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Things To Do In Antigua Guatemala

Wondering what to do in Antigua Guatemala? In this post, I’ve not only done a round-up of the best things to do in Antigua Guatemala for all budgets, but I’ve also made some handy Antigua Guatemala itineraries for you to plan out your stay in Antigua Guatemala.

I lived in Antigua for almost 1 year so I’ve not only included some of the popular things to do in Antigua, but I’ve also included some of the lesser-known Antigua Guatemala things to do.

Things To Do In Antigua Guatemala

Where is Antigua Guatemala?

Antigua Guatemala is a beautiful city located in Guatemala, in Central America. Not to be confused with the Caribbean Island of Antigua!

It’s known for its well-preserved Spanish Baroque-influenced architecture, as well as its rich history and cultural heritage. I had the opportunity to live in Antigua Guatemala for almost 1 year during my time in Latin America, and I loved exploring its charming streets and learning about its history.

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $45.08. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies. 

How to Get to Antigua Guatemala

Getting to Antigua is pretty straightforward. The closest airport is La Aurora International Airport (GUA) in Guatemala City. From there, you have a couple of options to get to Antigua.

I wrote a very detailed blog post on it you can read it here. But if you just want to short version read on.

Things To Do In Antigua Guatemala

Private Transfer

I love the comfort and safety of a private transfer. It’s around a 1-hour drive from Guatemala City to Antigua, and booking a private car ensures door-to-door service. Expect to pay anywhere around $54 USD, depending on the company and type of vehicle. You can book a private ride from Guatemala Airport through GottoGo here.

Shared Shuttle

If you’re traveling solo or on a budget, a shared shuttle is a cost-effective option. You’ll pay around $20 USD per person. Just keep in mind that you might have to wait for other passengers, so it could take a bit longer. You can book a shared shuttle through GottoGo here.


I’d advise against hailing a random cab from the airport for safety reasons. If you must take a taxi, arrange one from a reputable service inside the terminal. This will likely cost around $35 to $40 USD.

Public Transport

Honestly, I wouldn’t recommend taking public transport if you’re new to Guatemala or if you have a lot of luggage. It’s the cheapest option, sure, but it’s also the least convenient and could be daunting if you don’t speak Spanish. It involves getting a bus to the main bus stop in Guatemala city and then taking a second bus from there.

Rent a Car

If you’re feeling adventurous and plan to explore more of the country, renting a car could be a good idea. However, be prepared for hectic Guatemalan driving conditions. I would not do it, let’s just say it’s not for the faint-hearted!

Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress. 

Best Antigua ToursClick here to check out the top Antigua tours
Best Antigua Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in Antigua
Best Antigua Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in Antigua

How Long To Stay in Antigua Guatemala?

Ideally, Antigua is somewhere you want to come for a few days at least to make the most of it. I arrived planning on staying for a few weeks, which turned into a few months as I continued to extend my Guatemala travel adventure.

When To Visit Antigua Guatemala?

Things To Do In Antigua Guatemala

Dry Season (November to April)

I love visiting Antigua during the dry season. The skies are mostly clear, and it’s less crowded than you might expect. It’s ideal for all those outdoor activities you might be interested in, like hiking up the volcanoes or just strolling around the city. However, do be prepared for cooler evenings. I usually throw a light jacket or a wrap in my bag just in case.

Semana Santa (Holy Week)

If you’re into cultural experiences, visiting Antigua during Semana Santa is a must! It’s usually in March or April, depending on when Easter falls. The streets are filled with elaborate processions and colorful alfombras (carpets made from sawdust and flowers). It’s a photographer’s dream but be warned, the city is crowded, and accommodation prices soar.

I was there one year for Semana Santa and it was CRAZY! You will need to book accommodation way in advance and don’t plan on trying to get in or out of the city over the main festive days (Thursday- Sunday) as the only way out is to walk with all your luggage to the outskirts of the city to take transport and the roads are completely closed off.

Rainy Season (May to October)

The rainy season has its own charm. Imagine the cobblestone streets glistening in the rain—so poetic, right? The showers usually happen in the afternoon, so you can still enjoy your mornings. Plus, everything is lush and green. Just don’t forget to pack a good raincoat and waterproof shoes!

