Antigua Museums (Self Guided), Antigua

With a rich heritage combining Spanish colonialism and Mayan culture, Antigua is a fasinating place to visit in Latin America. Several museums in town are well worth exploring if you to learn more about the history of the country. Follow this self guided tour to visit the best museums in Antigua and get a history lesson along the way.
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Antigua Museums Map

Guide Name: Antigua Museums
Guide Location: Guatemala » Antigua (See other walking tours in Antigua)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles
Author: Nick
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Casa Santo Domingo Museum (Santo Domingo Museum)
  • Jade Maya (Jade Museum)
  • Casa Popeone
  • Museum of Colonial Art
  • Museum of Santiago de los Caballeros
  • Museo del Libro Antiguo
  • ChocoMuseo (Chocolate Museum)
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Casa Santo Domingo Museum (Santo Domingo Museum)

1) Casa Santo Domingo Museum (Santo Domingo Museum) (must see)

The Santo Domingo Museum is on the grounds of a convent dating back to the 16th century. Restoration efforts have made this former convent into a perfect museum space to highlight the artifacts on display. Brick arches and tile corridors help bring the area to life, replicating what the original building may have looked like.

Art that dates back to the ancient Mayan culture, including ceramics, forms an integral part of the collection. In keeping with the building's previous history as a church, the museum's collection includes religious terms. Touring this museum will give you a great appreciation for the area's history.

You can see other interesting items: silver and glassware, pharmacy articles, and archaeological artifacts. Paintings and sculptures that cover all of the site's time periods are part of the displays here. You also have the chance to see well-preserved Colonial furniture here.
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Jade Maya (Jade Museum)

2) Jade Maya (Jade Museum)

Jade Museum has displays covering over 3,000 years of history and seven distinct cultures. Part jeweler, part museum, Jade Museum has played a leading role in introducing the world to Guatemala's jadeite trade. This company has been present in Antigua since 1974.

Mary Lou Ridinger, an archaeologist, and her husband Jay are the company's founders. The jade that is sustainably mined is used to craft museum-quality jewelry that showcases pre-Colombian art forms. Starting the jade industry again in this area helped restore a lost art.

The jewelry on display in the showroom encompasses many types, from earrings and necklaces to woven bracelets. Sculptures and carvings crafted from jade are also here, from mask replicas to figurines of wildlife and models of Maya artifacts. Visitors shopping for jewelry or collectibles or wanting to learn more about jade craft will be satisfied with their experience.

Operation hours: Monday - Sunday: 9 am - 6 pm
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Casa Popeone

3) Casa Popeone

Casa Popenoe is a private home open for public viewing. The house was built in 1636 for the Spanish judge Don Luis de las Infantas Mendoza. Today, the home illustrates wonderfully how wealthy people lived in the colonial era. The house was partly destroyed by an 18th century earthquake, but has since undergone a full scale restoration at the beginning of the 20th century.
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Museum of Colonial Art

4) Museum of Colonial Art

Situated in the town center, Museum of Colonial Art is a fantastic piece of 16th and 17th century colonial art in regards to architecture. Inside, the building features a lovely collection of art, as Tomas de Merlo and Cristobal Villalpando are among the authors of the paintings located inside the exhibit.

Operation hours: Tuesday- Friday: 9 am - 4 pm, Saturday-Sunday: 9 am - 12 pm and 2 pm - 4 pm.
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Museum of Santiago de los Caballeros

5) Museum of Santiago de los Caballeros

The Museum of Santiago de los Caballeros is located in front of Central Park, at City Hall. The museum offers five exhibition rooms with ancient paintings and sculptures. In one of these rooms, tourists may observe a frame representing the old city, as well as witness other important changes to the city. Swords, cannons, and muskets are also exhibited here.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Friday: 9 am - 4 pm; Saturday-Sunday: 10 am- 4 pm.
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Museo del Libro Antiguo

6) Museo del Libro Antiguo

Guatemala’s first printing press was established here in 1660. In 1956, the building became home to the Museum del Libro Antiguo. Among the exhibits, visitors will find a copy of the original printing press along with an overview of the history of printing, the will of Hermano Pedro - Guatemala’s most well known religious character - as well as a room dedicated to the process of making marbled paper.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Friday: 9 am - 4 pm; Saturday - Sunday: 9 am - 12 pm and from 2 pm - 4 pm.
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ChocoMuseo (Chocolate Museum)

7) ChocoMuseo (Chocolate Museum) (must see)

The Chocolate Museum in Antigua, Guatemala, offers one of the best ranges of overall experiences for those who love everything chocolate-related. One of the biggest highlights is a free tour where you can learn all about cacao beans and pods, in an experience that is perfect for visitors of all ages.

There are also three workshops visitors can enjoy, including one where you can make chocolate from the bean. You can also enjoy a mini-workshop if you're short on time. Another popular workshop lets you learn how to make the ganache required for shelled bonbons and truffles.

One of the things that stands out about this museum is its open production area. When you take one of these tours and buy from the Chocolate Museum, you're supporting local entrepreneurs. Meeting with the people behind local chocolate production is an excellent way to gain a new appreciation for this indulgent, sweet treat.

Walking Tours in Antigua, Guatemala

Create Your Own Walk in Antigua

Create Your Own Walk in Antigua

Creating your own self-guided walk in Antigua is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Ancient Ruins of Antigua

Ancient Ruins of Antigua

It would appear as if the time machine has finally been invented in a place none other than Antigua. The glorious ancient city offers so much history beyond its streets and buildings, fountains and courtyards, that the great ruins are almost impossible to explore in a single day. Luckily, with this self-guided walk, you will get to select from the myriad vestiges set against the impressive...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles
Antigua Introduction Walking Tour

Antigua Introduction Walking Tour

Antigua, Guatemala, which is sometimes known as La Antigua, dates back to 1543. This city was the third capital of the Spanish colony. Surrounded by volcanoes, the city of Antigua is a small yet very picturesque example of Spanish colonial architecture. Jesuit and Franciscan orders have had a presence in this region since the 17th century, contributing to its rich colonial religious life.

The...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Parque Central Walking Tour

Parque Central Walking Tour

Parque Central is the center of social life for the residents in Antigua. What makes the park so popular for tourists is the opportunity to visit a good number of famous buildings around the park. Follow this self guided walk to explore the history behind the buildings at the very center of the city.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.3 Km or 0.2 Miles