Best Things To Do In Antigua Guatemala With Kids

If you’re looking for the best things to do in Antigua with kids you’ve come to the right place. Declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Antigua Guatemala is a colonial city rich in history and culture. A place that seems to have stood still, there are exciting and fun things to do in Antigua Guatemala. But when it comes to finding kid-friendly activities in Antigua, it can be somewhat of a challenge. So I wanted to share with you all the best things to do in Antigua with kids. All of these activities are family-friendly but are also great for adults.

Santo Domingo del Cerro

The Best Things to Do in Antigua Guatemala With the Kids

I was born and raised in Guatemala. As a kid, one of my favorite things was traveling to Antigua with my family. Now that we live in the United States, we return to Guatemala with the kids as often as possible. And we always spend time in beautiful Antigua! So to enjoy your stay, here are the best things you can do in Antigua Guatemala with kids:

Make Chocolates and Learn About Mayan Culture

There are few things better than good quality chocolate! The Choco Museum has two locations in Antigua Guatemala. Not only do they sell artisanal, handmade chocolate, but they teach you how to make your own. We took their “bean to bar” chocolate workshop with the kids, and my son declared this his favorite experience in Guatemala!

Things to do in Antigua Guatemala with Kids
chocolate making at Choco Museum in Antigua Guatemala

The workshop was super fun and interactive; the kids roasted, peeled, and grind cacao beans using a traditional grinding stone. They also learned about the cacao plant and the history of cacao and chocolate. Then, when it came time to make their chocolate, the kids got to choose from different molds. Finally, they added delicious toppings to their chocolates, from nuts and shredded coconut to sprinkles.

Things to do in Antigua Guatemala with kids
Making cacao paste at the Choco Museum in Antigua

During the workshop, which lasts about two hours, you will also get to make hot chocolate like the Mayans and the Spanish conquistadores did. And the best part: you get to try different cacao drinks. At the end of the workshop, we walked out with big smiles on our faces and a bag of handmade chocolate. In addition, we got a wealth of knowledge about making chocolate and Guatemala’s Mayan culture. 

You can also take a cooking class and learn to make authentic Guatemalan recipes like pepián Guatemala’s national dish or Guatemalan tamales. A cooking if your kids are older and interested in cooking. My daughter loves cooking and for her this was one of the highlights of our trip. 



Combine Art and Thrills at Santo Domingo del Cerro 

Located at the top of a hill on the city’s edge, Santo Domingo del Cerro is a great place to spend part of the day. With a restaurant, sculpture garden, art galleries, zip lines, and a playground for the kids, it’s got something for everyone in the family. Plus, it boasts one of the best views of  the volcanos.

Santo Domingo del Cerro Antigua Guatemala

We started with breakfast at El Tenedor Del Cerro restaurant, where we enjoyed delicious food and a spectacular view of the volcanoes. The Fuego volcano was active and a smoke cloud raised from its crater as we savored our huevos rancheros. It was fantastic!

Tenedor del Cerro in Antigua Guatemala

After breakfast, we walked around the sculpture garden, filled with colorful and whimsical sculptures and murals from some of the most renowned Guatemalan artists. Then we visited the aviary where you will find lots of birds. Next, my 10-year-old wanted to try the zip line, but he’s afraid of heights. So he opted for the safer mini zip line on the playground.

Santo Domingo del cerro playground

We ended the day learning about Guatemalan art history as we walked through the art galleries.

Santo Domingo del Cerro museum

The best part is that Santo Domingo del Cerro has no entrance fee; the sculpture garden, art galleries, aviary, and playground are free. If you want to enjoy the zip line, there are a couple of options, and prices start at $35. The restaurant is expensive but well worth it; the food is delicious, and the view is like no other. If you are going on a weekend, arrive at least an hour before the time you plan to eat. There is often a long wait time, and you can’t make reservations. But if you plan it well and walk through the gardens before your meal, it works perfectly!

Santo Domingo del Cerro

Santo Domingo del Cerro is the property of Hotel Casa Santo Domingo. Free shuttles depart from the hotel every 15 minutes, even for non-guests. If you are driving your car, parking is available at the hotel.

