Top best things to do in Antigua

Antigua Guatemala is considered a travelers’ hub—a jump-off point for tourists to see other interesting places to visit in Guatemala.

Explore the landmarks and ruins of Antigua Guatemala

In Antigua, it’s typical to start exploring Parque Central first. It is a park in the center of town, and an origin point from which one can go through many avenidas (avenues) or cobblestoned calles (streets). Most tourist spots within Antigua are within an 8x8 block area that’s less than 1 km across. One can leisurely walk across this area in 15 minutes. It covers La Catedral Santiago, Iglesia La Merced, el Palacio de los Gobernadores, el Arco de Santa Catalina, Convento de Capuchinas, Convento de Santa Clara, and the Handcrafts Market.

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Take a hike and enjoy panoramic views

A 30-minute walk to the north of the city takes one to Cerro de la Cruz—a huge cross landmark at the top of a hill. The strenuous hike is worth it especially on a clear day when one is rewarded with panoramic views of Antigua and Volcán de Agua to the south. Be cautious when walking along the trail since there have been reported robberies. In response to this, the Tourist Police of Antigua escorts a walk up to the landmark for free every day from 10AM to 3PM.

The mountains and volcanoes surrounding Antigua like Volcán Pacaya, Volcán Acatenango, and Volcán Fuego provide plenty of opportunities for hiking and biking. Be warned that Volcán Pacaya may be inaccessible on some days since it may be too active and dangerous for close viewing. Day trips or overnight trips can be arranged, although it comes with a fee if going with an experienced local guide.

Drop by the local market

A visit to Antigua is not complete without a stop at the local outdoor market. El Mercado is located 3 blocks west from the northwest corner of the town square. The market is open daily and offers a bounty of cheap commodities from fresh flowers, produce, and local fare to clothes, traditional handicrafts, and souvenir items. There are also small restaurants, plus a gift shop and local artisan shop nearby.

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