1-Day Family Sightseeing Adventure in Antigua, Guatemala

Antigua, Guatemala

1 days

Ruins of La Recoleccion, Church of Antigua Guatemala
Antigua Guatemala
Sawdust carpet for the Good Friday
El Volcán de Fuego
View of ruin of colonial church

About Antigua, Guatemala

Experience the rich history and vibrant culture of Antigua, Guatemala, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Nestled in a valley surrounded by volcanoes, this city offers a unique blend of Spanish colonial architecture and indigenous heritage. Explore the cobblestone streets, visit the stunning Baroque-style churches, and marvel at the ruins of centuries-old monasteries. Enjoy local cuisine at charming cafes, shop for traditional handicrafts, and immerse yourself in the lively local markets. Don't miss the chance to hike the nearby Pacaya Volcano for breathtaking views. With its perfect blend of natural beauty and cultural richness, Antigua, Guatemala promises an unforgettable travel experience.

1-Day Itinerary

Day 1

A Day of Sightseeing in Antigua, Guatemala

Morning

Start your day with a visit to the Central Park, the heart of Antigua. This park is surrounded by significant architectural structures and offers a great introduction to the city's history and culture. Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and take in the beautiful views of the surrounding volcanoes.

Lunch

Enjoy a traditional Guatemalan lunch in a local restaurant. Try popular dishes like Pepian, a rich meat stew, or Pupusas, thick corn tortillas stuffed with various fillings.

Afternoon

After lunch, visit the iconic Santa Catalina Arch, a must-see landmark in Antigua. Then, head to the nearby La Merced Church, a beautiful baroque church with intricate designs. Afterwards, explore the ruins of the old convents and monasteries that dot the city.

Dinner

For dinner, indulge in some local street food at a bustling food market. Try dishes like Chiles Rellenos (stuffed peppers) and Tamales (steamed corn dough filled with meats, fruits, or nuts).

Evening

End your day with a relaxing stroll through the cobblestone streets of Antigua, soaking in the city's colonial charm under the soft glow of street lamps. Don't forget to stop by a local shop for some handmade souvenirs.

Attractions in Itinerary (3)

Central Park

1
Central Park

The main hub of Antigua, surrounded by colonial buildings and filled with beautiful gardens.

Parks
Santa Catalina Arch

2
Santa Catalina Arch

One of the most famous landmarks in Antigua, offering a great view of the Agua Volcano.

Monuments
Landmarks
La Merced Church

3
La Merced Church

A beautiful example of Spanish Baroque architecture, known for its intricate facade and bell towers.

Religious Sites
Architecture
Cultural Experiences

Local Food and Drinks (12)

Pepian

Pepian

A traditional Guatemalan stew made from meat, vegetables, and spices. It's a staple in Antigua and is often served with rice.

Kak'ik

Kak'ik

A traditional turkey soup from Antigua, Guatemala. It's richly spiced with coriander, achiote, and chili peppers.

Platanos en Mole

A sweet dessert made from ripe plantains and a chocolate sauce known as mole. It's a popular treat in Antigua.

Rellenitos

Rellenitos

A popular Guatemalan snack made from mashed plantains filled with sweetened black beans. It's a common street food in Antigua.

Tamales

Tamales

A traditional Mesoamerican dish made of masa (a dough made from corn) filled with meats, cheeses, fruits, or other fillings, wrapped in a corn husk and steamed. Tamales are a staple food in Antigua.

Chiles Rellenos

Chiles Rellenos

A dish made from large chili peppers stuffed with meat and vegetables, then battered and fried. It's a popular dish in Antigua.

Guacamole

Guacamole

A traditional Mexican dish that has been adopted by Guatemalan cuisine. It's made from ripe avocados, lime juice, and various seasonings. It's often served as a starter in Antigua.

Pupusas

Pupusas

A traditional dish from El Salvador that is also popular in Antigua. It's made from thick corn tortillas filled with cheese, beans, or meat.

Elote

Elote

A popular street food in Antigua, elote is a grilled corn on the cob, typically served with cheese, chili powder, and lime.

