The colourful, colonial city of Antigua is, without a doubt, Guatemala’s top tourist attraction. Visitors come in flocks every day to see this UNESCO world heritage sight and the mass of churches that it boasts. That’s not to say, though, that Antigua is just for the tourists- there’s plenty to keep laptop toting digital nomads entertained, too. With laptop friendly coffee shops, a popular co-working space and fair WiFi speeds, Antigua, Guatemala is a pretty good base for digital nomads in Central America.
Things to Do in Antigua, Guatemala
One of the best things about being a digital nomad in Antigua is the sheer number of things to do. We only stayed for a week and it was no where near long enough to do everything we wanted to do and meet all of our work goals! So, if you like to work hard through the week and explore on the weekends, you’ll be well catered to here.
Hike Volcan Acatenango
Not for the faint of hearted, Acatenango’s a dormant volcano sitting at 13,044-foot high. It’s a pretty relentless hike with very few windy paths to catch your breath- just straight up all the way. The reward, though? Front row seats for watching its neighbouring peak, Volcan Fuego, erupt all night long! We did our hike with Old Town Outfitters and I’d thoroughly recommend them. Read my review of the tour here!
If you don’t think you’re up to the challenge of Acatenango then, you can try out the following Volcan experiencia!
Roast Marshmallows on Volcan Pacaya
For those strapped on time, or worried about the altitude of Acatenango, Volcan Pacaya is a great alternative. This hike can be done in a day and although you don’t get to enjoy night views of Volcan Fuego, you do get to roast marshmallows in Pacaya’s lava which I think it makes up for it!
Go Church Hopping
Antigua, Guatemala is filled to the brim with gorgeous, colourful churches and cathedrals: actually, the tiny little city has 35 within its boundaries. The whole city is a photographer’s dream so I’d recommend getting your camera out and going church-hopping. If you’re going to be sticking around for a while, I’d advise you to do this on a weekday. We stupidly left our photo walk to a Saturday meaning our pictures have got lots of people in the background.
Because of the influx of Western tourists, you’ll find lots of creature comforts in Antigua. It was in Antigua that I managed to find the perfect Western trained stylist to sort out my hair. There are also nice spas, 5-star hotels and fancy restaurants in the city, making it a great place for a bit of travel R&R. (Especially if you plan to hike some volcanoes while you’re there!)
Enjoy Views of Antigua City from the Cerro de la Cruz
Cerro de la Cruz is just a short walk away from the city centre but has an amazing view out over the city! If you go on a clear day, you can even see Volcan Agua in the distance.
Digital Nomad Friendly Work Spaces in Antigua, Guatemala
While I personally wouldn’t choose Antigua, Guatemala as a long term digital nomad base, it’s definitely a fine place to do some work. (Especially for Central America where the pickings are pretty slim.) We decided just to spend a week here for a few reasons. For starters, we had shortened our time in Central America to head to Thailand but, also, we found Guatemala (and Antigua, especially) surprisingly expensive.
That’s not to say it’s a bad place- not at all! It just wasn’t right for us, but lots of people do love it. These were the places that we worked from while we were there.
As far as I’m aware, Impact Hub is the only co-working space in Antigua. We spent a day here and thought that it was a fine place to work, though we’ve definitely been to co-working spaces that we’ve enjoyed much more. You can get a free day trial pass here.
Bella Vista Coffee
In comparison, we absolutely loved Bella Vista Coffee. Although it’s not a co-working space, per se, it’s chock full of laptop toting digital nomads. Every table has plug sockets and comfy chairs, there’s an outside balcony with an amazing view (so you don’t feel guilty for sitting in a cafe all day), and the coffee is awesome!
The Bagel Barn
I wouldn’t work from here for a long time but, for a quick working lunch, it’s a nice place to get a bite. (Especially if you’re sick of rice and beans and need some bread in your life!) They have great smoothie and bagel combos and the WiFi speeds were fast.
We’ve also heard good things about the coffee at Fat Cat and Guatejava so I’d definitely recommend checking those out, too.
Where to Eat in Antigua, Guatemala
After our Acatenango hike, we wanted something warm and filling to eat so we took that as our chance to treat ourselves to some Korean food. Korean is (now) my favourite international food and I’d been missing it so much after leaving. When we heard about Miso, a Korean restaurant in Antigua, we knew we had to check it out!
It didn’t taste exactly like the Korean food that I’d been missing so much but it was still a great post-hike munch.
This is a cute chain with fun branding and awesome tacos! I was pretty boring and had my usual which is tacos al pastor washed down with a michelada but it definitely didn’t disappoint.
Cactus Taco Shop
We spent an afternoon here munching on shrimp and bacon burritos, fish tacos and mezcal mules! Probably the best feast we had in Antigua- I would probably go back to Antigua just to eat here again!
We never got a chance to visit this restaurant but it came well recommended by a Guatemalan friend. If you’re looking to treat yourself, the tasting menu is filled with imaginative creations and the tasteful decor makes it a great place for a date.
Where to Stay in Antigua, Guatemala
Budget Accommodation in Antigua Guatemala
For budget backpackers, Bigfoot Hostel is a great choice. We went here for drinks one night and thought it looked like a pretty decent place to stay. They have 17Q Gin and Tonics as well, if that’s the sort of thing that floats yer boat….
Quirky and Unique Accommodation in Antigua Guatemala
If you really want to appreciate Antigua’s volcanic scenery, then Earth Lodge is undisputed as the best place to stay in the city. Their treehouses and canopies are set in the mountains, 8 km outside of Antigua, and look out over the whole surrounding area.
Digital Nomad Friendly Accommodation in Antigua, Guatemala
As always, I recommend Air BnB for digital nomads on the move. In Antigua, Guatemala, we got a private room in a huge house that, luckily, was empty when we were there! The only downside was that we were a 20-minute walk from the Old City. Not a huge deal, but I’d get something a bit closer if I were to visit again. If you’ve not used Air BnB before, use my code for £20 off your first stay!
Boutique Accommodation in Antigua, Guatemala
So, I mentioned before about Antigua being a great place to treat yourself and, true to form, there are plenty of boutique hotels to choose from. El Convento Boutique Hotel is the city’s premier boutique accommodation choice, set in a colonial building in the heart of the old city. It has a gorgeous swimming pool and a rooftop restaurant with views out over the volcanoes. If you want to really make it a trip to remember, this would be my pick!
Antigua makes a great base for digital nomads in Central America. Not only is the city home to stunning architecture and natural scenery, the fast WiFi and availability of work spaces make it a convenient place to work from, too. It might not have the huge digital nomad communities that other Latin American destinations like Mexico City or Medellin have, but I think that adds to its charm- especially if you’re just stopping in for a week like we were!
Visited Antigua, Guatemala? I’d love to hear your thoughts and recommendations in the comments!
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