Trip Suggestions for Traveling Alone in Antigua Guatemala

Antigua, Guatemala is a great place to escape. If you plan to go there as a single traveler, here are a few useful tips to guide you. Our advices covered thing should pay attention to, things to do and some other travelers must know information.

Isn’t it about time that you left your briefcase at home, and treat yourself to an exotic and relaxing vacation? Antigua is great place to do so, but if you plan to go there alone, take the normal precautions and then some.  The good news is, if in the last minute your travel buddy bails, it definitely does not mean you will be alone the whole time.  Going solo increases risks, but there are a lot of backpackers in Antigua with whom you can always join up.  You can also meet a lot of travelers in the hostels.

The most common crime for tourists is usually getting robbed by a pickpocket.  Some precautions:

1.Travel light.  If you are a female, bring only conservative clothes and no expensive jewelry.

2.Leave a photocopy of your passport and other important papers at home with a friend.  When touring, leave passports and other documents in the hotel safe.

3.Keep your money in several different places on you when you go out.

4.Carry US dollars in small denominations and have a credit card just in case.

5.Never change money in the streets.  Go to the bank, or your hotel.

6.Don’t ride chicken buses, there have been armed robberies here.  The deluxe bus service or shuttle service may cost more, but better safe than sorry.

Things to do in Antigua:

“Antigua” in Spanish means “old” and this place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its well preserved, Iberian-influenced Baroque architecture from Spain.

1.If you love architecture, some church ruins you may want to see are the Church and Convent of the Capuchins, or La Merced Church built in the 1500s which was largely restored from earthquake damage.  The Santo Domingo Monastery built in the 1500s once had 10 bells and hid treasures.  Today it is a hotel but some ruins are preserved.

2.Miramar sailing is a main attraction in Antigua, as you get a chance for an eight hour glide along the Caribbean that ends with the sunset.  Meals are delicious, and you get can sailing lessons if you wish. a volcano trek.  There are three large volcanoes surrounding Antigua and one of them, Volcan de Fuego emits smoke daily.  More agreeable may be the Volcan Pacaya and a day trip can be arranged with a $5 bus ticket to get you there and back.  A day trip with a guide and other travelers is a good way to meet people, many of whom are also traveling solo.  Wear good shoes, bring extra clothing, snacks and water.

4.Go to Central Park.  This is a great place to go people watching and it is also the place to find a lot of foreign students who come to Antigua to study Spanish within a Spanish-speaking environment.  Everybody congregates here from shoeshine boys to vendors, lovers to transients.  A great place to buy handicrafts and at night, musicians play the mariachi.  The Cathedral lights up.  You can sit on a bench and imbibe.

In Antigua everybody speaks English so if you are a first timer, language won’t be a problem, even if go there alone.  But don’t stay there alone for long.  Find a legitimate tour group you can link up to, and you will do just fine.

Other facts about Antigua:  A lot of senior citizens from the USA and Europe have made Antigua their final home.  The cost of living makes their retirement income go farther, and the city has its charms.

A lot of students come to Antigua to study Spanish and the city is well known for this.  It is the cheapest place in South America to learn the language in a Spanish speaking community.  So for those interested in a longer stay, you can mix with the locals and make friends with many other students from Europe and North America who come here for the same thing.  One highly reputable institution is The Christian Spanish Academy.

For night life, some recommended places are Monoloco which is a sportsbar that many foreigners visit for its food, vegetarian fare, and drinks.  Another place is Onis Bar where you can drink, view the ruins, and listen to Latin Rock.  Rielly’s Irish Pub is another good drinking place, and Gaia Restaurant is a good place to share a hookah.

Lin writes for Briefcases Direct, a website that offers luxury briefcases direct from the manufacturer.  Lin is an avid traveler and linguist. She currently resides in Calcutta, India.

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