Antigua, Guatemala City Guide

La Antigua is situated in the central highlands of Guatemala and served as the capital of the Guatemala from 1543 to 1773. The cobblestoned paved city is laid out in a traditional Spanish-style grid. With a park in the center and streets running in each cardinal direction. Recognizing its distinctive characteristics, Antigua was honored with UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1979.


Getting Around Antigua
  • Transportation options: Uber, taxi and tuk-tuk
  • In Antigua, the best way to get around is on foot as it’s so small, and also allows you to really discover the magic of the colourful colonial city. Antigua is a small 1km x 1km grid - or 9 blocks x 9 blocks (9 Avenidas x 9 Calles). If your feet get sore from all the sneaky cobblestones, or you have purchased more than you can actually carry (this happens regularly!) then Uber works great if you have cell service. Also, it allows you to be charged straight to your credit card and not have to fuss with local currency. Another great (though bumpy) option is a tuk-tuk. If you see one that’s empty, like a taxi, just flag it down and hop in. If you are traveling in the city limits, it should only be 15Q. They might try to haggle you if you are a tourist, though never pay more than 20Q unless you are traveling out of town.

$ Budget

Maya Papaya (dorm and private)

Barbara’s Boutique Hostel (dorm and private)

Naif Hotel


$$ Mid Range

El Meson de Maria Ojala (dorm + private)

Casi Casa (dorm and private)

Cacao Boutique Hotel

Casi Casa

The Good Hotel

El Mason de Maria


$$$ LUX

Panza Verde - Boutique with rooms ranging from $122 - $400

Santo Domingo - HUGE - one of the few 5 star hotels in Guatemala (great for large groups and children)

El Convento - Lux boutique




El Gran Cafe $- Delicious local coffee only, great for taking home beans too

Union cafe - $ - coffee, smoothies, breakfast + lunch, cute casual (V) 

Samsara - $$ - organic, gf vegetarian & vegan options breakfast - dinner (V) 

Caoba farms- $$ - organic farm to table restaurant – breakfast + lunch open tues – sun (V) 

Saul $$ - Bistrot style next to the Good Hotel - Breakfast, lunch and dinner with a speciality in crepes, tartines pizza (V) 

Comalote $ - Traditional breakfast and lunch using heirloom and organic produce. (V) 

Alegria Cafe $ - Cute cafe next to Central Park with good coffee, and easy breakfast dishes, cookies (V) 

Artista de Cafe $- Coffee shop with good cakes, cookies and breakfast/light meal options. Great spot to work in (V) 

12 Onzas $ - Coffee house and light meals good for easy breakfast and lunch right on 4th Calle.(V)

Fat Cat Coffee $- One of the OG coffee houses, great coffee, now serving simple light meals for breakfast and lunch. Opens at 7am for the early birds


Lunch + Dinner

Cactus - $$ - grill, tacos, Burritos + delicious margaritas (V)

El Cazador Deli $ Locals tip when you need a freshly made deli sandwich on the go

Fridas - $$ - traditional and fun mexican food with a super lively atmosphere and the best mescalitas in town (V)

Hector’s bistro - $$$ - Casual Bistrot dining in a lively plaza.

Toku baru - $ - get a feast for under q50. Indian + asian curries and plates (V)

Rincon antigüeño $- super cheap local charcoal chicken house. Plates are 35q-45q for Chicken and sides.

Can do a very cheap veggie plate too La Merced street food- $ - treat yourself to guatemalan cuisine friday – sunday (V)

Kombu $$ delicious raman + asian plates - vegan + vegetarian (V)

Le Japones - $$ - high end japanese sushi and small plates. (V)

Santo espiritu - $$$ - Modern italian in a gorgeous revamped colonial house. Super recommend (V)

Clio’s - $$$- Contemporary eatery with high end traditional service. (V)

Osteria de Francesco $$- Old school italian next to El Calvario for when you need pasta (V)

El Cazador Italian $$ - Pasta and Italian in town (V)

Como Como $$ Local charming neighbourhood Belgium restaurant with unpretentious cuisine

Suelo wines $$- Natural wine bar with small share plates and sourdough pizza

El Bosque $$ Huge garden with different food options

Antigua Brewing (V) 




Cafe no se

famous candle-lit mezcal dive bar with live music every night

Vibras de la Casbah Night club

best dance floor in antigua

Las Palmas Salsa

dancing, free dance lessons on different nights!

