Antigua, Guatemala Travel Guide
- by Ari Travels
Antigua, Guatemala is a wonderful, charming colonial town about 3 hours from Guatemala City. It’s full of life here! From exploring the city life to hiking the famous volcano, Guatemala is an incredible place to visit especially for a budget traveler because it's so affordable here! If you are thinking about visiting Guatemala, you need to. For any budget travel tips on traveling to Guatemala, feel free to book a call with me and I am happy to give you my tips on how to have the best time here on a budget.
Things to know about Antigua/Guatemala
Guatemala’s main form of payment is Cash. I would recommend the Charles Schwab Debit Card to withdraw cash from ATMs to avoid paying ATM fees. Charles Schwab reimburses all your fees at the end of the month which will save thousands of dollars over time.
For credit card use
When using your credit card to book accommodation or transportation etc. I recommend using a card that doesn’t charge international transaction fees such as the Capital One Venture card.
Download Google maps
Make sure your phone is unlocked before departing to Guatemala. I would highly suggest getting the Airalo App and downloading an eSim Card. Airalo is an app that allows you to have affordable cell data plans all over the world without needing a physical Sim Card which is what makes using your phone without wifi extremely convenient. Use my code ARIAHN516 for $ off!
Most Guatemala hotels and hostels have water filters, so bring a reusable water bottle. If a water filter system is not accessible, you will have to buy bottled water.
How to get to Antigua
You will most likely fly into the Guatemala City airport. The airport is located about 2 hours from Antigua. Your best bet is to ask your accommodation to arrange a shared shuttle service for you. Taking a shared shuttle is the most affordable way to get to and from the airport. Sometimes the shared shuttle services don’t align with flight times, so you may have to end up calling a taxi. I have a great taxi driver which you can reach out to me and I can give you his contact information. Plan on staying 2-4 days in Antigua so you can see and do everything, especially if you plan on doing the volcano hike which I will talk about later in this blog post.
Where to stay in Antigua, Guatemala
Adra hostel is in a great location and offers many excursions. Fun fact, it was actually built from an old colonial house. Make sure to book on Hostelworld for the best prices!
There are many other options for hostels for less than $15/night on Hostelworld.
There are plenty of affordable hotels all throughout the Antigua area if you don’t want to stay at a hostel (Click for more)Hotel La Sin Ventura: $38/night
Casa Mia Hotel: $55/night
Posada El Antaño: $63/night
What to do in Antigua, Guatemala
Calle de Argo
Calle de Argo is one of the famous spots in town. This arch has volcano views in the background and is a great spot for photos. Make sure you go early to avoid crowds!
Hiking Acatengango Volcano
This volcano hike is one of the main reasons many people choose to visit Guatemala. You will see a volcano erupt, camp on the volcano (if you choose the overnight option), roast marshmallows, and enjoy this challenging, yet rewarding activity.
Trip to Lake Atitlan
Lake Atitlan is a great place to visit for a night or two. From Antiqua, it's about a two-hour shared shuttle drive. I would plan on spending 1-2 nights here. For a hotel recommendation and detailed instructions on how to get here, you can check out my blog post here. During your time in Lake Atitlan, check out the little villages around the lake. Santa Cruz has wonderful volcano views and San Juan for decorated street art and good vibes!
Affordable Hotels in Lake Atitlan (click for more)
- Treehouse Retreat Glamping: $45/night ($22.50 per person)
- Lake Atitlan Sunset Lodge: $90/night ($45 per person)
- El Picnic: $130/night ($65 per person)
- Hospedaje El Viajero: $27/night ($13.50 per person)
Hostel Recommendations in Lake Atitlan
- Eco Hostel: $10/night
- La Iguana Perdida: $10/night
- Free Cervenza: $12/night
- Selina Lake Atlatiln: $15/night
Cerro De La Cruz
This is a beautiful viewpoint that overlooks the town! Also makes for wonderful photos and a great way to see everything.
Convento Santa Clara
This religious complex has stunning views. These ruins were formed by earthquakes over the last 200 years.
Eat Tacos at Tacool
Hands down, these were the best tacos I have ever had and it's only $5 for three amazing tacos! I got the chicken ones, but they have lots of different kinds to choose from.
If Antigua is not added to your list of places to visit, it should be now! Guatemala is such an affordable country to visit with lots to offer from nature to adventure and great people. I cannot wait to come back and explore more of this country soon one day. I hope this guide was helpful! Please feel free to comment or ask me any questions regarding your upcoming trip. For more information about traveling to Guatemala, you can book a consultation call with me or request a custom itinerary by heading to this page. Happy traveling!