Antigua is a great place to visit or to spend more time and stay a few weeks or months. Since our time here is coming to an end, I want to present you with some recommendations for places that we love. These places are great for us – my husband, our two-year-old and me – most of them are not expensive and all are suited to go with children. So here are the Antigua family and budget tips!
General recommendations for families
First things first: There are two important things I want to share with other families that are planning to come to Antigua:
- Antigua (city center and beyond) is a terrible place for a pram or a stroller. It´s torture to drive your child along cobblestoned streets or uneven sidewalks with obstacles in the middle of the way. Of course you might want to bring the pram/ stroller for other destinations or for the airport etc., but in Antigua be prepared to carry the little ones, so bring a sling if you have one!
- Very few places have a baby´s changing table. Be prepared to be creative and maybe bring a changing mat so you are more flexible concerning where to change the diapers of the little ones.
- Pasteles Hansel y Gretel: They sell things you need for baking but also have the most amazing brownies and other sweets. You cannot eat here but the price is so good, you don´t mind taking these baked goods home: 8Q a brownie! Inconspicuous little place. Location:city center, corner of 6a avenida and 6a calle
- Zócalo: Mexican restaurant with delicious food and amazing prices. And they are pretty flexible with turning their dishes vegetarian, just ask 🙂 Location: city center close to Parque central, 4a calle oriente.
- Coffee Shack: Café with co-working areas, beautiful terrace and a fun game room (table football and table tennis) as well as some hammock chairs to relax in while you enjoy a delicious coffee. Our daughter loves the place, too and she always gets her own little “coffee” (warm milk or a chai latte ;)). Concerning prices it´s average, not cheaper than others, but you do good while drinking coffee here: Coffee Shack supports the organisation Serve Hope and gives a part of their profits to benefit Guatemalan families. For example they give water filters and houses to families in need. Location: city center, 6a calle poniente 39.
- Caoba Farms: It´s a great place to go with kids, especially on the weekend when they have activities and a small market. There is a playground, a restaurant with farm-to-table-concept, a store with organic produce, the farm with plantations of salads, vegetables etc. and some animals to look at. Location: 5a avenida sur final, outside of the city center but within walking distance.
- Valhalla Macadamia Farm: This is a beautiful place to learn and relax. In the free tour of the farm they explain you everything there is to know about Macadamia trees and nuts and you get a free facial massage with macadamia nut oil at the end of the tour! In the restaurant they have delicious food such as pizza and pancakes made with macadamia flour that you can enjoy sitting under macadamia trees. Location: San Miguel Dueñas.
- El Tenedor del Cerro: This is complex of several art museums set in a beautiful garden. It´s all about Guatemalan artists. The entrance is free of charge, there are several sculptures and things to discover in the garden as well as fountains (not a bad place to let the kids play on a hot day) and a playground (behind the restaurant). The restaurant has a beautiful view, but it is quite expensive. If you don´t want to eat there, bring a snack or lunch because there is nothing else sold here. Location: Santo Domingo del Cerro, just outside of Antigua but you have to take a car.
- Eco Farms GT: A simple place with some animals, a playground and a restaurant to spend some time. During the week there are a lot of kids that go to kindergarden here, on the weekend there are more families. You can also buy organic produce in a small stand in the parking lot. Location: Jocotenango.
- Finca La Azotea: Beautiful finca with a very small entrance fee (25Q per adult, I think). There is a restaurants, a café, a beer garden, play areas, horse riding and bike riding or just walking around the finca and the coffee plantations, a chocolate workshops, a coffee museum and more!Location: Jocotenango.
- Cerro de la Cruz: A little hill with a viewpoint on the north of Antiguas city center. You can easily walk up here (or take a car or tuc-tuc) and enjoy the view of Antigua and the volcán de agua behind it. Be sure to go up when the sun is not too intense and the view is clear. Location: access via 1a avenida norte.
- Hobbitenango: A “Hobbit village” outside of Antigua with an amazing view of the volcanos (Fuego and Acatenango) and a lot of fun things to do. Entrance and food inside quite expensive though. If you can, go during the week, it gets quite crowded on the weekends. Location: El Hato/ Altamira.
- Pacaya volcano: This volcano is a super cool and an interesting spot – you get to walk on a cold lava stream! The landscape is surreal. The hike up is about an hour and a half and even though it´s steep, you can totally do this with kids! For small kids bring a child and easy to hike up with kids. Location: It´s about a 1.5 hour drive from Antigua to the volcano. You can take a car, uber or tour (several options daily).