Antigua: An enchanting journey through Guatemalan history and culture

Explore the historical and cultural riches of Guatemala‘s former capital, Antigua. With its cobbled streets, colonial churches and vibrant atmosphere, Antigua is a must-see destination for history, culture and adventure enthusiasts. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city boasts magnificent colonial architecture, colourful facades and remnants of religious buildings that bear witness to its turbulent past. Admire these wonders to discover the city’s fascinating history.


The historic centre

Credit: INGUAT

Credit: INGUAT

Walking through the streets of the centre of Antigua, one discovers a rich past around every corner. The Plaza Mayor, the main square, is the ideal starting point for exploring the city. Surrounded by colourful buildings, cafes and artisanal shops, the Plaza Mayor is a lively place where locals and visitors alike gather to enjoy the warm atmosphere of the city. The square is surrounded by historic buildings such as the Metropolitan Cathedral and the National Palace of Culture, an architectural gem. Formerly the presidential residence, this imposing building now houses the National History Museum. Here you can admire exhibitions that trace the evolution of Guatemala from the pre-Columbian period to the present day.

In addition to its architectural heritage, Antigua is known for its lively markets. Visitors can visit one of Antigua’s many markets to discover local handicrafts, colourful traditional textiles and typical local culinary products: a true immersion in Guatemalan daily life!


Visit churches and convents

Antigua is home to many magnificent churches and convents, some of which were partially destroyed by earthquakes, but whose remains still allow us to admire the beauty of the former capital. The Cathedral of Antigua, the church of La Merced, the church of San Francisco and El Carmen are among the most notable. Explore their fascinating architecture and climb to the rooftops for panoramic views of the city.


Take a trip to the Pacaya volcano

Crédit : INGUAT

Credit: INGUAT

Four volcanoes are in the vicinity of Antigua: Acatenango, Agua, Fuego and Pacaya. The most accessible excursion is to the Pacaya volcano, one of the most active in Guatemala. You can climb its slopes, observe the lava flows and enjoy a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape.

The Pacaya rises majestically to an altitude of 2,552 metres above sea level. Its volcanic cone offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area, with lush forests, green valleys and other towering volcanoes in the background. The slopes of the volcano are covered with solidified lava, creating a fascinating lunar atmosphere, which is an ideal playground for photographers.

The hike to the summit is an unforgettable experience. You can walk along steep paths, through unique landscapes and observe the effects of volcanic activity up close.


Explore the area by bike

Credit: INGUAT

Credit: INGUAT

Rent a bike and explore the surrounding area of Antigua. You can take a ride along the Coffee Route to visit the world-famous plantations, observe the harvesting process and enjoy a freshly brewed cup of coffee. Mountain bikers can also take advantage of the nearby mountain trails for a more sporting adventure.


Attend a Mayan ceremony

Immerse yourself in the living heritage of Mayan culture by participating in a traditional ceremony. The Mayan people maintain a strong presence in the region, offering visitors the opportunity to witness ancestral rituals such as purification ceremonies and equinox celebrations. During these immersive experiences, you will have the opportunity to learn more about Mayan customs and traditions, watch dancers dressed in beautiful outfits, listen to traditional songs and even taste typical local food and drink.


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