Oh, Antigua! What’s not to like about you? From cobblestone streets to amazing cafes and colorful lined homes, spending 3 days in Antigua, Guatemala will give you a wonderful taste of what this UNESCO World Heritage Site has to offer.
Antigua is a beautiful example of charm and rustic living seamlessly together. Each characteristic blends perfectly together making Antigua what so many travelers have come to find, one of a kind. We spent 2 weeks in Antigua and fell head-over-heels in love with the town. It’s walkable. Super scenic. And has a history lesson around every Spanish-colonial corner. Not to mention, Antigua is home to some of the best coffee in Guatemala. Pretty great, right?
From hiking to chocolate to scenic views and the best restaurants and coffee shops in town, are you ready for this itinerary? Here is everything you need to know on how to spend 3 days in Antigua, Guatemala!
3 Days in Antigua, Guatemala
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How To Get There (Antigua’s Closest Airport)
First things first, how do you get to Antigua? The closest airport to Antigua, Guatemala is located about one hour away in Guatemala City – La Aurora International Airport (GUA).
Once you land in Guatemala City and clear customs, you can call an Uber or hire a car to drive you to your accommodation in Antigua. Easy peasy!
How Many Days in Antigua, Guatemala?
To experience the best of Antigua, we recommend a minimum of 3 days. Now, we are biased as we spent 2 weeks here, but if you can stay longer than 3 days in Antigua, we highly recommend it! 4-5 days (in our opinion) is the sweet spot.
There is just something about this place that captivated us. From its rooftops to its, craft breweries, amazing food, freshly roasted coffee, and streets that will fill up your phone camera roll, Antigua is one vibey place to take in the sights and relax for a few days before carrying on to your next Guatemala destination.
Get our complete guide to how to spend one week, 10 days, or 2 weeks in Guatemala!
How To Get Around Antigua in 3 Days
Once you arrive, the best way to get around Antigua is to walk! The city is very pedestrian-friendly and walking is the best way to see all of Antigua’s highlights.
Outside of walking, you can opt to call an Uber or flag down the many tuk-tuks you’ll see around town.
Best Time To Visit Antigua For 3 Days
When planning your visit to Antigua, or Guatemala in general, understand that the country really only has two seasons – wet and dry.
- The dry season in Guatemala is from November to April
- The wet season in Guatemala is from May to October, but in some regions, it can continue into November
Do your best to plan your 3 days in Antigua to fall within the country’s dry months and you’ll be able to experience everything (beauty included!) Antigua has to offer!
Our favorite thing about Antigua is how walkable it is, so regardless of where you stay in the city, you can get around really easily. Some top-rated and recommended Antigua accommodations are below:
- Budget-Friendly: Hospedaje El Viajero | Maison Bougainvillea | Yellow House Hostel | Ojala
- Something In Between: Cacao Boutique Hotel | Hotel Las Farolas | Hotel La Galeria | Posada El Antano
- Luxury: Meson Panza Verde | Hotel Museo | Camino Real Antigua | El Convento Boutique Hotel
For more places to stay in Antigua, you can check out the latest places and prices here.
3 Days in Antigua Itinerary
Day 1: Explore Colorful Antigua
What better way to start your 3 days in Antigua than getting acquainted with some of the best sights in the city? As we said previously, Antigua is a great walking city! In fact, you can get from one end to the other in about 20 minutes. Just make sure you pack comfortable shoes for all those cobblestones 🙂
Take an Antigua Walking Tour
One of our favorite things we did while spending 3 days in Antigua was a walking tour. This city has so much history and in fact, was once the Spanish colonial capital of Central America in the 16th century. So to say this city has seen and experienced a lot is an understatement, all of which you’ll learn about on your city walking tour.
You’ll learn about the earthquake that destroyed Antigua in the 1700s as well as be swept to some of the best sights in the city like Iglesia de La Merced, Santa Catalina Arch (Arco de Santa Catalina), Real Palacio, The Plaza Central Park,
Cathedral de Santiago, and Casa Santo Domingo.
LUNCH: After your walking tour, you’ll be hungry! Plan to grab lunch at either Cactus Taco, El Local, or Los Tres Tiempos and pick-me-up coffee at Fat Cat, Cafe Estudio, Union Cafe, or Cafe Boheme.
