Scenes from around Antigua, Guatemala, an astounding blend of old (magnificent churches, heritages traditions, crumbling ruins) and new (craft cocktails, modern art and design). Surrounded on all sides by volcanoes and hills, the views don’t stop. Read more on what Antigua has to offer in my city guide.
Obras Sociales de Santo Hermano Pedro, one of the many stunning (and often yellow) churches in Antigua’s center.
A sculpture atop Santo Domingo del Cerro, one of the hilltops that border the city.
A cocktail at U’lew, a cutting edge bar that makes and shaves its own ice and uses elements of smoke and fire.
A typical, Ivy-covered house isn a wealthy area of the city.
The Santa Catalina arch, Antigua’s most photographed structure.
The view from Cerro de la Cruz, a short hike up a small hill that overlooks the city.
Artistan markets pop up here and there around the city, sometimes with the benefit of crumbling ruins as the backdrop.
Cantina Royal, a typical, graffiti-covered dive bar in Antigua’s center.
Indigenous women sell jewelry and textile gifts on the sidewalk near the arch.
A lunch combo at Rincon Topic — roasted chicken, potatoes and salad with tortillas and horchata for about $3.50 USD.
One of the arched walkways bordering Parque Central
Palm trees line the walkway to Obras Sociales del Santo Hermano Pedro in Tanque La Union park.
The centerpiece restaurant atop Cerro San Cristóbal, one of the hills that borders Antigua, resembles a towering castle.
At Santa Clara bakery, patrons can expect sweet and savory pastries, coffees, delectable breakfasts …and possibly 9 a.m. karaoke.
A carneceria in the main market sells various cuts of meat.
Union Cafe, on the edge of Tanque La Union park, serves vegan food, smoothies and more.
Passion flowers growing in the large, walkable garden atop Cerro San Cristóbal.
Men touch up the paint on a building.
One of the views from Parque Central.
An eyelet in the roof at the ruins of Santa Clara in Antigua’s center
A man selling snacks on the street takes a break to read the day’s news.
Wine and tapas at Tabacos y Vinos.
Motorbikes and tuk tuts pass by one of the entrances of the main market.
The cross at the top of Cerro de la Cruz, Antigua’s most popular lookout.
Caldo de Gallina, a kind of chicken soup sold at many places in Guatemala.
Luna de Miel is known for its crepes.
It’s often sunny in the mornings, cloudy in the afternoons and rainy in the evenings in Antigua from June through October.
Mushrooms and scrambled eggs on toast at Cafe Sol
Antigua is rich with cafes of all varieties.
Women sell fruit and other street food.
The main fountain inside the ruins at Convento Santa Clara.
Shrimp and other dried fish and seafood at one of the stalls in the main market.
Fountains and potted plants are about as common in Antigua as fresh air.
5a Avenida Norte is lined with shops and art galleries, and of course, highlighted by the Santa Catalina arch.
Fresh produce available at the main market in Antigua.
Antigua is characterized by wrought-iron window frames, worn walls and many fresh plants in the windows.
A smoothie at Casa de Stela.
One of the tiny art galleries arranged in a maze atop Santo Domingo del Cerro, a hilltop bordering Antigua
A tiny path near the top of Cerro San Cristobal.
Architecture in Antigua is characterized by sloping, tiled roofs, colorful walls and plant-laden windows,
The large, walkable farm atop Cerro San Cristóbal
Empanadas at Chermol, a beer garden.
A wealthy area near the hill Santo Domingo del Cerro
The entrance to Cafe Sol.
Coaba Farms, about a 20-minute walk from the center, hosts a farmer’s market every Saturday.
The mini bar inside the Saturday farmer’s market at Coaba farms
A cocktail from U’lew, a speakeasy hidden behind a phone booth in Antigua Brewing
One of the views of Obras Sociales del Santo Hermano Pedro.
The garden entrance at Museo del Hermano Pedro
Water bottles filled with plants line the Main Street in San Cristóbal, a tiny village atop a hill bordering Antigua
Women sell various fruits and vegetables outside the main market in Antigua.
One of the specials at Canela bakery: a fried chicken sandwich
The garden at Cerro San Cristóbal overflows with colorful vegetation and flower.
A woman makes fresh tortillas at the entrance to Rincon Tipico.
A barback strains juices at U’lew, a speakeasy hidden inside Antigua Brewing Co.
Huevos Rancheros at Doña Luisa Xicotencatl, a local bakery.
One of the many magnificent views at the Convento Santa Clara ruins.
A night view of Iglesia La Merced from afar.
