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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 recognized 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 colorful colonial buildings, topped with terracotta tiles, leading to the many plazas which are perfect for sitting, relaxing and people-watching.

Around Antigua

Pacaya volcano, GuatemalaSurrounding the city you can explore quaint Mayan villages, colorful 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.

Speak to someone
who's been there

Michael, an Audley Travel specialist

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Antigua by contacting one of our Guatemala specialists

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

    Places near 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.

    • Hotel Meson de Maria, Antigua

      Hotel Meson de Maria


      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.

    • Meson Panza Verde, Antigua

      Meson Panza Verde

      First Class

      The Meson Panza Verde is a beautiful boutique hotel in a colonial-style building with just 12 rooms.

    • El Convento, Antigua

      El Convento

      First Class

      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.

    • San Juan Comalapa Cemetary wall mural

      Comalapa Market & Paintings Tour


      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.

    • Comalapa market, Guatemala

      Street food tour of Antigua


      This is the perfect tour for any foodies with a flair for local flavor and an adventurous attitude towards cuisine!

    • Smouldering lava fields at Volcano Pacaya

      Pacaya Volcano Hike


      Hike up the smoldering 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 neighboring volcanoes.

    • Antigua, Guatemala

      Antigua City Tour


      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.

    • A Petate mat weaving demonstration, Santiago Zamora

      Antigua Textile Tour


      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.

    • El Fuego Volcano, Antigua, Guatemala

      Antigua Valley Mountain Biking


      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.

    • Roasting the coffee

      Responsible Travel Coffee Tour


      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.

    • Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

      Acatenango Volcano Hike


      Trek through open fields, farmland and pacific cloudforest with spectacular views over the Antigua valley area.