Hike (or Catch a Ride) To Cerro De La Cruz
To get a birds-eye-view of Antigua, hike up to (or catch a tuk-tuk ride) the top of Cerro De La Cruz, a scenic overlook North of the city. If you opt to hike, it’s about a 0.5 mile to the top, taking on average around 20 minutes to complete. Nothing too strenuous either! The best time to go is early morning or late afternoon (close to sunrise or sunset) as the light will be perfect for photos!
You’ll see the expansive and colorful town of Antigua below as Volcan De Agua (one of the three Volcanos that surround Antigua) towers in the distance.
Dinner & Drinks at Antigua Brewery
After taking in the views from Cerro De La Cruz, plan to head to Antigua Brewery for dinner and drinks! Sample from their selection of hand-crafted beers and tasty food menu as you watch the light fade and the city lights of Antigua come on from their second-story open-air rooftop!
And if you’re feeling like carrying on after dinner, there is a hidden speakeasy on the first floor called Bar Ulew. Find the telephone booth and walk through 🙂
ALT OPTION: If you really want to experience the food scene in Antigua consider an evening street food tour!
Day 2: Hike To A Nearby Volcano
Surrounding the outskirts of Antigua, you’ll find four volcanos, some of which are dormant and active.
- Volcan De Agua
- Volcan De Acatenango
- Volcan De Fuego
- Volcan Pacaya
The most popular of the four to hike are Acatenango, Fuego, and Pacaya which is just how we recommend you spend your second day on your Antigua, Guatemala itinerary! Ready for a hike?!
TIP: From Antigua, you’ll have clear views of Agua, Acatenango, and Fuego. So do your best to get to one of the rooftop cafes we recommend in this travel guide to get a glimpse of all three from town.
Hike To Volcan Pacaya
Without a doubt, Pacaya is the easiest of the three hiking options we have listed. So if you’re looking for something easy, or even looking to take an ATV to the top, Pacaya is the volcano hike for you!
Located 15 miles (25km) southeast of the city of Antigua lays Volcan Pacaya. Sitting at 8,000 ft. (2,500 meters) in elevation, Volcan Pacaya is one of the more popular day trips from Antigua.
You can opt for a 6-hour public hiking tour or a private hiking tour up to Pacaya to take you to the plateau from where you can see the main crater of the volcano. Plus, we’re told you even get to roast marshmallows over its lava! Talk about a unique experience for your travel bucket list!
Hike To Volcan De Fuego
Volcan de Fuego or Fuego for short is (in our opinion) the best hike you can do from Antigua! We hiked Fuego and it was one of the hardest and one of the most INSANELY EPIC hikes we’ve ever conquered! And we’ve hiked a fair amount, so that’s a bold statement.
Offered as a day hike (we did the overnight, 2-day option), it will be a LONG day but if you are looking to “fully send it” while in Antigua, Fuego is your choice! We hiked with OX Expeditions and we CANNOT say enough good things about our guide Miguel and the company (10 out of 10!).
The day hike to Fugeo will be a LONG day. You’ll start at 4 am and finish around 5 pm, but if you’re physically fit and up for the challenge, it’s worth it! Seeing El Fuego’s MASSIVE eruptions from around 1,000 feet away is truly a core memory we’re sure you won’t soon forget!
Not to mention, from Fuego’s ridgeline (which sits at 12,362 ft / 3767 m and where you watch the eruptions from), you’ll have epic views of the villages below, as well as views of the other two volcanos, Agua and Acatenango.
Hike To Volcan De Acatenango
The third hiking option from Antigua is hiking up to the summit of the third tallest volcano in Central America. We’re talking the mack-mama herself, Acatenango!
This hike, along with Feugo, is best to do as an overnight option, but if you are short on time and truly only have one day, there is a day hike option to Acatenago. And also like Fuego, it will be long and challenging 🙂 But YOLO, right?
TIP: We opted to crush both Fuego and Acatenango in 2 days (known as the double whammy). However, we sadly didn’t get to the top of Acatenango due to weather conditions, but we were able to see El Fuego erupt (no regrets here!). If you have the time and are up for the challenge, you can conquer two volcanoes in one go!
You’ll start your day at 5 am where you’ll make your way up to the summit of Acatenango which sits at 13,044 feet (3976 meters). From the summit (on a clear day) you’ll have amazing views of the area and not the mention an overhead shot of Acatenago’s neighbor, El Fuego erupting below. After some time at the summit, you’ll descend and be back in Antigua around 5 pm that same evening.
Day 3: Antigua Coffee, Chocolate, & Markets
Breakfast at Caoba Farms
On the last day of your 3 days in Antigua and we have a pretty amazing meal to start you off. Plus, a good meal will be needed after all your hiking from the previous day.
