Antigua Guatemala Travel Guide

Spectacularly set in the central mountains of Guatemala, Antigua Guatemala is just southeast of the official capital, Guatemala City. Tourists are attracted by its well-preserved Spanish New World Baroque architecture and plenty of impressive ruined churches. It has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The focal point of the city is Central Park with its exceptionally attractive fountain. This is a prime spot for people watching from early morning until past sunset. Antigua is also famous for its many elaborate religious festivals during the Holy Week leading up to Easter.

The city is popular with Spanish language students, with locals offering individualized lessons at reasonable fees. You’ll also find decent nightlife with bars and restaurants, as well as markets selling Mayan wares. The city’s surroundings are dominated by three large volcanoes; Agua, Acatenango and Fuego. The latter is constantly rumbling and spewing fumes, but larger eruptions are rare.

Antigua Guatemala attractions

La Merced: is a 16th century church, twice destroyed by earthquakes but rebuilt in the 1700s to resist them. Now featuring a beautiful yellow façade and a giant stone fountain said to be the largest in Central America.

Santa Catalina Arch: is a colossal arch built as a passageway linking the monastery and neighboring school.

Capuchinas Convent: is a former convent now open to the public, with serene gardens, bare nuns’ cells and a wonderful view from the roof.

Museum of Colonial Art: exhibits art and architecture from the 16th and 17th centuries.

La Recoleccion: is a church first built in the 17th century. Destroyed by earthquakes many times, it has continually been rebuilt after each disaster.

Santiago Museum: is a small museum housed in the Town Hall displaying historic artifacts and weapons.