Ultimate Walking Tour in Antigua, Guatemala with Kids

Planning your time in Antigua, Guatemala and want to do the best family friendly, self-guided walking tour? Keep reading, we’ve got you covered! 

Antigua, Guatemala is a charming colonial city that is perfect for exploring on foot for both adults and kids! With its picturesque streets, historic architecture, and vibrant culture, a self-guided walking tour is the perfect way to experience all that this city has to offer.

We are going to outline the perfect self-guided walking tour in Antigua, Guatemala, including lots of our favorite spots like historical ruins, beautiful churches, shopping markets and more! The best part about this tour, is it is great for families too.

One of the many advantages to visiting Antigua, is that you can walk almost anywhere and on your way, you are sure to stumble upon some incredible views. Whether it be the local markets or stunning architecture – we know this tour will help you to see just how incredible Antigua is! There really is nothing like it.

If you find yourself looking for more kid friendly things to do, check out our Guide to Antigua with Kids!

Stop 1: Parque Central (Central Park)

Two kids playing in Central Park Antigua Guatemala Walking Tour

Central Park, also known as Parque Central, is a charming and historic public space located in the heart of Antigua, Guatemala. Here you will be able to explore the parks beautiful colonial-era architecture, vibrant atmosphere, and rich cultural significance.

While you admire the park’s gardens and fountains, you can snag a seat on one of its many benches to people-watch and relax and grab your kids ice cream from one of the many vendors walking around. There is always so much going on, you may even get to catch a pop up market during your visit!

Distance to next stop: 2 min walk

Stop 2: Cathedral of San Jose

Walking Tour including a stop at Cathedral of San Jose Antigua Guatemala

The Cathedral of San Jose in Antigua, Guatemala is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, architecture, and religious art. This colonial-era cathedral features an impressive facade adorned with intricate stonework and sculptural details, as well as a richly decorated interior with beautiful altarpieces, paintings, and statues. 

Tip: If you would like a guide to offer more context of the history here, you can request one for an additional 50Q($6.50)! Guides will likely be waiting at the entrance and try to sell you a tour either way!

Don’t miss headed to the “Old Cathedral” which are the remaining ruins left by the original structure that has been destroyed by earthquakes over the years. This is one of the most photographed and unique spots to explore, but it is easy to miss as you can’t see it from the street!

Distance to next stop: 8 min walk 

Stop 3: El Arco de Santa Catalina (Santa Catalina Arch)

A stop at Santa Catalina Arch walking tour Antigua Guatemala

Santa Catalina Arch, also known as El Arco de Santa Catalina, is an iconic landmark in Antigua, Guatemala, and a popular tourist attraction.

Built in the 17th century, the arch originally served as a passageway for nuns to cross the street without being seen by the public. Today, it is a symbol of Antigua’s rich cultural heritage and a popular spot for taking photographs and enjoying the city’s scenic beauty.

On a clear day, your photograph with the arch will also include a Agua volcano towering behind you – a photo to remember!

Tip: If you find yourself here around lunch, head into Fridas for a few tacos. I promise you won’t regret it.

Restaurant Fridas Tacos Antigua Guatemala

Distance to next stop: 6 min walk 

Stop 4: Convento de las Capuchinas (Capuchinas Convent)

Capuchinas Convent, or Convento de las Capuchinas, is a historic and fascinating destination in Antigua, Guatemala, and a popular tourist spot. Built in the mid-18th century, the convent is a fine example of colonial-era architecture, with its ornate facades, intricate stone carvings, and beautifully landscaped gardens. 

You can explore the various rooms, chapels, and cloisters ( which are covered walkways or open gallery running along the side of a building), and learn about its history and the daily life of the nuns who lived there. Capuchinas Convent also features several exhibits and displays that showcase the art, artifacts, and traditions of colonial-era Antigua.

