Welcome to your Ultimate Antigua Travel Guide covering everything you need to know about this Central American country. Guatemala is home to ancient historical sites and incredible ruins, dense jungles, colorful architecture, lively markets, and towering volcanoes. It is a diverse and beautiful country ripe for budget travel. Antigua is one of the best little gems in Guatemala! Its beyond-the-beaten-path status is all part of the appeal and this travel guide is a great way of getting under the colorful skin of one of Central America’s most fascinating cities. Get ready to book that ticket and GO!



Antigua is about 40 km (25 miles) away from Guatemala City and found in the Sacatepéquez Province in Guatemala.


From Guatemala City, you really have 7 options on getting to Sayulita from the airport.

Private Bus: 

Journey Duration: 2 hours

Litegua offers a daily bus connection between Guatemala City and Antigua at 02:30 PM. The trip takes anywhere between 1 hour 30 min to 2 hours, depending on the traffic.  The cost for this trip is about $10 USD

*This trip only occurs ONCE daily

Shared Shuttle: 

Journey Duration: 2 hours

To avoid long waiting times for other passengers to join, I recommend you pre-booking a shuttle at least one day in advance. Prices start at $19 USD, and there are departures throughout the day.

*GuateGo is one of the more popular booking companies. Prices are reasonable and the trip is safe

Private Shuttle: 

Journey Duration: 1 hour

If you are traveling in a group and/ or want to be more flexible regarding the departure time, a private transfer may be the best option for you!

You can book shuttles for up to 12 persons on GuateGo.

Prices for a private shuttle from Guatemala City to Antigua

Public Transportation (Chicken Bus):

Journey Duration: N/A

If you want to travel like a local and turn your trip into a little adventure, you can take the public bus or chicken bus to Antigua!

The public bus departs from the main bus terminal in the city. The trip costs $2 USD. I only recommend this option if you speak at least some basic Spanish and don’t have much luggage/ valuables.

*If you take this route, don’t expect to stick to a certain schedule. You’ll get there when you get there – haha


Journey Duration: 1 hour

Uber is available in Guatemala and a trip from Guatemala City to Antigua costs around $25 USD outside of peak times. It was fairly simply to get my Uber as it arrived right outside of the airport doors.


Journey Duration: 1 hour

A taxi from Guatemala City Airport to Antigua costs around USD 35 and are too, located right outside of the airport doors.

Car Rental:

Journey Duration: 1 hour

If you want to travel independently to Antigua, a rental car may be a good option for you. The travel distance from Guatemala City is 40 kilometers or 25 miles.

*Note that the roads are quite bad and that many drivers don’t pay attention to traffic lights or traffic rules


The best time to visit Guatemala is during the dry season, which runs from November to April. However, the country has a pleasant climate that lends itself to year-round trips, with temperatures between 72°F and 90°F.

Even in the wet season (May to October), the rainfall only lasts for a couple of hours per day in the main visitor regions.


El Caseo or the city center is popular amongst tourists. This is where most of the best places to stay in Antigua Guatemala are. It’s also where you’ll find amazing places to eat, great historical buildings, and a colorful, friendly atmosphere.

The second area to consider is Santa Ana. This is one of the best areas to stay in Antigua Guatemala for travelers of all kinds. The local culture is absolutely mesmerizing. And experiencing everyday life in this part of the world is a treat not to be missed.

EL CONVENTO BOUTIQUE HOTEL $168 ($̶3̶2̶9̶) - Updated 2022 Prices & Reviews - Antigua, Guatemala - Tripadvisor
El Convento Boutique Hotel

Best Luxury Hotels in Antigua: 

El Convento Boutique Hotel (my personal favorite)

Hotel Boutique Los Pasos

Hotel Casa Santo Domingo

*Alternatively, you can check out Air BnB and rent a pretty nice apartment that will be you a more authentic feel of how many live in Guatemala


From personal experience, the best way to get around the town of Antigua is on foot. The tourist area of the town is fairly small and can practically be done in 20 minutes.

However, for those who don’t want to walk, I would suggest taking a ride in a Tuk Tuk. This is the most common mode of transportation is Antigua but it can also be dangerous. Typical rides cost between $2 USD to $5 USD. If you do not know this, drivers will try to finesse you.

