Antigua Sights

Few places in the Americas hold such a repository of colonial architecture. Some still serve their original purpose, whereas others have morphed into hotels, restaurants, and shops. Still others stand magnificently in ruins. If ever there were a place you could overdose on history, Antigua is it. Avoid the temptation to rush from church to convent to monastery to palace and off to another church,

all in one morning. (You'll see dazed tour groups doing exactly that.) Build in some down time and delight in the small things (ice cream, music, or shoe shines) that make this one of the hemisphere's most special places.

Nearly everything of interest (sights, restaurants, hotels, and services) sits in a 10-by-10-block grid in the center of the city, and you could possibly narrow that down even further by focusing on the immediate orbit of the central park. Most of the sights lie east, south, and north of the park.

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Castle/ Palace/ Chateau 1

Government Building 1

House/ Mansion/ Villa 2

Market/ Bazaar 1

Museum/ Gallery 3

Plaza/ Square/ Piazza 1

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 6

Viewpoint/ Scenic Overlook 1

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Antigua Sights

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Arco de Santa Catalina

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

The only remnant of the once-enormous Convent of St. Catherine is this beautiful orange-yellow arch that spans 5 Avenida Norte, a street...

Casa Popenoe

  • House/Mansion/Villa

A short loop through this beautifully restored colonial mansion takes you through courtyards and several rooms containing decorative...

Casa del Tejido Antigüo

  • House/Mansion/Villa

This is the place to come for background information on the rainbow of textiles you'll see when you head out to the highlands. Exhibits...

Catedral de Santiago Apóstol y San José Catedral

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Upon your first peek inside, you may wonder why the cathedral of Central America's preeminent colonial city seems so small. That's because...

Centro Azotea

  • Museum/Gallery

Three modest museums make up this cultural center in the village of Jocotenango just outside Antigua. The center also offers horseback...

Cerro de la Cruz

  • Viewpoint/Scenic Overlook

If the Santa Catalina arch is Antigua's iconic symbol, the view from this hillside perch north of the city, with its cross in the foreground...

Convento Santa Clara

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Shortly after it was founded in 1699, the Convent of St. Clare grew to be a rather elaborate complex housing nearly 50 nuns. When it...

Convento de las Capuchinas

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Antigua's largest convent was built by Capuchin nuns, whose number had swelled because they, unlike other sisterhoods, did not require...

Iglesia de La Recolección

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Despite opposition from the city council, which felt the town already had plenty of monasteries, La Recolección was inaugurated in 1717,...

Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de La Merced

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

The Church of Our Lady of Mercy is one of Antigua's most eye-catching attractions, known for its fanciful yellow stucco facade that incorporates...