Antigua Sights

Few places in the Americas hold such a repository of colonial architecture as Antigua does. Some still serve their original purpose, whereas others have morphed into hotels, restaurants, shops, and homes. Still others stand magnificently in ruins. If ever there was 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 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

Educational Institution 5

Farm/ Ranch 4

Government Building 1

House/ Mansion/ Villa 2

Market/ Bazaar 1

Museum/ Gallery 5

Plaza/ Square/ Piazza 1

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 7

Viewpoint/ Scenic Overlook 1

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Antigua Sights

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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...

Mercado Central

  • Market/Bazaar

The smell of fresh fruits and vegetables will lead you to this unassuming market, the place where local residents come to shop for all...

Monasterio San Francisco

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Guatemala points with pride and reverence to its very own saint, Pedro de San José Betancur (1626–67), a native of the Canary Islands...

Museo de Arte Colonial

  • Museum/Gallery

Antigua's Museum of Colonial Art sits on the former site of the University of San Carlos, with its cloisters left largely intact through...

Palacio de los Capitanes Generales

  • Castle/Palace/Chateau

A multiyear restoration project (primarily reinforcement of the walls) is currently underway at the Palace of the Captains General, easily...

Palacio del Ayuntamiento

  • Government Building

As in colonial times, the City Hall continues to serve as the seat of government. Today it also houses two museums, the Museo de Santiago...

Parque Central

  • Plaza/Square/Piazza

Surrounded by old colonial buildings, this tree-lined square is the center of Antigua and one of Latin America's most pleasant central...

Paseo de los Museos

  • Museum/Gallery

The Casa Santo Domingo hotel complex features six small museums on its Museums Promenade: Colonial; Archaeology; Pre-Colombian Art and...

The Avocado Tour

  • Farm/Ranch

Transportation can be arranged to this avocado plantation 20 minutes outside the city with pick-up in front of Antigua’s cathedral...


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