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Expat Exchange - 7 Tips for Living in Antigua 2024
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7 Tips for Living in Antigua

By Joshua Wood, LPC

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Summary: Advice for people moving to Antigua or thinking about moving there.

Living in Antigua - 7 Tips for Living in Antigua

This is a must read if you're moving to Antigua or thinking about moving there.

Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a vibrant city with a rich history, stunning architecture, and a thriving expat community. Whether you're a digital nomad or an expat, living in Antigua can be an enriching experience. Here are seven key tips to help you make the most of your time in this beautiful city.

1. Learn Spanish

While many locals in Antigua speak English, learning Spanish will greatly enhance your experience. Not only will it make daily tasks like shopping and dining easier, but it will also allow you to connect with locals on a deeper level. There are many language schools in Antigua, such as the Antigüeña Spanish Academy, where you can take intensive Spanish courses.

2. Explore the Local Cuisine

Guatemalan cuisine is a delicious blend of Mayan and Spanish influences. Antigua is home to many excellent restaurants where you can sample local dishes. Try the pepian at La Fonda de la Calle Real, a traditional Guatemalan stew made with meat, vegetables, and spices. For a more upscale dining experience, head to Hector's Bistro, known for its French-inspired Guatemalan cuisine.

3. Get to Know the Neighborhoods

Antigua is divided into several neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm. The city center, known as El Centro, is home to many of Antigua's most famous landmarks, including the Santa Catalina Arch and the Cathedral of San José. The neighborhood of San Pedro Las Huertas, on the other hand, is known for its quiet, residential atmosphere and beautiful views of the surrounding volcanoes. Spend time exploring each neighborhood to find the one that suits your lifestyle and preferences.

4. Embrace the Local Culture

Antigua is rich in culture and history. Visit the Museo de Arte Colonial to learn about the city's colonial past, or attend a traditional marimba concert at the Centro Cultural La Azotea. Participate in local festivals and events, such as Semana Santa (Holy Week), to fully immerse yourself in the local culture.

5. Stay Active

With its stunning natural surroundings, Antigua is a great place for outdoor activities. Hike up the Pacaya Volcano for breathtaking views of the city, or take a bike tour through the surrounding coffee plantations. The city also has several well-maintained parks, such as Parque Central and Cerro de la Cruz, where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll or a picnic.

6. Connect with Other Expats

Antigua has a thriving expat community, and connecting with other expats can make your transition to life in Guatemala easier. Join local expat groups or attend social events to meet people who can share their experiences and provide valuable advice. However, remember to also make an effort to interact with locals and not just stay within the expat bubble.

7. Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community and make a positive impact. There are many opportunities to volunteer in Antigua, from teaching English to helping with community development projects. Research organizations that align with your interests and skills, and dedicate some of your time to making a difference.

Living in Antigua, Guatemala, can be a rewarding and enriching experience. By embracing the local culture, connecting with both locals and fellow expats, and taking advantage of the city's many offerings, you can make the most of your time in this beautiful city.

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SJB-Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model. Our clients benefit from their country’s most favorable tax environment by utilizing the efficient investment vehicles we offer. Our commitment to quality service is reflected in our stellar reviews, with over 300 testimonials boasting 95% five-star ratings.
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Click connect to have our partner contact you via e-mail and/or phone.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


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