Antigua – A Guatemalan Gem

The central highlands city of Antigua is unquestionably one of Guatemala’s prettiest destinations and perfect for adventure travel. With stunning Spanish Baroque architecture, streets packed full of abundantly flowering plants and some of the best cuisine in Guatemala; Antigua is not to be missed.

Take a tour

The first thing to do upon arrival in Antigua is to take a tour of the city on foot. Have your camera to hand for capturing the charming scenes offered at every turn. From the bougainvillea winding its way up crumbling walls to towering archways to pretty, pastel-shaded houses, the city cannot fail to charm. Start early in the day to make the most of the city in the early morning light.

Stay in style

Anyone who’s anyone stays in the Hotel Casa Santo Domingo when in Antigua.

Antigua a Guatemalan Gem 3

With a swimming pool, sauna, health club and spa, as well as several fine restaurants, Hotel Casa Santo Domingo offers stylish accommodation set in the refurbished buildings of the former Santo Domingo monastery, a perfect combination of old world charm and modern luxury.

Antigua a Guatemalan Gem 4

Get climbing

With three volcanoes surrounding the city, visitors to Antigua can stretch their legs and scale the giddy heights in order to benefit from some truly spectacular views of Guatemala. The tallest of the three, Acatenango, offers the most impressive views from its twin peaks, while Pacaya offers a rare opportunity to peek into an active volcano’s crater.

Take a trip to Copán

No stay in Antigua would be complete without indulging in a day trip to nearby Copán. One of the most elaborate Mayan cities, Copán awes visitors with its ancient temples, stone monuments and examples of hieroglyphs. Copán is a six-hour drive from Antigua, so a trip there makes for a long day, but the stunning scenery on the journey combined with the fascinating architecture of Copán make it a very worthwhile day out.

Antigua a Guatemalan Gem 5

Image Courtesy: wikimediacommons/elemaki

Board a boat

A natural treasure close to Antigua, Lake Atitlán offers a range of boat hire options and excursions for those looking to see Guatemala from the water. Scenes of incredible natural beauty are interspersed with towns and villages, their buildings crowding the lake’s shores while fishing boats bob up and down in front of them.

Antigua a Guatemalan Gem 6

Image Courtesy: wikimediacommons/chensiyuan

Dine indulgently

Hector’s Bistro is the place to eat when it comes to Antigua’s restaurants. Serving up stunning, French-inspired creations, Hector’s Bistro has been awarded a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2014 for its combination of quality cuisine and delightful, intimate setting. No trip to Antigua is truly complete without at least one meal at Hector’s!

Antigua a Guatemalan Gem 7

Top Image Source: wikimediacommons/ZackClark

Louise Taylor

Louise is a travel writer with a passion for exploring the unknown. She loves visiting new places and has a particular interest in exploring local cuisine wherever she travels. Louise has lived in the UK and Portugal and is currently considering where to base her next adventure. Follow her travels at

Latest posts by Louise Taylor (see all)