Santo Cielo by Casa Santo Domingo has some really unique accommodations including an airstream that is perfect for a family of four and is surrounded by nature and has all of the modern amenities you need. My favorite are the cabins, these look out into the forest and have private deck and jacuzzi and area for a fire, my kids really loved staying here. 

Spend the Afternoon at the Parque Central de Antigua Guatemala

El Parque Central, or Plaza Mayor, in Antigua Guatemala, is surrounded by the cathedral and other historic buildings, with the beautiful Agua volcano in the background. This beautiful town square is a gathering place for locals and visitors alike. We love to grab a bench near the beautiful fountain, la Fuente de las Sirenas, and people-watch while enjoying ice cream or cotton candy. During the weekends, you may find musicians playing the marimba, and street vendors are always around offering beautiful Guatemalan crafts.

Antigua Guatemala, view of the Catedral and the Parque Central
Antigua Guatemala, view of the Catedral and the Parque Central

We love to visit the park in the mornings when it’s not too crowded. Sometimes we will cross the street to Cafe Condesa for some of their amazing homemade pies and browse the books at the Casa del Conde bookstore, which has a great variety of Guatemalan books. I always try to grab a book or two for the kids; our favorites are the ones about Mayan legends.

Things to do with kids in Antigua Guatemala
homemade pie at Cafe Condesa in Antigua Guatemala

You can also hop on one of the many horse-drawn carriages from the park. Don’t skip taking a tour through the stunning cobblestone streets.

Explore Antigua Guatemala’s Famous Colonial Ruins

Antigua Guatemala has many beautiful colonial buildings and ruins. The ruins are fun to explore with kids! It is an excellent opportunity for everyone in the family to learn about Antigua’s history. Some of my favorite ruins to visit include:

Convent of Santo Domingo: Now part of the Hotel Casa Santo Domingo, the convent’s ruins have been beautifully restored. The hotel has different galleries showcasing Guatemalan art and historical pieces. The colonial museum showcases beautiful sculptures and paintings from colonial times, while the Archeological Museum gallery exhibits Mayan artifacts from the classic period. In addition, some galleries showcase contemporary Guatemalan artists. Hotel Casa Santo Domingo also has some beautiful gardens full of flowers, and there are even colorful macaws which the kids loved! The entrance is free since the ruins are part of the hotel.

Church and Convent of Capuchinas: Capuchinas has always been one of my favorite ruins in Antigua Guatemala. Its beautiful courtyards and fountains are filled with bougainvillea flowers and are fun to explore for children and adults alike. They also make for a perfect location for amazing family pictures!

Antigua Guatemala colonial ruins

La Recoleccion Church: Severely damaged during the 1717 earthquake, you can’t go inside, but to me, the facade is still stunning and iconic. Take a stroll along the street and check out the intricate work on the front. Don’t forget to snap a couple of photos with the imposing Agua volcano in the background.

Take A Walking Tour

The best way to visit the ruins and get a sense of the city is to take a private walking tour of Antigua, this will allow your family to modify the tour to your need and your interests as well as making sure you keep things short if you have small children. 



Visit a Coffee Plantation

Located just minutes from Antigua Guatemala, Finca Filadelfia is a great place to spend the morning or the afternoon. They have a great restaurant and you can do a coffee tour, canopy, or unimog tours.

unimog transport in Antigua Guatemala
Unimog transport in Antigua Guatemala

Finca Filadelfia provides free roundtrip transportation from Antigua Guatemala, on their  trucks daily. My kids loved the Unimog ride and really liked learning about the working coffee plantation. 



Get Immersed in Guatemalan Culture

Antigua Guatemala provides you with so many opportunities to get close and personal to Guatemalan culture and it’s blend of Mayan and European heritage. From witnessing the solemn processions and awe inspiring sawdust carpets during Holy Week celebrations,  enjoying the beauty of the city adorned with flowers for Antigua’s Flower Festival or experiencing Antigua Guatemala’s Fiesta Patronal (patron saint celebration) which includes amazing Guatemalan folk dances there are so many opportunities to learn about Guatemala’s unique and colorful culture. You can check out my article for a full list of festivals and celebrations in Antigua which includes dates so you can plan ahead and book your trip to Guatemala with these special events in mind. 

The most beautiful Guatemalan folk dances
Colorful folk dances in Guatemala.

