The Single Dude's Guide to Antigua, Guatemala

The beautiful colonial town of Antigua Guatemala is an excellent destination for single dude travelers.  It’s easy to get to from a major airport (Guatemala City), beautiful, cheap, and the party destination if you are looking for lovely Guatemalan young professional girls.  Antigua is Central America, but with sushi restaurants and brunch buffets.

To get there, fly to Guatemala City Airport (GUA). I wrote earlier about how Guatemala City is an unacceptable shithole, so I won’t rehash that point.  Just don’t go there.  You can take a shuttle from the airport directly to Antigua for around 10 bucks, just find one of the many services for this on the Internet and arrange it beforehand.  It’s under an hour by shuttle and you will travel over some beautiful country on the way.

Antigua is full of hostels and cheap hotels, so you don’t really need to book ahead of time.  As a general rule you will spend more if you book online than just walk in some places.  Expect to spend $15 and upwards for a hotel room.  You can also stay at the Black Cat Hostel also which is a real backpacker hotspot with a lively bar scene of its own.

Antigua is one of the world capitals of the “Ladies Night”.  Pretty much every night of the week there is a ladies night going on with cheap or free drinks for ladies and some minor restrictions on guys.  Usually this means something like a 10Q (1.25) cover or the requirement of actually buying a drink if you’re a guy.  You would not believe the number of sleazy Guatemalan dudes that that keeps out.  If I had my way, Ladies’ Nights in Antiguas would have a 10 dollar cover and then it would be just us and the ladies!

Here’s some hotspots:

El Mono Loco (the Crazy Monkey) has a Ladies’ Night on Tuesdays that is quite simply the best place we’ve found in Central America to pick up girls.  They come in from Guatemala City to drink 3Q (37.5 cents) drinks and all you have to do as a guy is buy one drink regular price and then they let you go upstairs to this paradise.  Do not miss this whatever you do.  They also have the biggest nachos we’ve ever had which are also quite tasty.

La Sala has a very good Ladies’ night on Wednesday as well, with free Cuba Libres for ladies and a 10Q ($1.25) cover for guys.  They also have live music all week that is often quite good.

Cielos and Rikis are in the same location and are also good places, and has salsa dancing with live music on Wednesdays and music on the weekends.

Reillys is the local Irish bar, and a great place to meet gringo hunters, especially as a first stop Friday night, and all weekend.  You can kill there Sunday afternoons meeting all the girls who hang out there then before they go back to Guate to work at their lawyer jobs for the week.

Cafe no Sé is a nice quirky little place with live music and a solid choice for more alternative tastes, especially on the weekend.  Live music is also frequent there.

While you’re in Antigua, take the time to climb Volcan Pacaya, a live volcano just an hour or two from Antigua.  They have a day trip (too early) and a night trip where you can really see the lava up close.  Just be careful, it’s usually too crowded up there and being Guatemala, there’s no guardrail and you can get so close to the lava it singes your eyebrows if you get to close and the wind changes.

Antigua is totally mobbed every Semana Santa, which is the week leading up to Easter.  It’s very difficult to find a place to stay and there’s lots of street closures, as they parade Jesus and his cross down the street on a hourly basis.  It’s totally cool but very crowded.   Reserve a place way ahead of time if you plan to go there then.  I really like the “alfombras” that they build on the street there for the parades, which are carpets made of plants, coffee beans, etc.

The alfombras are badass

One final note:  Antigua Guatemala is a very popular place for gay tourism.  That means there’s a lot of good restaurants, art, etc.  For our gay readers (if we have any) it’s an excellent location for a gay couple’s  trip or even for a getaway apartment purchase.

¡Raul! adds:

For a pleasant afternoon, go to the central square in town and have a coffee at the open air coffee shop. When you sight any targets in the park, you will have an easy approach.  Beware of prostitutes.  The shoeshine boys can get you anything.

If you want to find Gringo Hunters follow Charlie’s advice and go to Reilly’s!  They have trivia on Sundays and the Air Guitar  Competition on Mondays.

Make sure to pick up a free copy of Que Pasa Antigua which will have all the listings of music, art, etc.  They even have a Ladies Night Calendar and a map inside.  Also check out Antigua’s most famous resident musician, Jueves.  He plays pretty much every day somewhere, not just Thursdays!