The glorious, ever-pigeon-filled fountain in Parque Central.
Inside the gardens at Museo Hermano Pedro
A small snack stand inside the main market.
Al pastor tacos from Taqueria Doña Lupita
Inside Santa Catalina Arch
Part-owner and star bartender, Mario, pours a cocktail at U’Lew.
One of the views from atop Cerro de la Cruz.
The centerpiece of Parque Central
A man rides his bike past Cafe La Parada, which boasts some of the best espresso in the city.
Dried fish available for purchase at the main market.
One of the many views inside the ruins of Convento Santa Clara.
It’s necessary to learn how to pick up your feet while walking in Antigua, a town whose streets remain entirely unpaved.
An arepa — a masa cake sandwich — at Salto Ángel.
The two-story courtyard at Doña Luisa Xicotencatl bakery.
Antigua is completely surrounded by hills and volcanos.
One of the wealthier areas near Cerro de la Cruz.
Kids run after the pigeons in Parque Central.
Fresh fish from the coast for sale at the main market.
The view of the castle-like restaurant atop Cerro San Cristobal.
One of the many magnificent views from within Convento Santa Clara
The center of Antigua is bustling and colorful with wide, cobblestones streets and many bikers to dodge.
Avocados growing atop Cerro San Cristóbal.
A breakfast sandwich at Mama Jojo’s.
Santo Domingo del Cerro, a hilltop bordering Antigua, is covered with hidden art exhibits and water features tucked into the forest.
The cafe bar at Y tu Piña También.
A school near Parque de Belén on the edges of the center.
Women sell textiles and other goods just outside the Santa Catalina arch.
One of the many magnificent views from within Convento Santa Clara.
Laundry hangs to dry at a casa in Antigua’s center.
Parque Central: one of the most beautiful parks I’ve ever encountered
A home in one of the wealthier ends of Antigua
Housemade tinctures at U’Lew, a speakeasy hidden inside Antigua Brewing Co.
A band playing across from Parque Central on a Sunday afternoon
One of the misty views on the long hike down from Cerro San Cristobal
The overlook at Cerro de la Cruz
Walls of wine at Sabor del Tiempo
One of the water features in the woods at Santo Domingo del Cerro
Cactuses grown at Coaba Farms
Antigua around ruins; they wait on every other corner.
One of the switchbacks on the steep climb to Santo Domingo del Cerro.
The exterior of Tabacos y Vinos, under the arch.
Hibiscus flowers, often used for tea, are sold at the main market.
One of the fabulous views from the road to Santo Domingo del Cerro.
The farm atop Cerro San Cristóbal is filled with lush produce and other plants.
Antigua Brewing Co., one of only a handful of craft breweries in Guatemala.
The view from the castle-like restaurant atop Cerro San Cristóbal.
Locals give gifts of money, cigarettes and alcohol to shrines of Maximón, a Mayan folk saint. This one sits atop Cerro San Cristóbal.
Women sell snacks out of baskets at a church near the edges of the center.
One of the archway entrances to Museo Pedro Hermano
Santo Domingo del Cerro is filled with hidden art sculptures in gardens and town woodsy paths.
A large patch of flowering basil atop Cerro San Cristóbal
One of the greenrooms atop Cerro San Cristóbal
A ham an cheese-filled pastry and coffee at Santa Clara bakery
One of the promenades surrounding Parque Central
Inside the mezcal bar at Cafe No Sé; to get there, go in the cocktail bar and then through the hobbit door.
One of the murals in the many art galleries atop Santo Domingo del Cerro
A scarecrow overlooks a small garden at Santo Domingo del Cerro.
La Merced is a popular spot for street food, particularly in the evening hours.
The sunset from atop the Airbnb I stayed at in Antigua
The view from just outside Convento Santa Clara, looking toward Tanque La Union
Inside the lovely Parque Central
Santo Domingo del Cerro is awash with sculptures and other art, strewn across the hilltop.
One of the views from Cerro de la Cruz
Inside the bar at Cantina Royale
The edges of Antigua’s center, near Santo Domingo del Cerro
The square in San Cristóbal, a small, hilltop village bordering Antigua
A pop-up artisan market
People wait at a bus stop on the edges of Antigua
Inside the bar at Cantina Royal
Quetzalteca, a strong spirit made from sugarcane is the basis for much of the drinking culture in Guatemala
Art atop Santo Domingo del Cerro
Kids play near the top of the Village San Cristóbal, on a hilltop bordering Antigua
Casa de Stela
Cafe No Sé