Top 5 Places to Visit in Antigua, Guatemala

Antigua is regarded by many as one of Central America’s most beautiful cities. The architecture makes no attempt to hide the heavy influence of the Spanish Baroque style. This small city, with an estimated 35,000 residents, has also been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. More and more international travelers are discovering the charm of Antigua and choosing it as their Guatemalan home-base instead of the capital, Guatemala City. Here are 5 of our top picks for your visit to the always-beautiful Antigua:

Casa Santa Domingo [Photo Credit: Ricardo Hurtubia, CC BY 2.0]

Casa Santa Domingo [Photo Credit: Ricardo Hurtubia, CC BY 2.0]

Casa Santa Domingo – This impressive property has something to interest every member of the family, with water fountains, crypts, ancient ruins, and even a kids play area scattered throughout the property. Take your camera–you’re bound to get some gorgeous pictures of the gardens and centuries-old artifacts that are on display at the onsite museums. If you’re traveling sans kids, you could easily make a day of your visit by booking a treatment at the spa, enjoying lunch and drinks at one of the numerous restaurants and bars, and shopping at the small handicrafts market.

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Parque Central – A visit to Parque Central, Antigua’s main square, proves that not all outings have to be expensive while you’re on vacation! You could easily spend an afternoon here, sipping on a cup of coffee, watching the locals pass by, and perhaps buying a few souvenirs from street vendors. The park is frequented by musicians and one-day-only events that add to the excitement.

Cerro de la Cruz [Photo Credit: chensiyuan, Creative Commons 4.0 international)

Cerro de la Cruz [Photo Credit: chensiyuan, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Cerro de la Cruz – Get the best views of Antigua and the surrounding volcanoes from this lookout point perched up on a mountain overlooking the city. If you’re ready to fit a little exercise into your vacation, go ahead and climb the stairs up, but those who have no interest in working up a sweat can always grab a cab to make the journey.

ChocoMuseo – Now here’s a place where they encourage you to play with your food! Whether you’re traveling with kids or not, there’s no denying that the offer to make–and then eat!–your own chocolate is irresistible. Those who aren’t in to the whole hands-on thing will still want to pay a visit to the property, which houses a small museum, chocolate-centric cafe and gift shop, and a series of shops with local vendors selling textiles and other traditional Guatemalan goods.

Convento de las Capuchinas – No visit to Antigua is complete without visiting and learning about some of the city’s many ruins. The Capuchin Convent and Church is the largest in Antigua. Though it will cost a little more, it is absolutely worth hiring a guide to accompany you through this nearly 300-year-old property and tell you about the lives of the nuns who called this convent home.

Guatemala has a deep connection to its history that makes any visit extra special. Things seem to move slower and the world is a bit quieter here. Get your Spanish skills in good shape before you go and you’ll be rewarded with opportunities to connect with the locals and hear about their way of life. Contact us today to start your Spanish-learning journey and prepare for a Central American adventure you’ll never forget.