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Things to do in Ciudad Vieja

Our most recommended things to do in Ciudad Vieja

Antigua City Tour Full Day From Guatemala City

1. Antigua City Tour Full Day From Guatemala City

Visit Antigua, Guatemala, a town where time stands still. Once the third largest city in all of Spanish Colonial America and for 200 years the capital of Guatemala, it is today a peaceful, beautiful and partially restored colonial city. Cobblestone streets wind through the city of majestic churches and monasteries. You will be picked up at your hotel in Guatemala City before transferring to Antigua Guatemala to meet your local guide and begin your soft walking of approximately 3 hours. During your tour, visit the La Merced Church of Guatemalan with its ultra-baroque style. This temple has two bell towers and on the facade of the church in its upper part is a sculpture of San Pedro Nolasco, founder of the Mercedarian Order. Here, you will also see the Santa Catalina Arch. This was built to connect the nuns between cloisters to avoid being seen due to the votes that the religious order took. After the earthquakes of 1773, the arch became important due to the alterations that were made. These alterations included the construction of a turret and the inclusion of a Lamy Amp Lacroix clock of French origin. Next up on the tour is Central Park. Situated in the traditional grid pattern used frequently in urban planning in the Spanish colonies. The park is surrounded by the Palace of the General Captains, the Town Hall, the Cathedral of San Jose, and the Trade Portal. Here in the park, you will also find the Las Sirenas fountain. This fountain has a traditional folk story where the Count of La Gomera ordered the fountain to be built in memory of his daughters, who in giving birth did not want to breastfeed their children. The count then ordered his daughters to be tied to a trunk in the center of a waterhole, where they died of thirst and hunger. You will continue your tour with a visit the La Unión tank, which is one of the most iconic laundries in this city (only the big houses possessed laundry facilities). For this reason, most of the inhabitants (housewives) went to public laundries. This was inaugurated on February 3, 1853. You will then be given time for lunch (not included).  Then, you will continue on your tour to visit the surrounding villages, San Antonio, and the town of Aguas Calientes. This town is characterized by its elaborate weavings made in waist looms by women of the community. In your visit to the market you can see how they make these textiles, and you will continue with a visit to Ciudad Vieja to learn about its history. To end your tour, you will visit a Macadamia farm where you will learn about the cultivation of macadamia nuts, their agro-industrial process, and the reforestation project, before relaxing with a facial massage with macadamia oil. At end of the tour, you’ll be transferred back to your hotel in Guatemala City

Antigua Full-Day Guided City Tour

2. Antigua Full-Day Guided City Tour

Antigua, Guatemala, was at one time the third-largest city in Spanish colonial America and for 200 years the capital of Guatemala. Today it is a lovely, partially restored spot with cobblestone streets that wind through a city of majestic churches and monasteries. For this full-day tour you’ll be picked up at your hotel and head to Antigua. Visit the La Merced Church, of Guatemalan Ultra Baroque style, which has on its facade, in the upper part a sculpture of San Pedro Nolasco, founder of the Mercedarian Order. Its belfry was rebuilt after the Santa Marta earthquake in 1773. Continue on to the Santa Catalina Arch, on which construction began in 1609. From 1694, when the arch was completed, it served as a bridge to connect the convent with the gardens on the other side of the street. The Central Park is located at the heart of the city, surrounded by the traditional grid pattern of streets frequently used in Spanish urban planning in the colonies. You’ll see the Palace of the Captain Generals, City Hall, the Church of San José, the Archbishop’s Palace, and the Portal of Commerce. In addition, your guide will show you the Las Sirenas fountain. Learn about this famous story as you immerse yourself in the colonial history of the city. Continue our way we will visit the La Unión tank, which is one of the most representative laundries in this city, only the big houses had a place where they could wash. Transfer outside of Antigua Guatemala, you will visit surrounding villages, including the weaving village of San Antonio Aguas Calientes and Ciudad Vieja, also San Miguel Dueñas, where you’ll visit a macadamia plantation and learn about this nut. At end of the tour, you’ll be transferred back to your hotel.

Antigua Half-Day Lost Cities of the Almolonga Bike Tour

3. Antigua Half-Day Lost Cities of the Almolonga Bike Tour

Get to know the areas surrounding Antigua with a half-day bike tour. On this trip, which is suitable for beginners and intermediate bike riders, ride to the Almolonga Valley west of Antigua. The area was home of the second capital of Guatemala, Ciudad Vieja. On your trip, see the city life fade and the country life take over as you travel further out. Learn about how the old city met a fateful end in 1541 as a result of a terrible mudslide released from the crater of Agua Volcano. The city disappeared in the valley between Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango volcanoes, and you will hear about the ongoing debate as people try to pinpoint its exact location. While out and about, you will also see the villages of Santiago Zamora and San Antonio Aguas Calientes, and stop off at a macadamia farm. This trip is guaranteed to be an educational experience that will teach you about the history and culture of the area while spending time in the great outdoors!

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What people are saying about Ciudad Vieja

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 13 reviews

Carmen was my guide on this solo tour. She is a great story teller and gave me all kinds of historical information! Iximche was truly stunning, and we went there first before the rain started and saw a Mayan ceremony, too. Antigua was beautiful and all the locations we stopped in were very interesting! It was pouring by that time, so Carmen drove between stops and I truly appreciated that. Had a nice lunch and she gave me a couple souvenirs, which was so sweet! The magnet is on my refrigerator Carmen! Muchisimas gracias por todo!

It was amazing. Experiencing the organic macadamia farm, the entire process to include a face massage with their oil was great. Enjoyed the chocolate class, it too was exciting. I'm glad I brought a credit card...The history and architecture of the area was fascinating. Highly recommend this tour, we found it had the best value in tours.

Excellent experience by all artisan manufacturers. You can see the process of chocolate, macadamia, medlar and jade in their different presentations. The tour was guided by Josías who gave me a lot of information about everything, very attentive and excellent attention.

We loved our mountain bike trip. The villages were charming. Our guide Pablo, was outstanding. He had great knowledge of the Mayan history. I would highly recommend him.

Mike really knows how to put together a great tour. You will enjoy your time in Guatemala!