Visit Antigua Guatemala’s Crafts Market

Guatemala has some of the most colorful and beautiful handicrafts and textiles in the world! And Antigua is a shopper’s paradise, packed with boutiques and markets.

Hand made crafts at the market in Antigua Guatemala.
Handmade crafts at the market in Antigua Guatemala. Photo: Paula Bendfeldt­-Diaz, all rights reserved.

We love taking the kids to the craft market next to the Iglesia del Carmen ruins. It’s a lesser-known market and not as crowded as the Mercado de Artesanias. They love picking a souvenir to remind them of their visit to Antigua Guatemala. Walking among the colorful stalls overflowing with pottery, masks, wooden toys, and various other crafts, souvenirs, and Mayan textiles is a fun experience. I usually take advantage of this opportunity to encourage my kids to practice their Spanish and haggling skills as they negotiate for the best price.

craft market it Antigua Guatemala
Craft market at Antigua Guatemala

Enjoy traditional Guatemalan Candy at Doña Maria Gordillo

We all know that kids love sweets. So when visiting Antigua Guatemala, a stop at Doña Maria Gordillo’s candy store is a must. Filled with traditional candy and decorated with countless handmade ceramic owls and other traditional pottery, Doña Maria Gordillo is an Antigua institution that has been around for over one hundred years.

Dulces típicos Doña Maria Gordillo Guatemala
Doña Maria Gordillo is the most famous traditional Guatemalan candy store; they have been around for over 100 years!

Locals say they fearlessly guard their secret recipes and use only the best ingredients. There are other traditional candy stores around the city, many of them more affordable. But none of them even come close to Doña Maria Gordillo’s in terms of quality and taste. I’ve tried other candy and always keep coming back to Doña Maria Gordillo’s.

My family’s favorite Guatemalan candies include canillitas de leche (sweet milk candy), marzipan shaped as miniature fruits, naranjitas (orange and sugar candy), and coconut candy. I also love the candied figs, the chilacayotes (candied squash), and the tamarind balls.


Where to Stay in Antigua Guatemala With Kids

If you’re staying in Antigua with kids you will want a hotel with enough space for kids to run around and ideally a pool. Most of Antigua’s hotels used to be colonial homes so finding a hotel with a pool is not that easy!

Here are my recommendations for the best hotels in Antigua Guatemala for fammilies:

  • Porta Hotel Antigua: With beautiful colonial architecture and a kid-friendly pool, Porta Hotel is on of the best hotels In Antigua Guatemala with families in mind. The pool has a deeper area perfect for adults and teens and a toddler area where little ones can splash around and have fun. Beautiful lush gardens full of colorful flowers surround the pool, with comfortable lounge chairs and giant umbrellas. And the best part: As you relax poolside, you can take in the fantastic view of the Agua Volcano in the background. You can check out my full review of Porta hotel Antigua here.
Porta Hotel Antigua
Porta Hotel Antigua
  • Casa Santo Domingo: With beautiful gardens and a pool, Hotel Casa Santo Domingo is in the heart of Antigua Guatemala and walking distance to the Parque Central and the Arco de Santa Catalina, 
  • Santo Cielo by Casa Santo Domingo: unique accommodations surrounded by nature, choose from an airstream or a wood cabin with beautiful views over the forest. Perfect for nature lovers and fun for kids. 
  • Camino Real AntiguaCamino Real Antigua is ideal for families, offering spacious rooms and a dedicated play area for children. Conveniently located in the heart of Antigua, it provides easy access to the city’s attractions.
  • Soleil Antigua: Soleil Antigua stands out for family-friendly amenities, boasting large swimming pools, including a children’s pool, and various kid-centric activities. The hotel also caters to younger guests with special children’s menus.
  • Hotel Villa Colonial: Hotel Villa Colonial; is a family-friendly choice, featuring comfortable, roomy accommodations, a nice pool and a beautiful garden for children to explore. Its tranquil location ensures a peaceful stay while being close to Antigua’s main attractions.

How to get to Antigua Guatemala

From Guatemala City to Antigua Guatemala

The journey from Guatemala City to Antigua is relatively short, typically taking about 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on traffic conditions. Private taxis or ride-sharing services offer the quickest and most direct route. Shuttle services and taxis provide a direct route from the airport and from many hotels, making it a swift journey. Private car services, while more expensive, can also ensure a comfortable and timely trip.



