The colonial city of Antigua is one of my favorite places in Guatemala, and the top tourist destination in the country.
This Spanish colonial city and one-time capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala offers a charming collection of brightly painted shops and restaurants, eye-catching ruins, fun tours, and fascinating history.
I’ve spent many many days wandering the streets of Antigua, sipping fruit smoothies in garden cafés, exploring the artisan markets, and visiting the ruins of old convents and churches. The hills and mountains above Antigua are filled with more amazing places to explore. I’ve loved mountain biking through coffee plantations, admiring the breathtaking views from Hobbitenango, and jumping on the trampoline at Alta Mira.
Antigua Guatemala Quick Guide
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Getting to Antigua, Guatemala
If you’re flying into Guatemala, you’ll most likely arrive at La Aurora International Airport (GUA). Tourist shuttles run from the airport to Antigua daily. The shared shuttles are hit or miss, so I recommend taking this private shuttle (still VERY affordable) and with a much better experience.
Money & ATMS
Guatemala’s national currency is the quetzal (GTQ). The exchange rate is typically 7.5ish per 1 USD.
Since Antigua is a tourism hot spot, you can sometimes pay for things in USD, but it’s simpler and more straightforward to use the local currency. Many spots now accept credit cards, but you’ll still need cash for a lot of things.
ATMs are abundant in the city center. I prefer to use BAC ATMs.
Getting Around Antigua, Guatemala
Antigua is a VERY walkable city. Meandering on foot is my favorite way to explore, but if you’re tired and far from your hotel, you can always hail a tuc-tuc. These three-wheeled motorcycle taxis usually cost Q5 per person, though the fare doubles if you’re heading outside the city limits.
Tons of expats and digital nomads live in this Unesco World Heritage Center, so it’s easy to find great places to work with reliable internet.
Budget in Antigua Guatemala
Antigua is quite affordable, though there are expensive options in every category for those who like their creature comforts.
If you’re on a budget, you can find hostels for as little as $6 a night, but $20-25 for a highly-rated hostel is more typical. Meals on the lower end of the spectrum typically cost $5-12. (Though you can always buy street food for less). Tours run the gamut, from 20 to 100 dollars or more.
Don’t drink the tap water in Antigua. Instead, buy purified water (agua purificada) at any corner store. You can also ask for pure water by the glass at any restaurant.
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