Gallo en Chicha

Gallo en Chicha

A traditional Guatemalan dish made from chicken cooked in a fermented corn drink. It's a unique and popular dish in Antigua.

Gallo

Gallo

A popular beer in Guatemala, Gallo is a light, crisp lager that is often enjoyed in Antigua.

Atol de Elote

A traditional Guatemalan drink made from sweet corn, milk, and sugar. It's a popular non-alcoholic beverage in Antigua.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Antigua, Guatemala is during the dry season, which runs from November to April. During this period, the weather is pleasant and perfect for outdoor activities and sightseeing. However, if you want to experience the city's vibrant cultural festivals, plan your visit during the Holy Week (Semana Santa) which usually falls in late March or early April. This is when the city comes alive with colorful processions and traditional events.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1

Mon

New Year's Day

March 28

Thu

Maundy Thursday

March 29

Fri

Good Friday

March 30

Sat

Easter Saturday

May 1

Wed

Labor Day

May 10

Fri

Mothers’ Day (Working Mothers Only)

July 1

Mon

Army Day Holiday

September 15

Sun

Independence Day

October 12

Sat

Dia de la raza

October 20

Sun

Revolution of 1944

November 1

Fri

All Saints' Day

December 24

Tue

Christmas Eve

December 25

Wed

Christmas Day

December 31

Tue

New Year's Eve

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Antigua is a small city and most of the attractions are within walking distance. The city is laid out in a grid, making it easy to navigate. The streets are cobblestone, so wear comfortable shoes.

Taxis are readily available in Antigua. They do not have meters, so it's best to negotiate the fare before getting in. Taxis are a good option for longer distances or if you're carrying a lot of luggage.

These are brightly colored, modified school buses that serve as public transportation in Guatemala. They are a cheap and authentic way to get around, but they can be crowded and the driving can be fast and erratic.

These are small, three-wheeled vehicles that are a common sight in Antigua. They are a quick and inexpensive way to get around the city. Like taxis, it's best to negotiate the fare before getting in.

Many hotels and tour operators offer shuttle bus services to and from the airport, as well as to other popular destinations in Guatemala. This can be a convenient and stress-free way to travel.

Uber is available in Antigua and can be a convenient and affordable way to get around. You can order a ride using the app on your smartphone. Note that not all drivers may speak English.

Bicycles are available for rent in Antigua. This can be a fun and eco-friendly way to explore the city. Just be aware that the cobblestone streets can make for a bumpy ride.

For a more comfortable and personalized experience, you can hire a private driver. This can be arranged through your hotel or a tour operator. This is a good option if you plan to visit multiple destinations in one day.

For a romantic or nostalgic experience, consider a horse-drawn carriage ride. These are available in the central park and can take you on a tour of the city's historic sites.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

CurrencyQ GTQ

Time zoneUTC-6

Driving sideRight

Emergency phoneAmbulance: 123; Fire: 123; Police: 110

Drinking waterOpt for bottled water

Power sockets

Power socket type APower socket type B

Voltage120 V

Things to know about Antigua, Guatemala as a first time visitor

1

Antigua, Guatemala is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its well-preserved Spanish Baroque-influenced architecture.

2

The official language is Spanish, so it would be beneficial to learn some basic phrases.

3

The local currency is the Guatemalan Quetzal. It's recommended to have some local currency on hand for small purchases.

4

Credit cards are widely accepted in Antigua, but it's always good to ask beforehand.

5

The climate in Antigua is mild, with temperatures ranging from 55°F (13°C) to 75°F (24°C).

6

The rainy season is from May to October, so pack accordingly if you plan to visit during these months.

7

Antigua is generally safe for tourists, but like any other city, it's important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions.

8

Public transportation is available, but it can be crowded. Taxis and tuk-tuks are also common.

9

Antigua is at a high altitude, so it's possible to experience altitude sickness. Stay hydrated and take it easy for the first few days.

10

The tap water in Antigua is not safe to drink. Always opt for bottled water.

11

Antigua is known for its coffee. Don't miss the opportunity to try some locally grown coffee.

12

The local cuisine is a mix of Mayan and Spanish influences. Be sure to try some traditional dishes like pepian or tamales.

