish because it is affordable and you can easily do immersion style learning there.

  • Take a cooking class to learn how to make traditional Guatemalan dishes.

  • Pacaya Volcano Hike: This volcano is the most visited and easiest to get to, taking around 2 hours to hike or you can hire a horse to bring you up there. There are tours that will guide you along the way and even feed you pizza cooked on the hot volcanic rock!

  • Visit Caoba Farm: An organic farm that offers eco tours, volunteering opportunities, farm-to-table on-site restaurant, yoga classes, and a small shop. They even have a farmers market on Saturday!

  • Photograph Arco de Santa Catalina: The famous arch, built in 1694, that you see in most photos of Antigua. From the right angle, you can get three volcanos under the arch for your photo. It's a pleasant site that never gets old to look at!

  • Coffee tour: There are many options for coffee tours where you can visit a farm, learn about coffee bean processing process, do tastings, and more.

  • Salsa lessons at La Sala on Sunday nights are free! It's a popular bar with locals and tourists.

  • Visit Catedral De Santiago: A cathedral built in 1546, then partially destroyed by an earthquake in 1773, and partially rebuilt over the next century. Although a sad history, there is so much beauty in what is left now... ruins that include large pillars strewn about, and surrounded by arches and vegetation that is trying to reclaim it all to the earth.

  • Visit the ChocoMuseo to learn how chocolate is made, make some yourself, and taste some of their creations.

Day Trips

  • Lake Atitlan: Honestly, this place requires a guide of its own and I highly recommend spending at least a few days there. Its a gorgeous lake surrounded by volcanos and there is so much to do and see!

  • Acatenango Volcano Hike: One popular trek takes you to a viewing point where you can watch Volcan Fuego erupt! It is ~5 hour strenuous and steep uphill hike that ends in spending the night at a base camp in Acatenango, where you can watch the volcano in action from a safe distance. People report being able to see lava flowing at times!

  • Valhalla Macadamia Farm & Restaurant: Take a tour of the macadamia farm, get a free facial massage with macadamia oil, and eat in their restaurant under the trees!

  • Chichicastenango: Location of Central America's largest and oldest handicrafts market.

  • Hobbitenango: Originally designed to be a small eco-village, it now boasts park attractions, faire games, hobbit style mini houses you can stay in, and restaurants. It just adds to the whimsy that the surrounding nature is gorgeous. And it's only 20 mins outside of Antigua!

There are honestly so many day trips you can go on with Antigua as your base,to learn about weaving/textiles, colonial history, Mayan ruins, food/wine tours, and so on. I can help you plan all of it!

Places to eat & drink in Antigua, Guatemala

overflowing table of colorful fruits and vegetables at an outdoor market stand
  • El Criollo - Family owned restaurant serving delicious recipes in a sweet outdoor courtyard. People rave about their beef and traditional recipes!

  • Rincon Tipico - Limited menu of authentic dishes; known for their chicken!

  • Por Que No? Cafe - A very small restaurant with limited menu but high quality offerings and great atmosphere. Reservations not required but encouraged because its so popular.

  • Once Once - A top notch vegan restaurant in a cozy setting with occasional live music.

  • Panza Verde - An upscale spot with a pretty courtyard and rooftop terrace. Or try its more laid back cousin Pitaya, which is right next door.

  • Canela - A bakery with a limited menu but quality dishes served in a garden setting; great spot for breakfast!

  • La Fonda de la Calle Real - A little more upscale restaurant serving authentic Guatemalan recipes. Locals frequent for special occasions.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out my Guide to Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.

Advisor - Tracy Cistone

Travel Advisor

Tracy Cistone

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Guatemala.