24 Hours in Antigua, Guatemala

24 Hours in Antigua, Guatemala

Nestled amidst the dramatic landscape of Central America, Guatemala is a country rich in culture, history, and beauty. Volcanoes, coffee, and chocolate are just a few things it’s known for, but there is so much more to explore, experience, and eat when visiting Antigua. 


In January, our crew traveled with Nomadix Ambassador & Pro Wakeboarder Meagen Ethell and Photographer Elijah Alaka to shoot our SS24 collection and put our newest products to the test. With so much to do and see in Antigua, it’s hard to imagine only spending 24 hours in the city, but that’s exactly what we did. So we created this ultimate guide to make the most of your experience if you have limited time in Old Guatemala.


How to Get Into & Around the City
The closest airport to the city center is La Aurora International Airport (GUA). Depending on where you’re flying from in the USA, there are nonstop flight options available. We flew the budget airline, Aviana, and recommend spending the extra money for Classic or Flex to secure a seat with more legroom and baggage options.

Getting to Antigua from the airport is a breeze. We arranged a ride through Viator to take us directly from the airport to our Airbnb. Uber is affordable and safe in our experience as well, but if you’re arriving late in the evening or traveling solo, we recommend arranging a ride through a reputable service ahead of time as an extra precaution.

While in the city, there are a number of transportation options, from tuktuks to buses to Uber. However, we found walking to be the most wonderful way to experience all the sites and sounds as it’s a very walkable city.

Since we were a larger group, it made the most sense to stay at an Airbnb (highly recommend this one). However, if a hostel or hotel better fits your needs, there are many different options to accommodate your budget.

When To Go

The best time to visit is between November and April since it’s the dry season and temperatures are more comfortable. Looking to have the city more to yourself? Then visit either in January or February. Our visit in January had perfect weather with sunny days and warm, but mild temperatures during the day and cool evenings (perfect for pairing with the Puffer Blanket).

What Nomadix Gear We Packed
Our new Fanny Packs were a perfect travel day bag and really came in clutch, fitting keys, wallet, phone, binoculars, charger, passport, and more thanks to its numerous dynamic pockets. There even was room to tuck in a Tiny Towel, which came in handy to clean glasses, camera lenses, or when things got a little too messy while eating ice cream. 

The UV index is high in Guatemala, peaking at 12 in the summer months. It’s essential to pack sun protection. We wore our Bandana Towel with UPF 50+ protection to keep the sun off our necks and wipe sweat. 



 What To Do, Eat, & See

Here’s our recommendations for an epic, full day in Antigua.

Morning: City Center


If your morning requires a strong coffee or a hot tea, then stop by our personal favorite, Artista de Café. Other great local options are El Gran Café and The River House Coffee for a hot cuppa and quick bite.

For something more substantial and near Parque Central, we recommend Café Condesa to indulge in a traditional Guatemalan breakfast of eggs, black beans, fried plantains, crema, and tortillas.


Get an early start at Santa Catalina Arch to potentially have the place to yourself and snag a crowd-free photo in front of the iconic yellow clock tower dating back to the 1600s.

Another historic site to not miss is Iglesia de la Merced, a church with a beautiful and distinct pale yellow facade and intricate architectural detailing. The church started construction back in 1751 with Spanish conquistadors commissioning the building. Today it plays a major role in Guatemala's Holy Week processions. Tip: Walk the small park surrounding the church and grab fresh cut mango or other fruits with tajin from local sellers.

Then head to Parque Central to walk through the park, relax on one of its many benches, take in the scenery, and even engage with vendors and locals.


 Afternoon: Historic Ruins & Museums


For a relaxed outdoor setting, check out the brewpub, Antigua Cerveza: El Bosque. They are a 100% Antigüeña craft brewery with a number of tasty brews and pizza selections.

If you’re in need of a vegan or vegetarian option, we recommend Wachuma as the food is packed with flavor and well portioned. The restaurant is also beautifully designed with space to eat outside in a garden setting.


Your next stop should be the Real Palacio de los Capitanes Generales (Royal Palace of the Captains General), a walk across the street from Parque Central. The palace originally served as the residence for the Spanish colonial governors during the 16th century. Today, it stands as a significant historical landmark, showcasing Spanish colonial architecture, and houses two free museums.

Then make your way to Convento Santa Clara, founded in the 17th century, the convent was established for the Order of Poor Clare nuns. The convent features stunning examples of Spanish Baroque architecture. Spend time wandering the ruins’ cloisters, courtyards, and chapels, which offer a glimpse into the daily lives of the nuns who once resided there.

For your next stop in exploring Antigua’s past, stop by the Museo del Hermano Pedro. The museum pays tribute to the life and legacy of Brother Pedro de Betancourt, a renowned Franciscan friar and the first saint of the Americas. The entrance fee is $5 or Q40. We enjoyed strolling through the ruins, taking in and learning about the religious and cultural heritage of Guatemala.

 Evening: Markets & City Views


We finished our day going to a few different markets, specifically Mercado Central & Mercado de Artesanías. The markets are open between 7AM - 6PM. Central is definitely the larger of the two, but conveniently both markets are next to each other. Mercado Central was a mix of locals and tourists shopping stalls overflowing with fresh produce, handwoven fabrics, and traditional leather goods. If you are trying to find something to take home as a souvenir or a keepsake, you’ll find something that catches your eye at Central.

Don’t sleep on Mercado de Artesanías. This market caters to local artisans showcasing their talents and traditions. You will see some of the best craftsmanship and vibrant designs that reflect Guatemala’s cultural heritage while you are walking through the rows of stalls.

Then catch an Uber over to the base of Cerro de La Cruz. For a fun, adrenaline pumping ride, jump into a tuktuk to catch a ride to the top of the hill where you’ll see the most incredible sunset view of the city and towering Agua Volcano in the distance.


Finish off an adventurous day with dinner at Nana, a restaurant and vintage store all-in-one. The vibe is artsy, welcoming, and unpretentious. It’s a contemporary Guatemalan meal you can’t miss during your visit. Then indulge in a nightcap at the trendy speakeasy, Cafe No Se.


In just 24 hours, Antigua left an enormous impression on our crew. From the picturesque vistas to the warm hospitality, it’s a place we all intend to visit again. We hope this guide inspires your own visit to this captivating corner of Central America.

Have your own Antigua tips to share? Connect with us on Instagram or TikTok (@nomadixco).