The Best Things to Do for Free in Antigua

Antigua Guatemala
Antigua Guatemala | © Phototravelography / Flickr | © Phototravelography / Flickr

Freelance writer

Antigua Guatemala definitely isn’t short of fun things to do, but if you’re watching the pennies some of the town’s best attractions may be too pricey. Fear not, however, as this colonial city also has a plethora of free activities on offer. Here are the best free things to do in Antigua.

1. Visit the Choco Museum


Cacao beans
© Giulian Frisoni/Flickr
Guatemala is famously the birthplace of chocolate, and Antigua is the place to discover the delights of this decadent product. Entrance to the city’s famous Choco Museum is free, and if you have a sweet tooth it should definitely be on your ‘must-visit’ list. Learn about the Mayan’s history with the ‘food of the gods’, participate in one of the fun workshops, and learn the secrets of turning bean into bar. As if that wasn’t enough, you can enjoy plenty of free tastings along the way!

Stroll up to Cerro de la Cruz

On a sunny day, taking a leisurely walk up to Cerro de la Cruz (Hill of the Cross) is an extremely enjoyable activity. Located on the edge of town and perched upon a hill, this large cross looks out onto the best views of Antigua and its volcanoes. The walk itself only takes about 30 minutes, and when you reach the top its dramatic views will unfold beneath you – so don’t forget your camera! There are often food and drink stalls here, as well as locals selling trinkets and souvenirs, so it’s a great spot to chill out.

Cerro de la Cruz

2. Stop by Casa Santo Domingo Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Hotel

Staying at Antigua’s Casa Santo Domingo is definitely not for people on a budget (it’s a five-star hotel) but this unique place has many other free activities worth visiting for. Part museum, part art gallery, part exotic gardens, entrance to the grounds is free, and on a fine day there’s nowhere nicer to be in the city. Stroll through gardens adorned with stately fountains and historic crypts, admire the spa pools and spot the host of exotic birds that live here. Entrance to the chocolate factory, candle factory and multiple museums can also be accessed for free.

3. Visit La Antigua Art Gallery

Art Gallery

Antigua Art Gallery
© Adam Jones Phd / Flickr
La Antigua Galería de Arte is the city’s biggest and best gallery, and luckily for art enthusiasts it’s totally free. Housed in a grand colonial mansion in the center of the old town, the gallery exhibits a wide range of artwork by over 60 established artists from Guatemala and Latin America. From Puerto Rico to Colombia, contemporary work to religious pieces, outdoor sculptures to abstract carvings, this gallery is the best place to explore the art scene in Latin America.

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