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16 comments to The Single Dude’s Guide to Antigua, Guatemala

  • “You would not believe the number of sleazy Guatemalan dudes that that keeps out. If I had my way, Ladies’ Nights in Antiguas would have a 10 dollar cover and then it would be just us and the ladies!”

    So you think 10 dollar would keep “sleazy guatemalan guys” out of the place, i’m sure you came to Guatemala as a backpacker, im wondering how or why this sleazy guatemalan guys are always humping lady’s from north america and europe… why those ladys like the sleazy guatemalan guys,… hummm maybe because a lot of foreign ladys are cheap and backpackers that’s probably why… next time you come to GT go to GOOD places where you can spend those 10$ on a drink, lets see if your backpacking life let you do that.

  • Sensei

    I think Antigua is just good for old, retired fishermen LOL.

  • getta818

    All the comments are valuable information. Thanks guys, now im ready for the women hunt. Ill be going for christmas 2012 so lets hope antigua is still poppin’.

  • MClote

    Just a heads up, Cafe 2000 is closed… and Reilly’s moved from its old location by the arch to Cafe 2000′s location, across the street from the Black Cat.

  • Mathilde

    I’ll be in Antigua in less than two weeks. I’ve been before and it has a great night life, and there are plenty hot chicks there (local chicks and traveling chicks). Not being into chicks myself…there are plenty of good-looking, interesting men who are happy to show a chick a good time, as well. My experience in this area is not with local men but with traveling men such as yourselves. I love Guate! However, I concur that Guatemala City is rather rough around the edges.

  • guest

    Lol after reading my comments the rest of the entire blog, I stand corrected. After all, us “gringos” are like nectar wherever we go. And I was being a little snarky. But yes if you actually get to live inside “oakland” the gated community, it is extremely nice and safe, like suburban america.

    Just its fucking scandalous what these women do. Half the girls I banged had some sort of relationship, one had a husband and another overseas boyfriend, another a jealous husband who I oops inside of her.

    HAAH! Pump Dump and Run. I’ve attached my email if you decide to travel abroad and need a wing. Group of 2 is perfect, sometimes 4 with split 2. Amazing how minds think alike. I think im going Eastern Europe in the summer, should I learn cyrllic? Probably a pain in the ass but I think with the time left I can do it.

    Its so easy, and I realized that these girls are just spoiled. I mean Im in a college with lots of hot girls, but all of them think they are gods gift to man, especially the JAPS. God they piss me off. All Japs go back to New York PLEASE.

    • “Group of 2 is perfect, sometimes 4 with split 2.” I agree but I also like 3. I am not a fan of solo or more than 4 unless you split into subgroups of 2 and 3.

      Absolutely learn Cyrillic, it’s not that hard and it will pay off in spades. You can get the basics in 2 hours or so. The thing that’s nice about Cyrillic is that it’s phonetic for the most part. Very hard to fuck up once you learn the sounds. It’s the single best investment you can make in a trip to Eastern Europe.

  • We’ve been up there also of course, and were very underwhelmed by the quality vs shittyness ratio. Antigua is so much nicer of a place to be, and we met hot city girls from Guate all the time in Antigua.

  • guest

    Of course, you wouldn’t know that cause you never stayed in the nice parts of Guatemala City and I have stayed in both. I highly recommend you suck it up and try living there for a couple of weeks in Zone 10 or 15, you’ll notice its much nicer. I have a feeling you stayed in the cheapo hostels near Zone 1, aka Zone Crap.

    Quality hot girls are everywhere and personally, the clubs in Guatemala City SHIT on Antigua. And the very hot ones don’t go to Antigua, they go to their nice private parties on the Pacific beach in their mansions.

  • guest

    Antigua sucks and is just a tourist trap. I have read this blog and seems to be focused more on the backpacker trail. I would advise the authors of this website to get out of their comfort zones and go to a bit more “real” cities.

    IE. Go to Guatemala City and stay in the posh neighborhood of Oakland. Of course robberies are common, but if you can stomach a gun pointed at your face (just give the money), the girls there are RIDICULOUSLY hot and easy. Just stay out of Barrio 1

    Tourist trap Antigua is just awful, who wants to bang the same old backpacker smelly girls.

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