13

Tipping is customary in Antigua. A tip of 10% is usually expected in restaurants.

14

Antigua is a small city and it's easy to get around on foot. However, the cobblestone streets can be uneven, so wear comfortable shoes.

15

Antigua has a vibrant nightlife with many bars and clubs. However, it's recommended to stay in well-lit areas and avoid walking alone at night.

16

There are many markets in Antigua where you can buy local handicrafts. Remember to bargain, as it's a common practice.

17

If you're planning to visit during Easter week, book well in advance. This is a popular time for tourists and accommodations can fill up quickly.

18

Antigua has a slower pace of life. Embrace the laid-back lifestyle and take the time to relax and enjoy the city.

19

There are many language schools in Antigua if you're interested in learning Spanish.

20

Always carry a copy of your passport and keep the original in a safe place.

Basic Spanish to know as a first time visitor

English phrase

Native phrase

Pronunciation

When to use it

Hello

Hola

oh-la

Greeting someone

Goodbye

Adiós

ah-dee-ohs

Leaving someone

Please

Por favor

por fa-vor

Making a request

Thank you

Gracias

gra-see-as

Expressing gratitude

Yes

see

Agreeing with someone

No

No

no

Disagreeing with someone

Excuse me

Perdón

per-don

Getting someone's attention

I'm sorry

Lo siento

lo see-en-to

Apologizing

Do you speak English?

¿Hablas inglés?

ah-blas in-gles

Asking if someone speaks English

I don't understand

No entiendo

no en-tee-en-do

When you don't understand what's being said

Where is the bathroom?

¿Dónde está el baño?

don-de es-ta el ban-yo

Asking for the bathroom

How much does it cost?

¿Cuánto cuesta?

quan-to cues-ta

Asking the price of something

I would like...

Me gustaría...

me gus-ta-ree-a

Expressing a desire for something

Help!

¡Ayuda!

a-yu-da

In case of emergency

Can I have the menu, please?

¿Puedo tener el menú, por favor?

pwe-do te-ner el me-nu, por fa-vor

At a restaurant

Water

Agua

a-gwa

Asking for water

Beer

Cerveza

ser-ve-za

Ordering a beer

Cheers!

¡Salud!

sa-lud

Making a toast

Where is...?

¿Dónde está...?

don-de es-ta

Asking for directions

Good night

Buenas noches

bwe-nas no-ches

Saying goodnight

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Lightweight clothing

  • A light jacket or sweater for the evening

  • Swimsuit (if you plan to visit hot springs)

  • Hat and sunglasses for sun protection

  • Rain jacket or umbrella (if traveling during rainy season)

  • Toiletries

  • Travel-sized toothpaste and toothbrush

  • Deodorant

  • Sunscreen

  • Insect repellent

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Travel-sized shampoo and conditioner

  • Personal hygiene items

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport

  • Driver's license or other form of ID

  • Credit and/or debit card

  • Cash (in local currency)

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Hotel and/or car rental reservation confirmations

  • Emergency contact information

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for your phone

  • Camera

  • Charger for your camera

  • Universal power adapter

  • Portable power bank

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Travel guidebook for Antigua, Guatemala

  • Reusable water bottle

  • Snacks for the journey

  • Travel pillow and blanket for the flight

  • Earplugs and eye mask

  • First-aid kit

  • Travel-sized laundry detergent

Weather Conditions

Antigua, Guatemala, is known for its pleasant climate, often referred to as the "Land of Eternal Spring." However, it's important to note that the weather can vary throughout the year, so it's essential to plan your trip accordingly. The year in Antigua is divided into two main seasons: the dry season (November to April) and the rainy season (May to October). If you're planning to explore the city's beautiful outdoor attractions, the dry season might be the best time for you. The temperatures during this time range from 72°F to 82°F (22°C to 28°C) during the day, dropping to cooler temperatures at night. The rainy season, on the other hand, is characterized by afternoon showers, which can sometimes be heavy. However, these showers are usually short-lived and can actually be quite refreshing, bringing the temperature down a bit. The temperatures during the rainy season range from 70°F to 80°F (21°C to 27°C). Regardless of the season, it's recommended to pack layers as the temperature can drop in the evenings. A light jacket or sweater would be ideal for the cooler nights. Also, don't forget your sunscreen, as the sun can be quite strong throughout the year. If you're visiting during the rainy season, it's a good idea to pack a waterproof jacket or an umbrella. Despite the rain, this season has its own charm with lush, green landscapes and fewer tourists. Remember, weather can be unpredictable, so it's always a good idea to check the forecast before your trip. Enjoy your visit to Antigua, Guatemala!

