I LOVE this city! It made it on the list of My Top Favorite Cities!
This city is a mix of ancient buildings/ruins, and modern architecture. The restaurants and bars are very contemporary and stylish while churches and other older buildings are kept in their original state.
What to See/Do
Mirador » Just a short tuk-tuk ride (or a reasonable walk) from the center of town is a great lookout point called “Cerro de la Cruz.” But just ask anyone where “Mirador” (which literally means “viewpoint” in Spanish) is and you’ll be pointed in the right direction (up hill).
Ruins » There are some ruins scattered around town that are kind of neat to check out. There’s a price of a few dollars for each one.
Local Market » The local market is outrageous (I would compare it to a market in Asia) – a HUGE area that is “inside” (kind of – just tin roofs over each seller’s area that overlap each other) where you can find literally anything (batteries, hair products, jewelry, clothing, shoes, local fabrics, pastries and other sweets, etc.)
Bakery » There’s a bakery on the outside of the market that is AMAZING. If you’re walking down a street where the “inside” market is on one side and another outside strip of stores is on the other (and show shine guys are working on that street where the cars are parked), then you’re on the right street! Look/Ask for the bakery. It’s just a small window with a glass case of cakes and pastries with a line of people (always). Everything they make is AMAZING!! I would get a mini cream-filled pie thing each day – it was delicious and cost less than US$1!
Apparently, there’s an epic hike up to the top of the volcano that many tourists come to Antigua to do (I did not do it, only because time did not permit it). It’s an overnight hike so that you can see the lava glowing in the dark. The volcano erupts, like clockwork, about every half hour (kind of like Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park).
Ask your hostel or other tourists about prices and, remember, always ask a few sources and haggle! Don’t just pay the first offer you hear!
Where To Stay
Los Amigos » a Hostel with an internal garden and rooftop oasis. The shower is warm to kind of hot (which is great because every other shower in Central America was ice cold), the WiFi is fast, and there’s coffee in the morning. I paid about US$8 (60Q)
El Hostal » I’ve heard that this is a really cozy and friend hostel and highly recommended (but a bit more expensive)… about US$11+.
Honestly, there are plenty of adorable and cheap hostels in Antigua, so just check out Hostel World! I’m sure you’ll be pleased with anything you book there!
Let’s Hear What You Think!
Have you been here? Did I leave something out that’s worth seeing?
Planning on visiting Antigua? Did this post help you? If so, share it!