I lived in Antigua during the rainy season and I honestly loved it. Things were greener, quieter, and just generally more lush! But it’s a risk as it can often rain for days and tours during this time can be canceled due to poor weather.

Quick Tip:

Festivals and Events

Apart from Semana Santa, there’s the Fiestas Julias in July celebrating St. James, the patron saint of Antigua. It’s another time when the city comes alive with festivities.

My Opinion?

If it’s your first time, I’d recommend going in the dry season, ideally avoiding the crowds and high prices of Semana Santa unless that’s specifically what you’re interested in. I find that the comfortable weather allows for a broader range of activities.

The Best Things To Do In Antigua

Things To Do In Antigua Guatemala

Wondering what to do in Antigua Guatemala? Well, Antigua is an absolute treasure trove of activities and experiences. Whether you’re into history, adventure, or just soaking in the local culture, you’re in for a treat.

Here’s my quick rundown of Antigua Guatemala things to do:

Explore the Ruins

Antigua is chock-full of colonial ruins, and I highly recommend taking at least a day to explore them. Don’t miss the and the ruins of La Recolección. It’s like stepping back in time!

Volcano Hiking

If you’re into hiking like me, you’ll want to climb one of the nearby volcanoes. Pacaya is the most accessible and offers a relatively easy hike. If you’re up for more of a challenge, Acatenango is the one for you. Watching the Fuego volcano erupt from the summit is just mind-blowing! You can read my full guide to hiking Acatenango here and my guide to hiking Pacaya here.

Take a Coffee Tour

I’m a big coffee lover, and the coffee tours here are incredible. Learn about the coffee-making process from bean to cup, and of course, taste some freshly brewed Guatemalan coffee.

Yoga and Wellness

Antigua has some beautiful yoga studios and wellness retreats. I love winding down with a yoga session, and it’s a great way to meet like-minded travelers too. Plus, the views from some of these studios are to die for.

Check out my yoga in Guatemala blog post for more information. Or if you are looking for yoga retreats in Guatemala click here.

Things To Do In Antigua Guatemala

Salsa Dancing

If you’re keen to embrace local culture, how about a salsa dancing lesson? Whether you’re a beginner or more advanced, it’s such a fun way to spend an evening.

Visit the Markets

Antigua has some fantastic markets where you can buy everything from fresh produce to handcrafted goods. The Artisans Market is a great spot for souvenirs. If you’re there on a weekend, don’t miss the sprawling El Mercado.

Take a Cooking Class

Learn how to make traditional Guatemalan dishes like pepián or tamales. It’s not just about the food; it’s a cultural experience that I think is so worth your time. I highly recommend taking a class with Cuscun through Heart of Travel.

Street Food and Fine Dining

From mouthwatering street food to upscale restaurants, Antigua has it all. Don’t miss tasting local dishes like pepián and tamales. For a romantic night out, there are plenty of options with gorgeous courtyard settings. You can read my full Antigua restaurant guide here.

Take Some Day Trips From Antigua

Day trips are a fantastic way to get even more out of your stay in Antigua. And if you’re looking for guided adventures, Heart of Travel is a company that totally nails it. They offer curated, ethically-focused trips that let you delve deeper into the culture and natural beauty of Guatemala.

Antigua Itineraries

Whether you’re an adventure seeker like me, a history buff, or just in need of some good ol’ relaxation, Antigua offers a plethora of experiences that you’ll want to soak up. I’ve crafted these Antigua itineraries for you designed to help you make the most of your time, whether you’ve got a day, a long weekend or an entire week to explore.

Antigua Guatemala 1 Day Itinerary

Only have a day to explore the beautiful Guatemalan City of Antigua? If you have just a day in Antigua you are going to want to make the most of it!

Breakfast with a View

Start your day right by having breakfast at The Breakfast Club. It is also a hostel so walk in and through the garden and up the stairs. You will find yourself up on a beautiful terrace with amazing views of Antigua on a clear day you will be able to see all three volcanos. They have a great breakfast menu served all day. Comfy seats and great wifi!

