With its cobblestone streets, Spanish colonial buildings, stunning volcano views, and relaxed vibe, Antigua is a top travel destination in Central America. Read on for a detailed list of some of the best things to do in Antigua Guatemala.
For such a small city, Antigua really packs a punch when it comes to things to see and do. Whether you’re a history buff, adventure junkie, foodie, or a night owl, Antigua has something for you.
In just one day here, you can hike to the summit of a volcano, wander around the ruins of a Spanish colonial church, peruse the bustling market, and watch the sun go down at a rooftop bar.
The Best Things to Do in Antigua, Guatemala
Antigua is such an awesome place to visit that it tends to suck people in. A very common story here is of the backpacker who was passing through and decided to just stay awhile.
If you’re planning a trip to Guatemala and aren’t sure what to do in Antigua, then this post is for you! Having just spent some quality time in the city, I’m excited to share with you some of the top things to do in Antigua.
1) Explore the Ruins
Once upon a time, Antigua was actually the capital of Guatemala. Back then, it was called Santiago de Guatemala. The city was ravaged by a massive earthquake in 1773, and it was decided that the capital needed to be in a safer location.
This new capital became Guatemala City, and the old one was called La Antigua Guatemala – the Old Guatemala.
A few years later, the Spanish crown ordered the city abandoned. Not everyone left, though, and the ruins that remained after the earthquake were left in place.
Fast forward to the 20th century, when the preserved colonial architecture of Antigua helped it get on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Exploring the many ruins around town is definitely one of the top things to do in Antigua. Many of them are now open as museums, including the Old Cathedral, Las Capuchinas, San Francisco, and Santa Teresa.
The entrance fees vary depending on the ruins. Some cost as little as 7Q ($1), while most of them charge 40Q ($6) to enter. A great way to see lots of the ruins is by following this self-guided walking tour from GPS My City.
Be sure to bring your camera because there are some amazing photo opportunities awaiting you.
2) Climb a Volcano (or Two)