It will take about an hour to explore, perhaps longer with a guide, but you will enjoy walking through the convent as it has been largely restored and a true treasure of Antigua. Make sure you visit the acoustic chamber downstairs, it’s incredible!

Distance to next stop: 20 min walk, or 5 min tuktuk ride! 

Stop 5: Cerro de la Cruz (Hill of the Cross)

Walking Tour Hill of the Cross

Cerro de la Cruz is a popular viewpoint and attraction in Antigua, Guatemala, offering stunning panoramic views of the city and the surrounding landscape including on a clear day, Agua volcano. 

You will hike or drive up to the hilltop lookout point, which offers breathtaking views of Antigua’s colorful rooftops, colonial-era architecture, and of course nearby volcanoes. The Hill of the Cross is also significant for its role in the city’s history, as it was once a sacred Mayan site and later served as a lookout point during colonial times.

Note: If you decide to hike, it is about a 10 minute walk up stairs to get to the overlook. Definitely doable with kids, just bring some water along!

Distance to next stop: 30 min walk, or 8 min tuktuk ride! 

Stop 6: Mercado de Antigua (Antigua Market)

The Antigua Market, also known as the Mercado de Artesanias, is a bustling and colorful destination and a must-visit for anyone interested in shopping, culture, and local traditions. 

You will explore the market’s various stalls and shops, bargain with shop owners and admire the traditional weaving and embroidery techniques used by local artisans. The market is also a great place to sample local foods and beverages, such as freshly brewed coffee, homemade chocolate, and traditional street snacks.

We always give the girls a few Quetzal’s and let them shop for their own souvenir. A little practice with haggling is a fun experience and there are so many shops to choose from!

Tip: The market can be very busy and chaotic with shop owners doing their best to sell you items from their stall. Just something to be aware of as you head to shop with kids! 

Distance to next stop: 11 min walk 

Stop 7: Iglesia y Convento de la Merced (La Merced Church and Convent)

La Merced Church and Convent, or Iglesia y Convento de La Merced, is a stunning and historic destination in Antigua. The bright yellow facade and white details are gorgeous and it literally catches your eye as you get closer, you can’t miss it!  

Built in the 16th century, the church features an impressive façade with intricate stone carvings and a grand central portal. It is one of Antigua’s few colonial churches to survive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, which that alone is impressive given the amount of ruins inside of Antigua alone.

Inside the church you will be able to see all kinds of meaningful art and sculptures, including one of Jesus carrying a golden cross which is paraded through the streets on Palm Sunday and Good Friday.

Before you go, snap a family photo outside if you can. It will be an incredible backdrop to your next favorite family photo!

Distance to next stop: 11 min walk 

Stop 8: Casa Santo Domingo (Santo Domingo Monastery)

Casa Santo Domingo is a luxurious and historic hotel and museum complex that is the perfect finale to your walk around the city, especially if you are ending with an empty stomach as there is a restaurant and bar located inside as well!

The complex was built around the ruins of the Santo Domingo Monastery, and features beautifully restored buildings and a series of interconnected courtyards and gardens. Walking around you can explore the hotel’s various galleries and exhibits, which showcase a wide range of art, artifacts, and antiques from throughout Guatemala’s history, and enjoy the stunning views of the city and surrounding landscape.

Casa Santo Domingo is also home to several upscale boutiques and a spa, making it a great destination for a day trip or a longer stay.

Make sure to ask the receptionist where you can find the parrots, the kids will love seeing them up close!

I hope you enjoyed your walk around Antigua! The walking time may vary depending on your pace and how long you spend at each stop – or if you decide to hop in a tuktuk. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water and sunscreen!

This self-guided walking tour of Antigua Guatemala is the perfect way to experience the city’s rich history, culture, and cuisine. With these must-visit stops on your itinerary, you and your kids are sure to have a memorable and immersive experience in this beautiful colonial city. 

Have any questions about this tour? Leave a comment below, I am happy to help! 


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