1. People Watching in Parque Central
The Central Park (Parque Central) is located right smack dab in the middle of Antigua. If you’re just arriving to our lovely town, it’s a good starting point to kick-off your Antigua discovery. The park is surrounded by an abundance of coffee shops, markets, and restaurants. In the center of the park is a lavish fountain, sometimes filled with flowers, and adorned with mermaid statues shooting water out of their nipples (oh, Spanish colonists). Once you’re here, grab yourself a cappuccino from El Portal, head to the park and find a bench, sit down and let yourself get lost in the art of watching.
2. Hike up to Cerro De La Cruz
The Cerro De La Cruz is just a short hike up the mountain directly north of central Antigua. Cerro De La Cruz literally translates as hill of the cross, and that is exactly what it is. It is a small patch of land with a giant cross that overlooks all of Antigua and the surrounding towns. It’s a beautiful view, and a great little workout too.
3. Shopping at Uxibal!
See where the magic happens at our workshop and showroom located in Antigua. Come see how everything is made, meet our talented artisans, and, while you’re at it, get yourself a pair of boots or two. We would love to meet you!! For directions, check out our map here.
4. Lunch at Sabe Rico
Sabe Rico is a beautiful little bakery and restaurant. They bake cakes and pies that they sell from the front, and through the back is the restaurant. The dining space is a lovely little garden. All the tables are subtly tucked away, so your dining experience is very private and quiet. While the garden is what attracts people, they come back because of the menu. It is full of light, fresh, and healthy options, mostly soups, salads, and sandwiches. This is a great spot for a lunch!
5. Vegan Ice Cream at Doña Gavi’s
La Tienda de Doña Gavi is one of my favorite places in Antigua. It’s a small little shop with endless amounts of charm. Doña Gavi is a sweet woman with beautiful energy. Her shop is most famous for her ice cream. The flavors are very eclectic and unique. My favorites include avocado, mint, and elote (corn). AND it is completely vegan! While her ice cream is what people initially come in for, Gavi also sells an assortment of handmade soaps and beauty products, as well as homemade essential oils!
6. Shop Mayan textiles at N’im Pot
Antigua, as most of you probably already know, if FULL of artisan markets, huge spaces where you can find the most beautiful handmade textiles. It seems as if there is one on every street, but our favorite is Nim Po’t! Located on Fifth Avenida directly under the infamous yellow arch. It is a ginormous space full of traditional Guatemalan wares. You can spend hours in this space getting lost in the beauty of it. When in Antigua, and looking for a place to buy some souvenirs Nim Po’t is the place to go!
7. Coffee break at Tretto
Tretto Café is located in the front a local restaurant and bar called Los Encuentros on First Avenida. Tretto is run by Frosty, a man who knows his coffee. His coffee creations are second to none. It’s as simple as walking in, telling him what you feel like and out comes the most amazing mocha/frappuccino/iced coffee/whatever you’ve ever had. All of his coffee is grown in Guatemala and self-roasted in a popcorn popper. Visiting Frosty at Tretto is definitely a must while in Antigua.
8. Dinner at Panza Verde
Meson Panza Verde was the first luxury boutique hotel in Antigua. It’s name Panza Verde, or green belly, is a common nickname for local Antigueños which they got from eating so many of the locally grown avocados. Ideally located on the quiet end of Fifth Avenida, a.k.a “Arch Street”, the hotel is small with just 9 suites and three double rooms. For us, what makes this place great is it’s bar and restaurant. The menu is amazing, with a wide range of options. All meals are perfectly prepared. The food and drinks are a little pricey, but the flavors just can’t be beat. The décor is beautiful, and cozy. Panza Verde is perfect for a night out with someone special!
9. Nightcap at Café No Sé
I’ve tried, and I’ve tried, and I’ve tried, and I can’t seem to find the words to capture the beauty that is Café No Se to share with you in this post. But I know someone who has! A good friend Lito Croy has done it, and here I will direct you to his article about our local little dive bar…http://litobot.blogspot.com/2013/02/cafe-no-se-promotional-travel-writing.html
10. Organic veggies from Caoba Farms
Coaba Farms is a small, certified organic farm located just outside of Antigua. They grow seasonal organic produce to sell to individuals and local restaurants. They also have a weekly home delivery you can take advantage of. If you’re going to be here for awhile, it’s definitely worth signing up for. Find out more at www.caobafarms.com