Don't bother. The entry fee seems standard (Q40) but the information inside is severely limited. The highlight is an architectural model showing the central park of Antigua pre-1770's earthquake. The museum proper is small and primarily devoted to paintings/carvings of sundry saints.
Fun Alternatives: The museums housed in the Casa Santo Domingo. Also based in a ruined church complex, they are far more informative and interesting. Alternatively, the coffee museum La Azotea is well worth a visit and has a free shuttle departing from the central square.
Be specific on the terms of the rent period. You may want to shorten or lengthen you trip, and the rental agency may not be quipped for it. I've got a very unpleasant experience with the CATours agecny (you can read bout it here: http://guatemalamotorcycle.blogspot.com/2010/05/motorcycle-trip-in-guatemala-catours.html
Unique Suggestions: write down all the terms of the rent , and the specifics of what's happen if you return the bike early or late.
Fun Alternatives: Just don't go to CATours in Antigua, find another rental agency, there are plenty honest agencies out there.
We were on a day trip to Antigua and we were shown the Jade factory by our guide. Now maybe you are into Jade ---and if you are that's great! I expect that it is high quality mechandise! However, after a 15 minute talk by the owner we were allowed to wander through the place. Yes there was an interesting display of information and yes there was a rather colloquial museum. The free beverage was tasty and the one or two stall-holders were friendly.
After the walk through we were in the very grand and expensive shop. The guide didn't want us to wander the streets and so we were almost obliged to stay in the shop. Most of our coach-load just walked like bored zombies, waiting for our transport away from it all.
Why didn't the guide suggest that those who were not especially interested had a coffee somewhere? Money?
If you are into jade or beautifully carved objects then this could be the place for you. If not...it is a trap!
Unique Suggestions: Go outside quickly and ask your guide for a good place to go for a local coffee. Insist!
Fun Alternatives: Most organised tours of the beautiful, interesting city seem to include the jade factory.
I read much about the tours of Antigua by Elizabeth Bell, so when I arrived one of the first things we did was book a tour with her group. However, the tour fell far short of expectations. Elizabeth spoke only briefly about the history of the city and region, pointing out such obvious locales as the grand plaza (where we met the tour) and the mayor's residence. What she seemed most to do is talk about her personal work with the schools of the region, yet it came across as self-appraisal and grandstanding.
Fun Alternatives: In general, we did not get much interesting information out of this tour. It was a waste of money, in my opinion, and I do not hesitate to recommend to others that they find another tour, or walk the city yourself.
Tourist trap is probably too severe, but this was annoying. The Santo Domingo is an old church with a convent, transformed into a very fancy historical hotel. The ruins are not uninteresting, but the entrance fee is very high. You feel like you have to pay because you're not a guest of the hotel (they get in free). Unless you are very interested in crypts, it can be skipped. The hotel itself seems right for people who may want a rarefied sweatless experience. http://www.casasantodomingo.com.gt
When you are in Antigua, all tourist agencies tout their "side trips". I took a side trip to Chichicastenango for a market day and while it was an interesting place, it definitely did not warrant a 5 hour shopping trip. I felt I could see the Chichi market in 30 min. Some of my friends went to Lago de Atitlan the same day and I heard they had a much more enjoyable time than our group in Chichi. So definitely not worth a day trip if you are in Antigua for a short time.
When I was in Antigua you could always find me here at the Sky Cafe enjoying drinks and talk amongst friends.
Unique Suggestions: This place snared me real well but atleast I would enjoy the sunsetting over the valley.
Fun Alternatives: You can try a movie instead but the views are not as fascinating.
Antigua's full of tourists..... Europeans, French, etc.... people that perhaps went to Antigua just to visit but then either they stayed or went back to stay.... this place will suck you in man, I'm telling ya! Look! they even have Internet Cafes!!!!! so.... beware!!!!! It's like a tiny Bermuda's Triangle :o)
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