Antigua Guatemala was Guatemalan capital. It is one of the preferred places for people to go. It is less than 45 km (30 miles) away from Guatemala City, and you can get there in an hour, depending of where you are, and the time of day. It was know as Ciudad de Santiago de los Caballeros de Guatemala. It was founded in 1543. The Municipio has a population1 of 44,604. It is capital of Departamento of Sacatepéquez. Here you can find all kinds of places, hotels, handcraft stores, restaurants, bars, markets, internet cafés, Spanish academies, discos and many more.
It hotels include:
- Casa Santo Domingo – The biggest, most impressive hotel in Antigua, it is not only impressive as an hotel but also is worth a visit, and it is full of great museums.
- La Casa de los Sueños – Very nice hotel, 8 room and you have to ask for room 8, costs twice as much but it is worth it.
- La Quinta de las Flores – Featured in some TV shows, great place to stay.
- Hotel Finca Filadelfia – In San Felipe de Jesus, near Antigua Guatemala is a great hotel made inside of a real coffee plantation in operation.
How to get to Antigua Guatemala?
The closet airport to Antigua Guatemala is La Aurora International Airport (GUA) located in Guatemala City, from there you can take a shuttle or taxi to Antigua, with average traffic it would take less than an hour. From 5 PM to 7 PM it can take you an extra 30 to 45 minutes due to business hours traffic, as the airport is in the middle of the city. From Guatemala City you take CA1 to the west (to El Trebol, or Mixco) up to San Lucas Sacatepequez, where there is an exit to Antigua.
If you are driving from Mexico or the U.S. (or from Panajachel) you will most likely will be on road CA1, there you can:
- Exit at Chimaltenango, following the signs to Antigua, but only during the day, as the road to Antigua could be little transited and you can get lost easily. It is a nice road, with interesting sights like San Andres Itzapa, where you can see Maximon, a saint worshiped by Mayan and other local people.
- Or continue in Chimaltenango to San Lucas, and there you can take a the exit to Antigua.
Antigua Guatemala from Puerto Quetzal
Antigua Guatemala is located at around 90 minutes from Puerto Quetzal, you will have to take a bus to get there. The first part is just a highway with cattle and sugar cane plantations, but the second part is surrounded by volcanoes, Volcan de Agua (Water Volcano) is an inactive volcano great for climbing or just for seeing it. It can also be viewed from Antigua where there a no clouds, and it is an amazing view. Fuego and Acatenango are sometimes active, and can be seen on the way too.
If you are driving from the Pacific coast from Puerto Quetzal or Puerto de San José the shortest way would be exit just passing Restaurante Sarita in Escuintla then take the road to Antigua. This road is very lonely at night, and should be avoided if you do not it very well, hence the best way at night to go via Guatemala City, but it will take double the time.