Things To Do In Antigua Guatemala

Take a Historical Walk

Once you have filled up on breakfast it’s time to go exploring. If you don’t already know Antigua is a UNESCO world heritage site and it is full of beautiful ruins. Every corner you turn around you will see another hidden gem. The ones you are able to enter you will have to pay a small entrance fee. But even if you don’t want to go in you will be able to get a great street view.

Things To Do In Antigua Guatemala

Lucky for you I have created a walking tour of all of the key ruins in Antigua. You can download the map at Walkli and it starts at Cerro De La Cruz so make sure you have some good walking shoes on!

Lunch at Rainbow Cafe

Once you have finished your walk head over to for lunch. Be sure to try one of their Iced Teas. While you are there take a look at their community notice board and schedule as there are always things happening there in the evening from NGO talks to Live Music.

Hike Volcan Pacaya

Still got some energy left after your historic walk? You really must hike a volcano in Guatemala and close to Antigua is the easiest hike you will find. Pacaya is one of the most active volcanoes in Central America. I would recommend going with OX Expeditions they offer a half day tour that leaves their office at 2pm and returns around 6pm.

You can expect around 2 hours of hiking (an hour up and then the rest is exploring the lava fields and hiking down). So long as you have an average fitness level you won’t struggle on this hike. I wore my head cam the last time I want and you can take a watch below.

I also did an overnight camping trip to Pacaya which you can read about here.


Once you get back from Pacaya you are going to want to shower that volcano off you! So go and take a shower, put on some clean clothes.


Hands down my favorite place to eat in Antigua is Toko Baru its freshly prepared, plenty of choice for vegans and Vegetarians as well as meat lovers. There is no Wifi and you will often have to share a table. I recommend any of their curries, the falafel and make sure you order a portion of sweet potato fries!

Or if you are just too tired to even contemplate sitting down to eat then skip the shower and head straight up to on 1a Calle to get yourself some street food. Word of warning make sure they heat up the chicken on a hot plate if that’s what you want, otherwise, go for a different meat or stick to vegetarian!

How to spend a day in Antigua Guatemala

Or cross over the road from OX on 7 Calle and get some tacos or a burrito from they are the best in Antigua.

How to spend a day in Antigua Guatemala

Out Out

If you still have energy left and fancy hitting the town? Antigua is known for its nightlife in Guatemala and you will be spoilt for a choice of places to go. That said most of the good places are a little bit hidden. I have also created a Nightlife Tour/ Map of the best watering holes in the city which you can also download from Walkli here. Your welcome!

How to Spend 2 Days in Antigua, Guatemala

Want to visit Antigua Guatemala but you only have 2 days? Antigua is one of my favorite places in the world. I arrived here for 2 weeks and ended up here for months! If you are just passing through there are a few places many tourists miss. So to make sure you don’t miss out on some of the best things to do, here is my guide to making the most of your 2 days in Antigua. 

Things To Do In Antigua Guatemala

Day 1 – Start with Breakfast with a View

My favorite place to have breakfast is at the Breakfast Club. It’s on a terrace so the views are incredible, on a clear day you will be able to see all three volcanos. It is also a hostel so walk in and through the garden and up the stairs. They have a great breakfast menu served all day. Comfy seats and great Wi-Fi!

Take a Historical Walk

Once you have filled up on breakfast it’s time to explore the city. Antigua is a UNESCO world heritage site and it is full of beautiful ruins. The ones you are able to enter you will have to pay a small entrance fee. But even if you don’t want to go in you will be able to get a great street view.

I have created a walking tour of all of the key ruins in Antigua. You can download the map at Walkli and it starts at Cerro De La Cruz

Lunch at Rainbow Cafe

Once you have finished your walk head over to for lunch. While you are there take a look at their community notice board and schedule as there are always things happening there in the evening from NGO talks to Live Music.

Go Shopping

Want a taste of the real Antigua? Then you need to get yourself lost in the market. The main market days are Thursday but there are always sellers every day. Entering from the main road walk to the end and the road curves round to the right, this is where you can shop for fruit and veg. Keep walking down and curve round to your left. Keep looking right and you will see a small gap in the stalls. Walk through the gap and enter the Paca!

