Antigua is a gorgeous Caribbean island that offers visitors plenty of things to see and do. From powdery white sand beaches and turquoise waters to historic landmarks and local cuisine, Antigua has something for everyone. Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, this island paradise has it all. In this guide, we’ll highlight some of the best attractions and things to do in Antigua, so you can make the most out of your trip to this stunning destination. So let’s get started!
The 6 Best Family Things to Do in Antigua
- Antigua Village Tour
- Experience Antigua Walking Tour
- Discover the Secrets of an Anciant City
- Antigua Guatemala Walking Group Tour
- Circumnavigate Tour
- Socoho Jeep Safari Historical Sites Beach Lunch
The 6 Best Family Things to Do in Antigua
1. Antigua Village Tour
Experience the outskirts of Antigua by motorcycle scooter or ATV with this half-day tour. You will visit several villages, including Ciudad Vieja – Guatemala’s first capital, a textile market, and an indigenous village at the foot of the Agua Volcano. Take a short hike, relax in a hammock, and enjoy the panoramic views from a lookout point over Antigua. This tour is perfect for those looking for a unique experience in Antigua, off the beaten path. A helmet and the services of a local guide are included, and convenient hotel pick-up and drop-off in Antigua are also part of the package. Alcoholic drinks are available for purchase, while drinks and food are included. The meeting point is located at 6a Avenida Norte 60, just one block north of the church “La Merced” and two blocks from the Santa Catalina Arch. The tour starts at 9:00 AM, and the end point is the same location as the meeting point.
2. Experience Antigua Walking Tour
Experience Antigua Walking Tour is an ideal way to explore the highlights of Antigua in just half a day. This walking tour is perfect for first-time visitors or those short on time in the region. With a guide to lead the way, you won’t have to worry about getting lost or missing out on any lesser-known spots. During this tour, you’ll visit top attractions such as the La Merced Church, Santo Domingo ruins, Iglesia de San Francisco El Grande, and more. Your knowledgeable guide will provide context for each attraction, helping you to learn more than you could if exploring independently. The tour includes all fees and taxes, as well as bottled water. The meeting point is located at 2a Calle Poniente 2, in Casa Mandarina, next to Cafe Estudio. The tour starts at 9:00 AM and ends back at the meeting point. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience the best of Antigua in one convenient walking tour.
3. Discover the Secrets of an Anciant City
Discover Antigua Guatemala on this half-day guided tour and learn about its history while visiting important sites. Known for its Spanish colonial buildings, the city used to be Guatemala’s capital. This tour is a perfect option for first-time visitors to Antigua. Your tour guide will speak English, French and Spanish, and will take you to see the city’s top attractions, including the 18th-century convent Las Capuchinas which is a popular tourist attraction, and La Merced, notable thanks to its baroque style and bright yellow facade. You’ll also stop by the Casa Santo Domingo Museum where you can appreciate the city’s history—from the Mayan culture to modern times. The tour includes all fees and taxes, as well as snacks. Pickup points are available at select locations and the tour starts at 09:00 AM. Please note that this tour is not wheelchair accessible. Confirmation will be received at the time of booking.
4. Antigua Guatemala Walking Group Tour
This walking group tour is a great introduction to Antigua for first-time visitors. The professional guide will take you to see the key sights and attractions like La Merced, while giving you the local perspective on the city’s rich history and legends. You’ll also get great recommendations for local restaurants and fun activities to check out while you’re in town. The tour includes a bottle of water per person, lunch, local taxes and gratuities. The meeting point is the Iglesia de la Merced, located at 1a Calle Poniente & 6a Avenida Norte, Antigua Guatemala. Join this tour and get to know the amazing Antigua city.
5. Circumnavigate Tour
Experience the best of Antigua in one day with this comprehensive guided tour. Discover both the south and north coast of the island, visit sun-soaked beaches, learn about Antigua’s history and explore the Fig Tree Drive rainforest. The tour includes stops at Betty’s Hope Sugar Plantation, Devil’s Bridge, Long Bay Beach, Shirley’s Heights, the partially-restored fortifications of Dow’s Hill Interpretation Centre, and more. First-time visitors will learn about the island’s history and see its top attractions. Choose between two starting points and enjoy personalized attention from your local guide. The tour includes refreshments, water, fruit punch, soda, and all fees and taxes. The tour ends back at the meeting point.
6. Socoho Jeep Safari Historical Sites Beach Lunch
Hop inside a Jeep and explore some of Antigua’s historical sites on this guided half-day tour. Perfect for first-time visitors, the itinerary includes stops at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Devil’s Bridge, and Betty’s Hope. Learn about the island’s rich history as you visit these landmarks with your knowledgeable guide. After sightseeing, enjoy an authentic Caribbean lunch at a local restaurant before taking a swim at Long Bay Beach. Roundtrip transportation is provided and pickup is available from hotels, guests houses, and ports. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience local life in Antigua and get acquainted with its top attractions.
Frequently Asked Questions about Antigua: A Comprehensive Guide for TouristsAntigua, Guatemala, is a charming colonial town brimming with history, culture, and stunning architecture. It’s no wonder that tourists from all over the world flock to this destination every year. However, with so much to see and do, planning a trip to Antigua can be overwhelming. To help you plan your visit, we’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about Antigua. Read on to learn more.
1. When is the best time to visit Antigua?Antigua boasts a mild climate all year round, making it an excellent place to visit any time. However, the dry season, which typically runs from November to April, is the most popular time for tourists. During this time, you can expect clear blue skies and plenty of sunshine. If you’re planning on visiting during the wet season, which runs from May to October, make sure to pack an umbrella as showers are common.