Two words. Caoba Farms.
Breakfast (or brunch) at Caoba Farms was one of our favorite meals we had during our 2 weeks in Antigua. Sitting out on the outskirts of Antigua, you’ll find a small, organic farm. From animals to rows of fresh produce and flowers, Caobo Farms is a true farm-to-table restaurant serving freshly made wholesome meals grown right on the farm.
There is also a small market located where you can buy locally made handcrafts as well as chocolate, honey, coffee, and a plethora of other goods grown right in Guatemala. Perfect place to grab a souvenir or two!
Take A Coffee Tour, Chocolate Class, or Cooking Class
As far as your afternoon goes, the choice is yours as you have a few options to choose from, none of which you can go wrong with!
Antigua Cooking Class
If you love food, especially love to cook food then without a doubt, a cooking class with Cuscun is definitely something you should book! Learn to make traditional Guatemalan food from a local. Afterward, enjoy the fruits of your labor and you scarf down the food you created from a rooftop terrace overlooking the city below.
Antigua Coffee Farm Tour
If you’re a coffee lover, we HIGHLY recommend taking a coffee tour. After all, you’re in Guatemala, one of the best coffee-producing countries in the world. We loved our coffee tour with De La Genta.
De La Genta is a local NGO that supports local Guatemalan coffee farmers by providing fair wages and resources to their production operations. You’ll be taken on a tour by a local farmer (Mercedes was our guy!) and learn everything you could ever imagine about the coffee process. From planting, harvesting, and roasting, De La Genta truly gives you a local experience with a small Guatemalan coffee farm operation.
TIP: If a tour with De La Genta is sold out, we have friends who booked an ATV coffee tour with La Azotea Cofee Farm and loved it!
Antigua Chocolate Making Class with ChocoMuseo
If you did not know, Cacoa played a huge role in everyday Mayan life. With Maya making up half of Guatemala’s current population, chocolate is still very important to their culture today.
In Antigua, you’ll find a whole museum (that’s right a chocolate museum) dedicated to the history, culture and ceremonial practices of Cacao (chocolate). Plus, they have a chocolate-making class where you’ll make your own milk or dark chocolate with 15 different optional flavorings. This is a great family-friendly activity in Antigua if you’re looking for one!
Explore Antigua’s Markets
If you are looking to wander around the city some more and grab a souvenir or two before you depart, Antigua is home to a handful of markets that will captivate the interest of any shopper.
- Mercado de Artesanías (Artisan Market): Full of colorful textiles, woven blankets and purses, and jewelry, Artisan Market is an incredible place to wander around, shop and take photos.
- Nim Po’t: Located right next to Santa Catalina Arch, Nim Po’t is a huge hall that is a cooperative for artisans. From masks to clothes, to pottery, and textiles, you’ll find it at Nim Po’t.
- Centro de Arte Popular: A museum with a focus on art from Guatemala’s Mayan heritage.
- Mercado Central Antigua Guatemala: A true local market. If you are looking to experience an authentic market in Antigua, Mercado Central is it. From produce to meat, and everything in between, get a local feel from Antigua and wander through Mercado Central.
Be sure to check out the 25 Best Things To Do In Antigua, Guatemala
Sunset at Cafe Sky & Dinner at Por Que No?
The time has come. The last night of your 3 days in Antigua is here! For your last night, we recommend making a late dinner reservation (8 pm) at Por Que No? (RESERVATIONS ARE A MUST) so you can head to catch the sunset from a rooftop before.
The best rooftop in Antigua has to be Cafe Sky. Located on top of a three-story building, Cafe Sky serves cocktails and food while you sit and take in the exceptional views of all three volcanoes from Antigua.
Between dinner at Por Que No and sunset drinks at Cafe Sky, you’ll end your 3 days in Antigua with an absolute bang!
ALT Antigua Itinerary Option: Hobbitanego
If either of the days above doesn’t jive with the vibe you’re wanting for your 3 days in Antigua, you do have an alternative option to swap in! Hobbitenango.
Hobbiten-what-o? You read that right. HOBBIT-(for you Lord of The Rings fans)-tenango.
Located about a 30-minute Uber right north of the city of Antigua is Hobbitenango. Home to exceptional views over the valley, two restaurants, and 2 hobbit-style casitas that you can rent to stay the night.
Visting Hobbitenango is a great way to kill a few hours. Plan to have lunch or dinner and you take in the views and explore the eco-park.
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– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stus)