The Snug

a local hangout – irish bar


speakeasy tucked behind the entrance of Antigua Brewing Company

Tobacos y Vinos

Nestled under the arch – cute little wine bar


local dive bar owned by our friend, Sagan - spinning vinyls most nights

El Barrio

Central plaza with multiple bars around. Always has people.



The Market

ARTISANS MARKET - A must if you adore vintage textiles, woodwork and artisan goods.

LOCAL MARKET - Explore the flower section and head inside, near towards the produce for local fruits, spices and veggies. 


A high-end textile shop with beautiful fabric by the yard, hammocks, pillows and table cloths. All of their weavers weave the fabrics on the lower level of the building


Good friend, Molly Berry owns this beautiful little studio. She hosts a variety of workshops. Located about 15 minutes outside of Antigua on a coffee farm.


A market style co-op with set prices. Saves you the stress of haggling and also better helps you understand fair pricing for when you do plan on haggling a bit.


Hike a Volcano

Pacaya ½ Day Volcano Hike. Choose morning or afternoon where you can cook pizza on lava. Very easy 1-2 hour hike on an active volcano Volcano Acatenango overnight hike. Reasonably difficult 5+hr hike up volcano. Most say a once in a lifetime experience!

Head out to El Pilar for the day

Nature Hike + Swim

Take Spanish Classes

Maximo impact Spanish hub, ixchel spanish school, Escuela de Espanol, San Jose el Viejo

Weaving Class

Kakaw designs

Jade carving workshop

Xibalba studio

Salsa Lessons

Salsa y Mas


Caoba Farms, Ninos de Guatemala

Tour a coffee farm

Finca La Azotea, Finca Columbia

Spa Day

Hotel Santo Domingo



A farm and attraction 20 minutes up the hill from Antigua in El Hato. It’s a purpose built attraction with hobbit inspired accommodations and activities like archery and games. Incredible views. Has a restaurant. Transport provided from town leaving from cafe AM BKFST.

Alta Mira 

Also located in El Hato about 20 mins up the hill from Antigua is another attraction with a restaurant, games and an incredible view of Antigua - photo opp in the famous Hand!



Antigua is essentially sunny and warm during the day all year, with the nights being cool where you will need a sweater to a jacket.

Nov - April is dry season - think a sunny and dry 23-27C during the day dropping to 14-17C at night.

Dec-Jan can be quite cold at night so be prepared. This time of year is very sunny and can be strong. Think light clothing and good shoes/sandals and consider sun protection like sunscreen, a hat and light shirts. Always have a sweater and/or a jacket for the evenings because it can become quite cold as the sun goes down.

April - Nov is rainy season - It will be around 23-30C during the day though normally with a morning downpour for an hour or so. This time of year can feel very humid and the evenings do cool down but only to 17-18C. You will need an umbrella or rain coats if you want to venture out, as well as waterproof shoes. The streets can turn to rivers quite quickly, though equally disappear as fast. The days can feel steamy, so dressing can be a little different. For me this time of year is a jeans and t-shirt kind of scenario.


Local Tips

WIFI - most coffee shops and cafes in town have WIFI - if you sit and grab a coffee they will be more than happy to share the wifi, it is almost expected here. All major cell services work in Guatemala

ATM’s - the best way to get local currency is through the ATM’s located at many of the banks around town. We recommend the banks located around Central Park as they also have security guards. Each ATM will usually charge you a fee. HOT TIP - take out the maximum which is 2000Q (around $250) so then you’re only charged the fee once and not with consistently taking out smaller amounts..

CASH EXCHANGE: Cash exchange places in Antigua charge an exuberant amount on currency exchange and can feel like they are ripping you off, which they are. We recommend using these places only in absolute emergencies (which will likely not happen with our support).

THEFT: Antigua is a relatively safe little tourist town, and even though negative things rarely happen, they still do occur from time to time, and usually in an opportunistic way. We always recommend using an over the shoulder bag with a zip and or backpack- and keeping your money, credit cards and phone separate and safe. Only take out with you what you will need to avoid feeling stressed about all of your things.







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