Once the Spanish capital of Central America, now a World Heritage site and among the world's best converted colonial cities. The old town – officially known as La Antigua Guatemala, is nestled between three dramatic volcanoes and offers a bohemian-style atmosphere, architectural treasures and great culinary scene. Known for its craftsmanship, longstanding traditions and authenticity of its people – Antigua is a must-visit that will make you feel frozen in time.
Roam around between the cobblestone streets lined with Baroque architectural treasures, old churches and colourfully painted walls. There is plenty to explore – here are some of our favourites.
CERRO DE LA CRUZ (HILL OF THE CROSS)
On a clear morning, hike up Cerro de la Cruz and enjoy stunning vistas over the town's signature Baroque Architecture and the three volcanoes Antigua is famous for: Agua, Fuego and Acatenango.
VISIT THE LOCAL MARKETS
Antigua is a shopper’s paradise. From high-quality textiles, to handbags, chocolate and Jade – there's an abundance of craftsmanship. Changes are you will leave with a handwoven rug (or 2). The Market in Antigua is open daily, but the largest ones are held on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. The prices are cheapest here, but if you prefer to browse in local artisan shops, there are plenty all over town.
Ringed by villages, there is no better way to take in the views than by taking a boat ride across the lake. Go from Pana to Santiago and vice versa. We suggest a boat taxi and the trip shouldn't cost more than $5 per person each way and will take about one hour.
Don't leave the area without visiting the church of San Antonio in San Antonio Palopó & light a colour-coded candle, according to the wish you'd like to make.
The center of town and a city block in size and the sides are lined by the city hall, police office, cathedral and several banks and tourist shops. Join the Antiguans and hang out in the park. It has a bustling and friendly feel and there are plenty of benches for people-watching and relaxing.
They're plenty of great café's and bars around to grab a coffee or a more refreshing drink. Connoisseurs of both premium roasted beans and cocktails will feel right at home in Antigua.