From Lake Atitlan to Antigua Guatemala

 The journey from Lake Atitlan to Antigua is longer, usually taking around 2.5 to 3 hours, depending on your starting point around the lake and the traffic conditions. Shuttle services, the most popular option, offer a scheduled and comfortable ride. Public buses might take longer due to transfers. Private taxis or car services, while pricier, provide a more personalized and potentially quicker journey.



Best things to do in Antigua Guatemala with kids

More Amazing Things to Do In Guatemala:

If you’re planning a trip to Guatemala, or want to come back for more, you’ve come to the right place! From the best destinations to kid-friendly activities, I’ll share my love for my home country. Here are amazing things to do in Guatemala to make your trip a memorable one:

Antigua Guatemala Travel Guide: The Best Tips From A Local

In this Antigua Guatemala travel guide, you will find what makes Antigua a unique and must-visit destination. I also share my personal recommendations for things to do in Antigua, where to eat, when to visit, tips, and things to avoid. Most importantly, I share some of Antigua’s hidden secrets.

Procession during the Fiesta Patronal de Antigua Guatemala
Procession during the Fiesta Patronal de Antigua Guatemala

The Best Things To Do With Kids In Guatemala City:

The capital city is full of fun things to do. However, kid-friendly activities are not always easy to find. So I thought I would share the best things to do in Guatemala City with kids. And the best part is most are not only fun but also educational activities; a huge plus for any parent!

Things to do with kids in Guatemala: Museo de los Niños Guatemala
Museo de los Niños Guatemala – Children’s Museum

Best Guide To Visiting Tikal: The Most Spectacular Mayan Ruins In Guatemala:

Here is a guide to visiting Tikal that includes everything you need to know before seeing the most spectacular Mayan ruins in the world. It is a great starting point for enjoying the many adventures the Petén region offers.

Tikal Sunset view from sunset tour

Best Things To Do In Lake Atitlan With Kids:

Looking for the best things to do in Lake Atitlán with kids? Here are lots of fun options! It includes all our favorite things to do around the lake, from Panajachel to smaller towns like San Antonio Palopó.

Best things to do in Atitlan with kids
Reserva Natural, Atitlan

The Best Guide To Visiting The Quirigua Mayan Ruins In Guatemala

Discover the rich history of the Maya civilization in the stunning Quirigua ruins that offer a unique glimpse into the grandeur of Maya architecture and artwork. In this guide, I’ll show you what to see and expect and how to make the most of your trip to Quirigua. So pack your bags, and let’s set off on a journey of discovery!

Quirigua mayan ruins in Guatemala, Stela E, largest stela in the Mayan world
Quirigua site in Guatemala.

Dramatic Volcanic Black Sand Beaches In Guatemala:

If you haven’t walked along beautiful black sand beaches, you are missing out on a magical experience! Some of the best beaches in Guatemala are on its Pacific coasts, places of deep chill, and stunning wilderness. Guatemala’s beaches are full of palm trees to relax with an icy beverage on hand.

The Ultimate Guide To The Iximche Mayan Ruins In Guatemala:

The Iximche Mayan ruins in Guatemala are a must-see destination and one of the most underrated things to do in Guatemala. These ancient ruins offer a glimpse into the rich history and culture of the Mayan civilization. You can visit these stunning ruins surrounded by stunning natural beauty!

Iximche ruins things to do in Guatemala with kids

San Antonio Palopó, A Mayan Village With Unique Pottery:

Perched on the mountainside of Lake Atitlán, San Antonio Palopó is a small town that has remained relatively unspoiled. The town’s life centers around its ceramics and textiles. With a picturesque church acting as the focal point, San Antonio Palopo is a beautiful place you must see on your next visit to Lake Atitlan.

Visiting San Antonio Palopo in lake Atitlan
Visiting San Antonio Palopo in lake Atitlan

Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

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1 thought on “Best Things To Do In Antigua Guatemala With Kids”

  1. I’m headed to Antigua for the month with my two children ages 6 and 9. This article is really helpful. Thank you for this!


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