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview

January

24° / 13°

January is the coolest month in Antigua, Guatemala, but it's still quite warm with an average high of 24°C. It's also the driest month, making it a great time to visit for outdoor activities.

February

25° / 13°

February sees a slight increase in temperature, with highs reaching 25°C. It's still dry, so it's a good time to explore the city and its surroundings.

March

26° / 14°

March is a bit warmer, with temperatures ranging from 14°C to 26°C. It's the start of the dry season's end, but rainfall is still quite low.

April

27° / 15°

April is the warmest month in Antigua, with highs reaching 27°C. It's also the start of the rainy season, but showers are usually short and in the afternoon.

May

27° / 16°

May is the start of the rainy season, but temperatures remain high, averaging around 27°C. Rain usually falls in the afternoon, leaving the mornings clear for sightseeing.

June

26° / 16°

June is in the middle of the rainy season, with temperatures ranging from 16°C to 26°C. Despite the rain, the city remains vibrant and lush.

July

26° / 16°

July is similar to June, with temperatures ranging from 16°C to 26°C. Rainfall is still high, but usually falls in the afternoon or evening.

August

26° / 16°

August is a bit cooler, but temperatures still range from 16°C to 26°C. It's still the rainy season, so pack a raincoat if you plan to visit.

September

25° / 16°

September is the wettest month in Antigua, with temperatures ranging from 16°C to 25°C. Despite the rain, the city's beauty shines through, making it a unique time to visit.

October

25° / 15°

October sees a decrease in temperature, with highs reaching 25°C. It's the end of the rainy season, so the weather starts to improve towards the end of the month.

November

24° / 14°

November is the start of the dry season, with temperatures ranging from 14°C to 24°C. It's a great time to visit as the weather is pleasant and the city is less crowded.

December

24° / 13°

December is a cool and dry month, with temperatures ranging from 13°C to 24°C. It's a great time to visit for Christmas celebrations and to escape the winter chill.

Did you know?

Did you know that Antigua, Guatemala is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its well-preserved Spanish Baroque-influenced architecture as well as a number of ruins of colonial churches?

1 of 10

Places near by Antigua, Guatemala

Chichicastenango Market

Chichicastenango Market

One of the largest and most vibrant open-air markets in Central America, offering a wide variety of goods from handicrafts to food.

3h
141.6 km / 88.0 mi
How to get there
Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan

A beautiful lake surrounded by volcanoes and villages, known for its natural beauty and vibrant indigenous culture.

2.5h
77.1 km / 47.9 mi
How to get there
Pacaya Volcano

Pacaya Volcano

An active volcano that offers guided hikes to the summit for a close-up view of the lava flow.

1h
25.5 km / 15.8 mi
How to get there
Quetzaltenango

Quetzaltenango

The second largest city in Guatemala, known for its beautiful architecture and vibrant cultural scene.

3h
204 km / 126.8 mi
How to get there
Monterrico Beach

Monterrico Beach

A Pacific coast beach known for its black volcanic sand and sea turtle conservation projects.

2h
97.4 km / 60.5 mi
How to get there
Tikal National Park

Tikal National Park

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to one of the largest and most important Mayan sites in the world.

3.5h
481 km / 298.9 mi
How to get there
Semuc Champey

Semuc Champey

A natural monument in the department of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, consisting of a natural 300 m limestone bridge, under which passes the Cahabón River.

5h
292 km / 181.4 mi
How to get there
Rio Dulce

Rio Dulce

A river in eastern Guatemala, known for its beautiful scenery and abundance of wildlife.

5h
265 km / 164.7 mi
How to get there