What to do in Antigua, Guatemala | Top 5 Things To Do!
One of the most enchanting places you will visit in Central America, and definitely Guatemala, is the "ancient" town of Antigua. When I say ancient, I quite literally mean ancient, as Antigua, in Spanish, means exactly that, as it used to serve as the capital to this gorgeous country, prior to Guatemala City.
Arriving in Antigua, Guatemala, I had very high expectations, as I have spent a good chunk of time in Latin America, and met groups upon groups of people who have visited Antigua and absolutely loved it. After spending a week here, to say it lived up, would be an understatement. In all honesty, I did not know much about Antigua prior to arriving, had only seen a few photos, knew nothing about the things to do, and basically just went off recommendations from people I had met along my trips.
What are the Things To Do in Antigua, Guatemala?
There are enough things to do in Antigua to fill a few days, so don't spread yourself thin, and expect to stay more days, than less as there is nothing worse than leaving somewhere when you are not quite ready! I spent a week in Antigua, Guatemala, had a terrific time, and spent a lot of it simply walking around and enjoying the beautiful streets, architecture, street food, climate, view, and more. You could fill a day in Antigua doing simply that but to give you a list of my personal top things to do in Antigua, Guatemala, here you go!
Starting with Number Five ... (read on)
THINGS TO DO IN ANTIGUA, GUATEMALA | NUMBER 5
Love myself a good local market, and most all towns of any significance will have one, at least on a Sunday. The local market in Antigua, Guatemala is an interesting thing to do and beneficial if you need to buy anything! I call it the never ending market because of the magnitude and the fact that it is undercover, you feel like you have covered half the town by the time you see some natural sunlight signifying the end of the market. Spray paint, seafood, toiletries, shoes, baby accessories, candles, and more, it has almost anything you can imagine. It is a strange little place, but an experience for sure!
THINGS TO DO IN ANTIGUA, GUATEMALA | NUMBER 4
Nothing allows you to get a lay of the land better than a viewpoint, or as it is known in Spanish, a mirador. Although not much of a hike up, and not a ton of elevation to let you really look down on Antigua, this viewpoint does give you a great perspective of Antigua that is not available for ground level. You see the grid system of streets, cars driving slowly over the cobblestones, the historic sites and the big volcano in the distance caps off the view quite nicely. Great way to spend a couple hours in the morning or afternoon.
THINGS TO DO IN ANTIGUA, GUATEMALA | NUMBER 3
Las Vibras de la Casbah
One of the most unique and well designed night clubs you are going to visit, no matter where you are! The layout, the art work, the bar, the sunken dance floor, and my favourite, the great outdoor balcony lounge area where you can escape the music, get some fresh air, and chat to other travellers. The nightlife in Antigua, Guatemala mainly relies on bars and restaurants, and Las Vibras de las Casbah is the only real night club in town, and located just under the famous arch in the center of Antigua, it has the prime location as well. Go visit my buddy Dan, one of the owners, and have a great night out in Antigua, Guatemala.
THINGS TO DO IN ANTIGUA, GUATEMALA | NUMBER 2
As mentioned, Antigua, meaning ancient, could not be a more suitable name for this historic hub so when you are here in Antigua, Guatemala, make sure to see at least one of the historic sites. There are many scattered around the town, and a few visible from the mirador, so pick one or two, get a recommendation, whatever it is, and let the ruins take you back in time. I visited a stunning cathedral that had an open ruin adjacent that also offered a little museum included in the cheap entry cost. This historic site was known as San Francisco and is located near the main entrance to Antigua coming from Guatemala City, but you have more than a handful to choose from!
THINGS TO DO IN ANTIGUA, GUATEMALA | NUMBER 1
If you are like me, and knew very little of Antigua, Guatemala prior to arriving, it does not take you long to realize that volcanoes seem to be a pretty common them around these parts. The volcano over looking the town of Antigua is a dead giveaway as soon as you enter the town, and every traveller you meet will inevitably bring up that they have just done, or are about to do one of the volcano treks. You have a couple main ones to choose from with one being an overnight trek known as Acatenango, and the other is a half day morning, or afternoon trek known as Pacaya. The Pacaya Volcano hike is much less gruelling, and much shorter than the Acatenango trek, but it all depends on what you want to see. The Acatenango trek is based around camping the night next to the volcano and hopefully catching an eruption. We were lucky when we came down from the Pacaya Hike that the volcano in the distance was erupting for us to enjoy.
If you are heading to Antigua, Guatemala and you aren't revving with excitement yet, you should be. Its a beautiful place with something to do, no matter what you are into. Not mentioned in these options is buying a delicious Guatemalan coffee, grabbing some caramelized peanuts they sell from the wheelbarrows, and sitting in the main square watching the world go by. You will start to feel Antigua winning you over, if it hasn't already.
Share this post if you know anyone going to Antigua or just Guatemala, so they can see all teh things to do in Antigua, Guatemala when they get there!