This place is both terrifying and magical. You can find anything here! Don’t be put off by the vendors shouting for you to come in and look. If you are in need of some second-hand clothes this is the place you can find anything. I can’t even begin to tell you all the things I’ve found in this place. Once I got a pair of Levi’s jeans for 2Q..that’s like 25 cents! I cut them off into shorts and live in them! Even if you don’t want to buy anything it’s great to go and take a walk through the market

Dinner In Antigua – Eat Some Street Food in Antigua Guatemala

If you are on a budget then eat like the locals and head up to Iglesia La Merced on 1a Calle to get yourself some street food. Or if you want to really get the Guatemalan experience you can do a street food tour with Cuscun and Heart of Travel.

Night Life

Antigua is known for its nightlife in Guatemala and you will be spoilt for choice of places to go. That said most of the good places are a little bit hidden. I have created a Nightlife Tour of the best night spots in the city which you can also download from Walkli here. You don’t have to go to all of them! But I’ve added a little bit of information about all of them so you can choose your own plan.

Word of warning if you do one of the tours I’m suggesting on day 2 then maybe take it easy on the Mojitos!

Day 2 On day 2 you need to do a tour! I would suggest one of these three options

HIke – Bike – Swim

I loved this tour with OX Expeditions, but don’t underestimate the hike. There are a few parts I struggled with but they are over pretty quickly and there are some stunning views. The bike section was a lot of fun. Watch my video of it here.

Then swimming in the pools at the end is the perfect way to cool off after all that work!

Acatenango 1 Day Hike

Things To Do In Antigua Guatemala

Want to go to but don;t have time to camp overnight? OX Expeditions offer a day tour. You leave at 5 am and return at 5 pm. This is a long hard day. But so rewarding! The view from the top is incredible. Take a look at this time lapse video.

Pacaya Half Day Hike

If you want to hike a volcano but Acatenango looks a bit much for you then go to Pacaya. In The Rainy season do the morning tour that leaves at 6 am in The Dry season do the tour that leaves at 2 pm. Check out my video from the day tour I did recently.

Hate outdoor activities and looking for something more chilled to do? Then book in a day at Santa Teresita Thermal Pools Spa. They will pick you up from Parque Central at 9 am and have you back by 2 pm. They have some really reasonable packages for you to choose from.

Quick Tip: View my full Guatemala packing guide here including a downloadable checklist. And check out my Guatemala Essentials shopping list here.

How to spend 4 days in Antigua

ys to explore Antigua Guatemala? Not sure how to make the most of your time? Never fear I have you covered. I have the perfect 4-day itinerary for both thrill seekers and a more general traveler looking to spend 4 days in Antigua.

You have two options:

  1. The thrill seeker adventure itinerary
  2. The historic and more chilled-out city tour itinerary

Thrill Seekers

It’s pretty simple really, one-word Trident!

If you have an excellent level of fitness and want to push yourself with a serious physical challenge. Three volcanos in 3 days, it doesn’t get much more extreme than that. OX Expeditions will take you to Acatenango, Fuego, and Pacaya. For more information visit their website or check out their youtube channel. I have hiked all three volcanos but not in 3 days! You can read about my personal experience hiking Acatenango and Fuego here and Pacaya here.

If this sounds like a little bit too extreme for you then take it a step back and do either an overnight to Acatenango (with the option of going to Fuego) or an overnight to Pacaya. The difficulty level is Pacaya being the easiest, Acatenango is tough and Fuego is seriously tough. But I managed it so if you have a good fitness level and mental attitude then I’m sure you can do it.

When you return from any of these tours you are going to be dirty and exhausted! So get clean, get some food, and then rest up!

For the remaining time in Antigua take a read of either my 1-day or my 2-day itinerary or if you are there over the weekend take a read of my weekend itinerary as there are a few special things to do over the weekend.

For Everyone Else

Things To Do In Antigua Guatemala

Camping on a volcano isn’t for everyone so if you want something a bit more chilled then follow my 2-day itinerary above and then on your other two days in Antigua I would recommend fitting in the following activities:

Earth Lodge

Earth Lodge is up above Antigua so you will either need to take a taxi or contact them and arrange for a shuttle to pick you up and drop you off. Make sure you wear good shoes as it’s a bit of a hike to get up and down the main road.

If you have the time I would really recommend staying there for at least one night. Their accommodation is really cool and they have yoga classes, incredible food, and some of the best views of Antigua.

