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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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...

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...

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...

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...

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