Once the capital of Guatemala, Antigua is famous for its Baroque influenced architecture and the ruins of several colonial churches, damaged or destroyed by earthquakes. Here are our 5 top suggestions for things you should do while visiting Antigua.
1. Climb a volcano. We chose the smallest option and went with Pacaya and for around USD $20 a private shuttle will collect you and take you to the base and home again. It also includes a guide (basic English speaking) who will hand out marshmallows to toast over the steaming vents and magnificent views over the surrounding volcanoes and valleys.
2. Visit the ruins. Our picks include the Templo y Convento de Nuestra Senora (Las Capuchinas), now the headquarters of the National Council for the Protection of Guatemala, this was the last religious building founded in the city around the year 1736. The Monasterio y Templo de Santa Clara built in 1700 and severely damaged in 1717 by the earthquakes of San Miguel and the Monasterio y Templo de la Recoleccion built between 1701 and 1708, again damaged severely in the earthquakes, leaving it abandoned in 1773.
3. Visit a coffee plantation. We visited Finca Filadelfia on the outskirts of town where we received a tour of the plantation, processing facilities and a cup of coffee before hitting the gift shop. A great way to end the tour.
4. Nightlife. Antigua is full of small bars and eateries ranging in budget. Some popular places are Reilly’s Irish Tavern, Café No Se and The Snug.
5. Markets. Wander through the seamlessly never ending maze of vendors to pick up a bargain and don’t be afraid to barter!!
Think we missed something? Add it the comments below.
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