3 budget hotels you’ll love in Antigua, Guatemala

Why suffer in a grim room or a noisy hostel when you don’t have to? The colonial city of La Antigua, Guatemala, is one of those serendipitous places where being surrounded by beauty doesn’t mean you have to pay a fortune for a nice hotel. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, an hour from Guatemala City, offers plenty of lovely hotels for every budget, including a few I’ve found as low as $35 USD a night.

Historic arch of Santa catarina in Antigua Guatemala

It’s possible to find nice budget hotels near the historic arch of Santa Catalina in Antigua Guatemala

Here are three hotels in Antigua, Guatemala for under $100  a night — all are ideally-located, well-run, clean, have private bathrooms and are full of character. I’ve stayed in each one of them and checked them out throughly.

1.Posada La Merced Antigua, Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala

View from rooftop patio of Posada La Merced

View of La Merced Church from rooftop patio of Posada La Merced

Pros: 

  • located near 7a Avenida North near beautiful La Merced Church
  • next door to Fernando’s Kaffee, the best coffee shop (and chocolatier) in Antigua. Enjoy a hearty breakfast in the leafy courtyard or hang out in the afternoon
  • a communal kitchen makes it handy to preapre a light dinner or breakfast
  • pretty courtyard filled with plants, tropical flowers and butterflies
  • free coffee, tea and filtered water
  •  free WiFi
Posada La Merced Antigua Guatemala

Posada La Merced has an ideal location and is well maintained

Cons:

  • Rooms can be noisy with people coming and going in the courtyard
  • It’s popular with groups so it can be tough to get your room of choice
View of courtyard at Posada La Merced

View of courtyard at Posada La Merced

Details: 

  • I usually choose one of the 7 rooms surrounding the back garden-patio  but there are also  16 rooms on a multi-level courtyard  in the front patio.

  • Room Rates are $45 for the back patio and $35 for the front patio, for one person including tax
  • The Hotel will arrange an airport transfer from Guatemala City Airport for $36 USD for 1-3 people.

2. CASA CRISTINA

Agua Volcano in Antigua Guatemala

Views of Volcan de Agua are a highlight of a stay at Casa Cristina

Pros:

  • Casa Cristina is located on a quiet street near La Merced Church and beside the fabulous Fernando’s Kaffee
  • It’s also just a few steps to my Spanish language school of choice, PROBIGUA.   Read about my favourite language school in Antigua in the post Study Spanish in Antigua.
  • Deluxe rooms ( #11 and #12) offer views of Volcan de Agua
  • Rooms come equipped with small fridges, which is handy if you travel solo and want to  have a snack in the evening without going out for a full meal
  • Free WiFi
  • It’s exceptionally clean, bright and well-managed with a friendly owner and helpful staff

Cons:

  • Some rooms face the corridor rather than an outside window
  • Lower rooms can be noisy

Details:

  • low season rates for the room on the lower floors are $25 but it’s worth the splurge to go up to one of the upper floors where you’ll pay $32-$45 USD but get more peace and quiet

3. HOTEL CIRILO

Luxurious interior of Hotel Cirilo in Antigua Guatemala

Luxurious interior of Hotel Cirilo in Antigua Guatemala

Pros:

  • Set within the restored gardens and archeological ruins of a 17th century convent, this art-filled boutique hotel is well worth the splurge even if you’re on a budget. Rooms begin at around $109  USD a night ( plus tax) for a single but do include breakfast. A double room is $119 so if you’re travelling as a pair the per person rate is quite affordable.
  • The property offers a swimming pool, a rare luxury in Antigua.
  • Breakfast is a hot, full breakfast with several options.
  • Free WiFi
  • Located in the Candelaria neighbourhood, it’s quite quiet and tranquil offering the sense that you’ve entered a private sanctuary.
Courtyard at historic Hotel Cirilo in Antigua Guatemala

Courtyard at historic Hotel Cirilo in Antigua Guatemala

Cons:

  • The location Calle de los Duelos No. 11, is a bit out of the way, which can be a good thing if you’re looking for peace and quiet. But it is a 10 minute walk to the heart of Antigua.
  • Tiny biting no–see-ums, those gnats that seem to seek me out no matter where I go, can be an  issue  in the garden area. If you forget and leave your door to your suite open, the pesky insects will  find your way into your bedroom and annoy you all night.    If this happens, ask the front desk for a package of Raid Laminitas, an electric insect zapper. Plug it into an electric socket  and in 30 minutes your room will be free of mosquitos, ants or whatever might be flying around.
  • I always travel with Laminitas, you can purchase a package for under $7 USD in most supermarkets in Mexico and Guatemala. Each insert lasts for 24 hours.

 

Luxurious bedroom at Hotel Cirilo Antigua Guatemala

Luxurious bedroom at Hotel Cirilo Antigua Guatemala

Details:

  • The priciest of my three hotel options, the rate of $109+ a night ( not including tax) is compensated by the fact that a full breakfast is included and you’re enjoying a unique and luxurious stay that would likely cost $500 USD or more anywhere else in the world.

HOW TO GET TO ANTIGUA FROM GUATEMALA CITY 

  1. Antigua is closer than you think. It’s just 25 kilometres from Guatemala City’s La Aurora International Airport (GUA), which means that if there is no traffic, you can be at your hotel in just 45 minutes.
  2. So, unless you really want to spend time in Guatemala City (and there are lots of reasons to do so)  I recommend you travel directly to your hotel in Antigua rather than overnight in Guatemala City.
  3. Many hotels in Antigua offer 24 hour service so even if you arrive after dark, you can still check-in. I arrived at Posada La Merced at 2:00 am and had no problem checking in , once the bellman woke up. If you arrive late, look for the buzzer and ring it to wake up the night watchman.
  4. Some hotels offer a private transfer service for their guests and that’s worth definitely considering if you’re travelling in a pair. The cost is usually around $36 USD.
  5. Another option is to book a shuttle from Guatemala City to Antigua with a provider such as Adrenalina Tours. They offer shuttle van throughout Guatemala ( and to Mexico) at reasonable rates and with offices in Antigua, Quetzaltenango and Panajachel, they can take you most anywhere you want to go.  The cost per person for a shuttle from Guatemala City to Antigua is $12 USD and you can book online with a minimum of two travellers.
  6. The shuttles drop you at your hotel, which sounds convenient, but can be less so if you’re in a full van and the last person dropped off. In Antigua, I’ve bounced around for 30 minutes or more in a shuttle while dropping or picking people up. If you’ve had a long international flight, it might be worth your peace of mind and comfort to book a private shuttle.
  7. Note that in the shuttles you can reserve the exact seat you want for no extra cost. If you can, try to choose a seat near the front of the van. If you’re prone to motion sickness choose the seat directly behind the driver as there will be less motion and the window generally opens. It’s a short ride to Antigua so where you sit likely doesn’t matter but on long haul trips, you’ll want to specify your seat.
  8. It’s also possible to find low cost shuttle services that will offer transportation for as low as $5. In my experience, this is NOT a wise idea. The most recent time I took a budget shuttle, the tires were bald, the brakes squealed like a pen of pigs and the speedometer on the dashboard  didn’t work, but I swear we hit speeds of 140 kilometres. The van was also over packed which meant I sat for 5 hours straddling a gear shift stick between my thighs. Not fun, or safe.

For more tips on safety, hotel, restaurant  and sightseeing tips on travel to Guatemala, check out my post 16 Tips for Safe Travel in Guatemala or subscribe to my blog for news and reviews.


Use this easy search tool from HotelsCombined.com to compare hotel prices and get the lowest prices ( it checks Booking.com, Hotels.com Expedia.com and many others)  saving you money and time.


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3 Budget Hotels in Antigua, Guatemala

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Showing 14 comments
  • esperanza
    Reply

    The hotels sound lovely and the price and amenities are remarkable. Thanks for the caution re bargain transportation!

  • Wandering Carol
    Reply

    Love the look of the Hotel Cirilo. You should write a guidebook on this.

  • Culture Tripper
    Reply

    I had no idea it was so easy to get to Antigua from the airport at Guatemala City. I’d like to stay near La Merced church but Hotel Cirilo looks like an amazing mini-splurge. What a great idea to settle in for awhile and sign up for language lessons in Antigua.

  • Mary @ Green Global Travel
    Reply

    That volcano view is amazing! This three look like some great hotel options – thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Leigh
    Reply

    Haven’t made it to Antigua yet but would absolutely love too visit. The price sounds great for what you get.

  • Elaine J. Masters
    Reply

    Depending on where I am in a journey I go for budget or the more luxurious rooms. Would love to stay in the historic hotel and you’re right, when you look at the total amenity package, the price works. Great information and details.

  • Susan Moore
    Reply

    I haven’t been to Antigua but these all seem like decent choices for accommodation. I am usually out of my room so much that I do tend to go for less expensive hotels – these are some great options.

  • Betsy Wuebker | PassingThru
    Reply

    The Hotel Cirilo looks absolutely enchanting, and if the only con item is as easily dispensed with as you convery, it’s the winner in my book. Price is the equivalent for what you’d pay at a chain motel in the U.S. Crazy!

  • Suzanne Stavert
    Reply

    What a helpful guide! Although all of the properties exude charm, my pick would be Hotel Cirilo. I can’t believe the price! I have to giggle at the offer of the wi-fi amenity, that is quite a valuable resource these days!

  • Carole Terwilliger Meyers
    Reply

    Antigua sounds like a place I’d like to visit and I like the three hotels you’ve chosen. I’d be happy in any, and am already looking forward to breakfast at Fernando’s Kaffee.

  • A Cook Not Mad (Nat)
    Reply

    Those look like great hotels and you can’t beat those prices!

  • Sand In My Suitcase
    Reply

    Hotel Cirilo would be our pick! And the price is right too :-). It’s great one can book some affordable luxury (which as you say, would likely cost loads more in other places around the world). Everyone deserves a little luxury every now and then :-).

  • Pawan Kumar
    Reply

    Good to see that type of amazing and luxurious hotels. This three look like some great hotel and i love to go there. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Natasha
    Reply

    All of these places look lovely! And THE VIEW from thaat rooftop patio! I’m envious of your journey, can’t wait to get to Antigua someday

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