Visit Antigua, Guatemala
A colonial gem and the original capital of Guatemala, Antigua has been destroyed many times by earthquakes and mudslides. For this reason the capital was moved to Guatemala City in 1773.
Despite what nature has thrown at it, Antigua has always sprung back, lovingly restored and it is now recognised and protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and one of the most atmospheric cities in Central America.
Its setting is truly stunning, surrounded by the volcanoes of Agua, Acatenango and Fuego, which still occasionally sends up a cloud of ash. Cobbled streets thread past colourful colonial buildings, topped with terracotta tiles, leading to the many plazas which are perfect for sitting, relaxing and people-watching.
Surrounding the city you can explore quaint Mayan villages, colourful local markets, sweet smelling coffee farms and the climbable – and still active – Pacaya volcano.
Just an hour’s drive from Guatemala’s international airport, Antigua is a fabulous first stop in the country, and is also one of the best places in Central America to learn Spanish.
Suggested itineraries featuring Antigua
Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Antigua, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Antigua
Places & hotels on the map
Photos of Antigua
Accommodation choices for Antigua
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Antigua. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.
The charming Meson de Maria hotel is a converted colonial home with just 20 beautiful characterful rooms, a lovely roof terrace and lots of relaxing seating areas dotted throughout the property.
The Meson Panza Verde is a beautiful boutique hotel in a colonial-style building with just 12 rooms.
El Convento is a newly built boutique colonial-style property just a short walk from the central plaza.
Ideas for experiencing Antigua
Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Antigua, and which use the best local guides.
Travel through the stunning scenery of the highlands passing local communities farming their land using traditional methods, for about an hour, before reaching San Juan Comalapa.
This is the perfect tour for any foodies with a flair for local flavour and an adventurous attitude towards cuisine!
Hike up the smouldering cone of the active Pacaya volcano to see small eruptions and glowing hot lava flows, all framed by magnificent views of the surrounding landscape and imposing, distant peaks of neighbouring volcanoes.
Stroll through the beautiful cobbled streets of Antigua and visit the city's highlights, including the Church of St. Francis, the Central Plaza, the San Jose Cathedral and the Church of La Mercedes.
In the morning, you take a guided tour around Antigua, with the focus on learning about the complex Guatemalan and Mayan textiles and folk art.
This is a great way to explore Guatemala and see how the local people live. You visit tranquil villages and churches, coffee plantations and come into contact with the local Mayans.
Trek through open fields, farmland and pacific cloudforest with spectacular views over the Antigua valley area.
This morning you will be met at your hotel by a local NGO rep and driven by local 'chicken' bus to Ciudad Vieja.
Visit coffee farmers in the lush plantations surrounding Antigua and see how the families pick, pulp, ferment and roast the fresh beans to produce some of the finest coffee in Guatemala. Your visit will also help support a local charity working to improve the lives and pay of the farming families.