File:Tuk Tuk, La Antigua Guatemala.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

If you’re going further distances, feel free to simply use the Uber app. For the most part, Ubers are readily available and drivers can get you to your destination quickly and safely.


Visit Arco de Santa Catalina – The most iconic sight in the city, Arco de Santa Catalina, is a must-see while in Antigua. Make sure you bring your camera, because it is stunning. On a clear day, you will have a fantastic view of Volcan Agua.

Take a chocolate making workshop – Ek Chuah is a family-owned chocolateria inAntigua committed to supporting local vendors and selling only the highest quality products with 100% Guatemalan roots. They offer a chocolate making workshop where you can learn about the stages of chocolate production “from the cocoa bean to that delicious melt-in-your-mouth bar”.

During the workshop you will roast the cocoa and learn how to make an infusion to create the traditional Mayan drink with chili and honey. You will also have the opportunity to mold your own chocolate bars, decorating them with whatever extras you prefer. The cost of the workshop is about $20 USD

Toast marshmallows on Volcan Pacaya – Volcan Pacaya is the most accessible volcano, making it also the most visited. The hike to the top covers an elevation gain of around 1,500 feet and takes around 2 hours, depending on your fitness level. And if hiking just ain’t your thing, you can also rent a horse to bring you to the top.

Once at the top, you can experience the moon-like landscape and even toast marshmallows over hot rocks. But don’t expect red, flowing lava here – you’ll have to venture to Volcan Fuego to see that.

See the city from Cerro de la Cruz viewpoint – For a fantastic view of Antigua, the short walk to Cerro de la Cruz is a must. The name, which translates to “Hill of the Cross” is a pretty self-explanatory description of what you’ll find here.

If you’re lucky and are visiting on a clear day, you’ll get a stunning view of the volcano looming in the distance.

Hike the Corazon de Agua Trail –If you’re itching to get out of the city and into nature, another popular hike to do near Antigua is the Corazón de Agua trail. This 3-mile (2.7 km) loop trail takes you through the Corazón de Agua Ecological Park, culminating in a small developed park with views for miles in every direction.

The hike itself is moderate and can be done by hikers of every fitness level.

*Pack a picnic lunch and make use of the tables and picnic benches at the top while enjoying the views.

Handcraft Shopping – Guatemala is known for beautiful artisan goods, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to take something home to remember your trip by.


One of the main reasons I looked forward to visiting Antigua was because of all the various cuisine options. Antigua has some pretty delicious authentic Guatemalan food as well as upscale international fare. Not to mention some pretty cool rooftop viewpoints.

Guatelaria: This restaurant is an absolute MUST when visiting Antigua. It has amazing local cuisine with their speciality dish being pepián. Pepián is said to be the national dish of Guatemala.

*They have some pretty tasty vegetarian options as well

Fridas: This restaurant offers some of the best Mexican food I’ve had outside of Mexico. I highly recommend the Cochinita Pibil and the Molcajete de Lomito.

Pitaya Juice Bar: This is the BEST breakfast in all of Antigua. The restaurant is quaint place to get work done and enjoy delicious food. Plus, they have great smoothies, great prices, and vegetarian options. What more could you ask for?


Antigua overall is pleasantly mild tempered country that lends itself to more casual, lightweight clothing options.

Hat: Antigua doesn’t get all too hot, so while hats aren’t necessary, they add GREAT aesthetic to your pictures.

Hiking Boots and Clothing: One of the most coveted things to do in Antigua, Guatemala is hike a volcano, so you want to make sure you have proper footwear and attire.

Comfortable Sneakers: You’ll be doing a good amount of walking and exploring, so you’ll want a solid pair of shoes that you can move around in.

Water Filtering Water Bottle:  Guatemala is full of unsafe drinking water and unless you want to buy bottled water the whole time, which is not only expensive but bad for the environment you should invest in a filtering water bottle. They are great not only for travel but also for hiking in the outdoors.

Plus why wouldn’t you want to double filter your drinking water even if it is safe to drink?

Day Pack: This is another great item that you are going to want to have, especially if you plan on doing any exploring. Choose a pack large enough to carry essential gear with convenient storage compartments and easy access to water bottles.


Follow me on Instagram and Subscribe to my blog for more travel guides, tips and flight deals ✈️

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *