antigua guatemala

Surrounded by three ancient volcanoes and imposing, tree-blanketed mountains, Antigua in southern Guatemala has both breath-taking views and a thriving cultural scene. Rarely does a city throb with so much activity, while this designated UNESCO World Heritage site is home to spectacular colonial architecture and countless culinary treats.

A city made for walking, the best way to experience Antigua is by ambling along its picturesque cobbled streets, a cup of the region’s world-famous coffee in hand. With its trendy bars, enticing restaurants, bustling markets and varied outdoor activities, it’s not hard to see why Antigua has become one of central America’s hottest cities.

Travel tips

Wear flat, thick-soled shoes

Antigua is an old town and its streets reflect that. Due to the uneven cobbles everywhere you should wear flat shoes with a strong sole; thin-soled sandals and flip-flops may present problems.

Bring a camera

With its bright, paint-peeled walls, magnificent landscape and colourful markets, Antigua is the type of town where you’ll want to take pictures at every turn. Always, always have a camera on you.

But ask before you snap

If you’re getting snap-happy in Antigua then there’s one thing you must know. Some Mayans don’t like having their photograph taken, as they believe the camera can steal their soul. If you want to take a photo of a local in Antigua, always ask their permission beforehand.

TO STAY

Casa Santo Domingo

If you’re looking for five-star treatment, head to Casa Santo Domingo. This luxury hotel is located in a former convent and houses a pool, spa and gym as well as its own museum, art gallery and jade factory. With a gourmet restaurant, terraced bar and gorgeous gardens, this is the most sumptuous place to Antigua’s most sumptuous place.

El Convento Boutique Hotel

Just across the street from the empty Capuchinas Convent (abandoned after an earthquake in 1773) is the El Convento Boutique Hotel. With 26 comfortable rooms, a swimming pool and an authentic Guatemalan restaurant, it’s not quite as luxurious as Casa Santo Domingo, but provides glamour and style at a more affordable price.

El Hostal Bed and Breakfast

For travellers on a budget, El Hostal Bed and Breakfast is the top pick. Easily Antigua’s best hostel, El Hostal offers both private rooms and dorms, all of which are clean, quiet and comfortable. With breakfast included, your budget will stretch further and friendly staff are all too happy to advise on the best tours and activities.

Casa Santo Domingo

El Convento Boutique Hotel

El Hostal Bed and Breakfast

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