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Antigua (Guatemala)

Travel Guide Central America Guatemala Antigua

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Introduction

GUATEMALA - Antigua - center

GUATEMALA - Antigua - center

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Antigua is an amazing Spanish colonial city known for its well preserved Spanish Mudejar influenced Baroque style buildings, ruins and colonial churches. Due to the wealth of cultural importance the town was designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Founded in 1543, Antigua was the third capital of Guatemala and held the title for over 200 years. After a series of devastating earthquakes in the 1770s the Spanish Crown ordered the relocation of the capital, with a population of over 60,000 people, to a safer area. Although many people left some still remained even though today the population of the town is still under 35,000. Antigua is a great place to spend a few days exploring and learning about the early colonial history and culture of Guatemala.

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Sights and Activities

Volcanos

Volcanos surrounding Antigua

Volcanos surrounding Antigua

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Looming on the horizon of Antigua is the ominous shadows of three volcanos. The largest is the Volcán de Agua, which is 3,760 metres high and is only 5 kilometres from town at its the closest point. Luckily this volcano has been inactive since the 16th century. This volcano also has been a protected area since 1956 making it a nice wilderness area. To the west of the city are two other volcanic peaks collective known toegether as La Horqueta. The first mountain is Acatenango, which last erupted in 1972 and is 3,976 metres high. The Second is Volcán de Fuego, which is 3,763 metres high and is an active stratovolcano. This means that the volcano is constantly erupting at a low level with large eruption being extremely rare.

Religious Sights

View of Antigua from Cerro de la Cruz

View of Antigua from Cerro de la Cruz

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  • San Hermano Pedro Church
  • La Merced Church
  • Church and Convent of Capuchins
  • Cathedral of San José
  • Ruins of old San José
  • Church School of Christ
  • Church of San Francisco

Other Sights and Activities

  • Old Weapons Museum
  • The Santa Catalina Arch
  • Museum of Santo Domingo
  • Museum of the Old Book (El Libro Antiguo)
  • The Jade Museum

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Getting There

By Car

Driving is not generally recommended in Guatemala. The road network is not very well developed and roads are likely to be in less than perfect shape.

By Bus

You can find a mini bus to pretty much everywhere from Antigua. Whether you want to go to the airport, Guatemala City, Tikal, Lago Atitlan, Copan or to the Mexican border, there'll be one. If you feel adventurous you could also try the chicken busses, the cheapest way to travel around the country. You might need to change bus several times along the way, stop every 5 minutes, share the space with a few too many people and various different animals, but it's certainly an experience.

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Getting Around

By Public Transport

Tuk-tuks and taxis can take you to destinations within the city center for Q10 or less; negotiate the fare with the driver in advance. Otherwise, they will routinely charge 50-100% more than they should. Tuk-tuks usually do not go to Guatemala City, so one will need a shuttle or taxi instead. Flag down a cruising tuk-tuk, or pick up a taxi from the queue at Parque Central; or along a main route to the city's periphery.

By Foot

Walking is the best way to explore Antigua. The charming cobblestone walkways may have your eyes focused on the ground more than you are accustomed to. Antigua is very compact and easy to walk around. Most tourist destinations are in an 8-by-8 block area less than 1 km across. You can walk across it in 15 minutes.

By Bike

Pedal bikes are rarely seen, and public locking areas for them are even more scarce. Motorbikes and scooters are extremely prevalent and easier to maneuver in the busy streets than full-bodied cars are.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Casa BellonaCalle Coyolar 11 Between Calle de los Pasos and the end of 2a AveniHostel-
Casa de los JolesSan Pedro el Alto19N 1A, San Pedro las Huertas.Guesthouse-
El Hostal1ra. Avenida Sur No. 8Hostel91
El MontañesCalle del Hermano Pedro No. 19-BHostel-
El Palacio de Dona BeatrizLas Gravileas Calle de los DuelosHotel86
Hotel Casa Rustica6th Ave Norte #8Hotel85
Jungle Party Hostal6a Avenida Norte #20, Entre 3a y 2a calle PonienteHostel94
Los Encuentros Hotel7a Av. NorthHOTEL83
Posada Don Quijote1ra. Calle Poniente Antigua GuatemalaHOSTEL72
Posada Don Valentino5th Calle Poniente #28Hotel80
The Black Cat Inn5ta calle poniente No. 11aHostel-
O.X. Base Camp1st Av. SurHOSTEL-
Hotel Casa Antigua3rd Calle Poniente #5Hotel83
Hotel Casa del Parque4th Ave Norte #5Hotel-
Hostel Qachoch3a. Calle Poniente Nº 33Hostel-
UmmaGumma Hostel7a. Avenida Norte No. 34Hostel-
Hotel Posada de Maria1 av. South Calle de los Pasos 42Hotel-
Black Cat Antigua6 Ave. Norte 1-AHostel-
Villa Esthela2a Avenida Sur - 48 Interior A-3Hostel85
Hostel el Caminante1 Av. Norte 9 BGuesthouse-
Posada Dona Luisa7a Ave Norte #4Hotel-
Hostal Antigua5a Ave Sur #22HOSTEL84
Mi Casa en La Antigua1 Avenida Sur, #4BHOSTEL-
Holistico Hostal7 avenue sur number 10HOSTEL88
Casa de los MicosCallejon del Burrito, Condominio las Rosas # 5GUESTHOUSE-
Hostel Casa Jacaranda1era calle poniente #37,HOSTEL79
The Terrace Hostel24-B 3rd Street West 3a Calle Poniente #24-BHOSTEL79
Placido Comfort Hotel3rd streetHotel-
Hotel Meson del Valle5th Ave Sur 11 CHOTEL-
Luxury Antigua Guatemala Hostel Retreat7a Calle Poniente AntiguaGuesthouse-
El CaminantePrimera Avenida Norte, 9BHOSTEL-
casamia7 avenida Sur #10 Sacatepequez GuatemalaGuesthouse-
Hostal el Pasar de los AñosQuinta Calle Oriente 10HOSTEL-
Posada San Vicente6th Ave Sur #6HOTEL-
Hotel Dionisio Inn7 Avenida Sur #12HOTEL-
Zoola Antigua7 Calle Poniente, 15HOSTEL-
Hostal Casa La AsunciónAvenida El Desengaño, 5GUESTHOUSE-
Place To Stay Antigua5a. Calle Poniente Callejón Landivar, 42HOSTEL-

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Keep Connected

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

You can purchase a prepaid card from nearly any bodega or convenience store. The cards are branded Tigo or Claro, the two dominant telecommunications providers in Guatemala. Minutes are extremely inexpensive, and unlike the USAU.S., most citizens use prepaid services. There are 3-for-1 credit specials frequently, so it would be wise to reload your cards on those days. See also International Telephone Calls

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 14.553405
  • Longitude: -90.735255

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Antigua (Guatemala) Travel Helpers

This is version 13. Last edited at 1:59 on May 24, 13 by sleepBot. 9 articles link to this page.

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