2. Do I need a visa to visit Antigua?If you’re a citizen of the United States, Canada, or any European Union member state, you don’t need a visa to visit Antigua for up to 90 days. You will need a valid passport that’s good for at least six months from the date of entry. However, if you’re coming from a country that’s not on the visa-exempt list, you may need to apply for a visa before traveling.
3. What’s the local currency in Antigua, and how do I exchange money?The local currency in Antigua is the Guatemalan Quetzal. US dollars are widely accepted, but it’s best to have some local currency on hand for smaller transactions. You can exchange money at banks and exchange bureaus located throughout the city. Additionally, ATMs are widely available, so you can withdraw cash as needed.
4. Is it safe to travel to Antigua?Antigua is, for the most part, a safe city for tourists, with a low crime rate. However, like any destination, there are areas that are riskier than others, especially at night. To stay safe, you should avoid walking alone in secluded areas and keep a close eye on your belongings when in crowded places. Additionally, make sure to take taxis from reputable companies, and avoid using unlicensed taxis.
5. What’s the best way to get around Antigua?Antigua is a small city, and most of the main attractions are within walking distance. However, if you prefer not to walk, there are several other transportation options available. Taxis and tuk-tuks are readily available and can be hired for a few dollars. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can rent a bike or a scooter to explore the city.
6. What are some must-see attractions in Antigua?Antigua is home to a wealth of incredible attractions, from colonial-era churches and museums to natural wonders and historical sites. Some of the must-see attractions in Antigua include:
- The Santa Catalina Arch
- The Ruins of the Convent of Santa Clara
- The Cathedral of San José
- The Jade Museum
- Pacaya Volcano
- The La Azotea Cultural Center
7. What’s the local cuisine in Antigua, and where can I try it?Antigua’s cuisine is a unique blend of Spanish and Mayan influences, with a focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Some of the must-try dishes in Antigua include Pepián, a stew made with meat and vegetables, and Kaq Ik, a spicy turkey soup. You can try these dishes and more at restaurants throughout the city, but some of the best spots include:
- La Fonda de la Calle Real
- Café Sky
- El Tenedor del Cerro
- La Cocina de Merche
- Rincon Tipico
8. Is it easy to communicate in English in Antigua?Spanish is the official language of Guatemala, including Antigua. However, many people in the city speak English, especially in tourist areas. If you don’t speak Spanish, it’s a good idea to learn some basic phrases to help you navigate everyday situations.
9. Where’s a good place to stay in Antigua?There are plenty of accommodation options in Antigua, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels. Some of the best places to stay in Antigua include:
- Casa Encantada
- Pensativo House Hotel
- Hotel Posada del Angel
- Porta Hotel Antigua
- Hotel Museo Spa Casa Santo Domingo
10. What’s the nightlife like in Antigua?Antigua is known for its vibrant nightlife, with plenty of bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from. Many of the nightlife spots are located in the city center, and you can expect a lively atmosphere and good music. Some of the best places to go for drinks and dancing in Antigua include:
- El Barrio
- Reilly’s Irish Tavern
- Café No Sé
- The Snug
- La Sin Ventura
How to Spend Your Time as a Tourist in AntiguaAntigua is a beautiful Caribbean island renowned for its sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and warm climate. With pristine beaches and plenty of activities to keep visitors entertained, Antigua makes for an ideal tourist destination. Here’s a guide on how to spend your time in Antigua, whether you’re a first-time visitor or have been to the island before.
1. Hit the Beaches
Antigua is famous for having 365 beaches, which means you can spend a day at a different beach each year. Some of the most popular beaches in Antigua include:
a) Dickenson Bay Beach
Dickenson Bay Beach offers a stunning white-sand beach and crystal-clear waters that are perfect for swimming or paddleboarding.
b) Half Moon Bay Beach
Half Moon Bay Beach is another popular beach that offers a great snorkeling experience. The beach is located on the eastern side of the island.
c) Darkwood Beach
Darkwood Beach offers a secluded experience, with calm waters and plenty of trees to provide shade on sunny days.
2. Visit Nelson’s Dockyard
Nelson’s Dockyard is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers visitors a glimpse into Antigua’s colonial past. The dockyard dates back to the 18th century and has been beautifully restored. Visitors can explore the area’s history with a guided tour.
3. Take a Catamaran Tour
Taking a catamaran tour is a great way to see some of Antigua’s hidden gems. Visitors can opt for a full-day tour that includes snorkeling and a barbecue lunch, or a sunset cruise that offers stunning views of the island’s coastline.
4. Go Snorkeling
Antigua’s crystal-clear waters make for great snorkeling opportunities. Visitors can explore the island’s coral reefs and marine life at popular snorkeling spots like Cades Reef and Deep Bay.
5. Hike up to Shirley Heights
Shirley Heights is a must-visit attraction in Antigua, especially for those interested in photography. Visitors can take a hike up to the top of Shirley Heights and marvel at the panoramic views of the island.
6. Learn about Antigua’s Culture
Visitors can learn more about Antigua’s rich culture by visiting the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda. The museum contains a collection of artifacts that showcase the island’s history.
7. Try the Local Cuisine
No visit to Antigua is complete without trying the island’s local cuisine. Some of the most popular dishes include saltfish and Johnny cakes, pepper pot, rice and peas, Antiguan black pineapple, and goat stew. Visitors can try local cuisine at popular restaurants like Sheer Rocks, Papa Zouk, and Clogs.
Book Your Tour Now
Antigua offers visitors a perfect blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage. With plenty of beaches, activities, and local cuisine to enjoy, there’s never a dull moment on the island. By following this guide, you’ll be able to make the most of your time as a tourist in Antigua.
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