Yoga Class

Antigua has an incredible yoga community it’s one of the main reasons I stayed as long as I did here. My favorite studio is Shakti Shala you can also find them on Facebook. The Shakti Tribe is headed up by Irene and Lauren and I really can’t say enough good stuff about them. So if you are traveling and looking for a place to practice and connect with the local community it’s a great place to do it. They also have an amazing juice and light bites bar! Make sure you follow them on Instagram and Facebook too.

Cooking class

There are lots of cookery schools in Antigua and I would recommend taking a cookery class if you get the chance. All of the schools will be able to cater to vegetarians and you will get to learn some authentic Guatemalan cooking. I did a great tour with Heart of Travel which I highly recommend. The cooking school I went to was Cuscun and having done several cooking classes in Antigua it is by far the best!

Spanish classes

If you are here for 4-5  days then why not book a few classes at one of the many Spanish schools in town to brush up on your Spanish? I have written a few posts on learning Spanish in Guatemala but the school I recommend is La Union, they are a great school with amazing teachers and a packed program of fun activities.

Looking for Accommodation in Antigua? I recommend:

Yellow House Hostel
Hotel Mesón de María
Barbara’s Boutique Hostel

I have gathered all the best places to eat in Antigua here in case you need any recs.

Guatemala Travel Guide Planning

🧳 Any recommendations on what I should pack for Guatemala?

Yes! I have created a whole packing guide to Guatemala which you can read here and you can also check out my packing list for Guatemala on Amazon here.

🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m in Guatemala?

I strongly recommend using GottoGo. You can book almost all transport in the major tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in Guatemala?

I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide. They have a lot of options!

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance.

I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise Skyscanner or Expedia are my go-to flight searching platforms.

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The 3 best platforms that I normally use are, and Expedia They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack. 

Check out my other Antigua posts here:

Things To Do In Antigua Guatemala
How To Get From Guatemala City Airport to Antigua Safely & Cheaply
The Best Restaurants In Antigua Guatemala
Best Hotels in Antigua Guatemala For Every Budget
How to get from Antigua to Semuc Champey

The Ultimate Guide to visiting El Paredon from Antigua
How to get from Antigua to Tikal and Flores
How to get from Antigua to Lake Atitlan
13 Things To Know Before Visiting Antigua Guatemala
Where to Stay Guatemala: Best Hotel in Guatemala City

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Wednesday 17th of April 2019

I'm going to be in Guatemala City for 2 weeks for work but trying to work out what to do in the middle weekend. Antigua looks like the perfect option for a couple of days, not too far from the capital.

Thank you so much for the in-depth descriptions and ideas as without them I'd be clueless! Can't wait to delve deeper into your work!

Claire Summers

Thursday 18th of April 2019

Thanks Freddie. Antigua is the perfect place for a few days. I'll be back there myself next month and I can't wait!


Tuesday 12th of June 2018

Would love your walking map but your links don’t seem to work.

Claire Summers

Thursday 12th of July 2018

Hi, Claudia thanks so much for letting me know. I'm not sure what happened but I've fixed the links now so they should work. Sorry it if it too late for you to use them.


Saturday 26th of May 2018

Claire - thanks for making this, way a great itinerary, will definitely do this tomorrow!

Claire Summers

Monday 4th of June 2018

Ah I'm so glad Erin! Hope you weren't too affected by Fuego!

sita shah

Thursday 28th of September 2017

You have done all the research for me for Guatemala! Absolutely love it short sweet and to the point! Now we need to get transport sorted from one place to the next! Thanks Claire please share good contacts for transport if you can.

Thanks, Sita

Claire Summers

Tuesday 10th of October 2017

Haha, happy to help! I try to write the things I needed to know when I arrived, no fuss, just to the point. I spent 9 months there (I love Guatemala) so I picked up a lot on my travels. Transport is super easy to sort out! It's best to book the day before and prices don't change much so you are unlikely to get ripped off. Where are you wanting to travel to and from?

Archana Singh

Sunday 10th of September 2017

This seems like a perfect one day itinerant for Antigua. It's good to know that The Breakfast Club has a hostel too besides a view. That way I don't have to worry to wake up early for the breakfast.