Antigua is world-famous for being one of the most picturesque cities and as a UNESCO world heritage site many areas are still well-preserved. With a classic Spanish colonial style and a volcano backdrop, every vantage point gives you an incredible photo opp. As you stroll the cobblestone streets, you will be able to stubble upon colorful walls, intricate architecture and breathtaking backdrops on your own. Here, I will give you more specific information of my favorite places to stay, eat and explore.
Where to stay: The Good Hotel
With impeccable decor, healthy menu, and remarkable staff, the Good Hotel should be your first choice when visiting the famous city of Antigua, Guatemala. The entire essence of the hotel is in its perfect blend of high-end hospitality with local stories and culture.
100% of the proceeds from their hotel is reinvested right into the community. Their unique business model provides a training program to unemployed locals and single moms. And you are most likely going meet some of them while staying there!
Even more so, for every direct booking made at the Good Hotel, they donate $5 per night of your stay, to their charity partner, Niños de Guatemala. This non-profit provides underprivileged children with a high-quality education. Niños de Guatemala runs two primary schools and a secondary school which house over 500 Guatemalan children that would otherwise not have been able to go to school. Each room is named after a scholarship recipient and their portrait hangs inside.
≫ ≫ ≫ www.goodhotelantigua.com
Where to eat: Meson Panza Verde
MPV is luxurious boutique hotel and world class restaurant. What is most memorable for me, is the warm welcome from the hotel staff. Panza Verde is a Guatemalan icon and is so much more than just a hotel. Here you will find a peaceful yoga studio, art gallery, beautiful gardens, swimming pool, live music, exquisite food and rooftop city views.
Even if you do not stay here, be sure to make a reservation for dinner. Their tasting menu with wine included is Q380pp ($50) allows you to taste the best from the chef. While it is on the higher end, the quality and service went above and beyond. Their menu has achieved critical acclaim and is considered to be one of the top restaurants in all of Guatemala!
≫ ≫ ≫ www.panzaverde.com
Where to enjoy: Caoba Farms
Caoba Farms is well-known for their farmers markets every Saturday. Here you can enjoy artisanal craft beers, live music and a literal farm to table menu. Another popular event is their Flea Market which is first Sunday of every month. Live music is playing on Saturdays and Thursday nights and throughout the week you can find free activities for all ages (yoga, zumba, breakdance, activities for children..) and much more!
Hours: Monday – Tuesday CLOSED, Wednesday 8 AM – 4PM (Fresh Bread), Thursday 8 AM – 9PM (Yes, 9 pm), Friday 8 AM – 4PM, Saturday 8 AM – 4PM (Fresh Bread), Sunday 8 AM – 4PM
Address: 5a Avenida Sur Final, La Antigua Guatemala
Walk south on 5th avenue south, towards Agua Volcano, pass Mezon Panza Verde and La Escalonia Café, 15 min walk approx from Central Park Antigua.
≫ ≫ ≫ www.caobafarms.com
Where to shop: Nimpot
Nimpot is the place to stop in, especially if you want to learn more about the various textiles and crafts of Guatemala. It is a one-stop-shop to exploring the different weavings and regions of the Maya communities. With extensive handmade goods, you can browse for hours knowing your purchase was crafted locally.
Easy to find, Nimpot is just a few steps away from the famous Arco de Santa Catalina on the 5ta. Avenida Norte.
≫ ≫ ≫ www.nimpotexport.com
Where to party: Las Vibras
Las Vibras de la Casbah is the place to party in Antigua. With an open-air rooftop this restaurant transforms into the largest and hottest dance club in town. Check out their facebook page to find out about specific events and don't miss out on ladies night!
Easy to find, Vibras is just a few steps away from the famous Arco de Santa Catalina on the 5ta. Avenida Norte.
Where to explore: Cerro de la Cruz
Cerro de la Cruz provides breathtaking views looking south over the cityscape of La Antigua toward Volcán Agua. The prominent cross at the head of the lookout point is devoted to the city's patron saint.
Accessible via car, tuktuk or even trekking up from the city center. Once you get there, you can see the entire city with a backdrop of volcanoes. On a clear morning, your view will pass southward over Antigua and straight to the top of Volcan de Agua in the distance and even grasp a peek at Volcan de Fuego to the right.
My suggestion is to get up there right after sunrise before the crowds start coming around 9am. (Don't go too early or before first light).
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