Antigua – Guatemala – GRANDPAcking Costs

Money Icon

JANUARY 2017:



OVERVIEW:

Antigua Location MapMy costs start in Flores (north Guatemala) and include:

  • An over-night Luxury Bus from Flores to Guatemala City
  • 10 nights in BELOW GRANDPAcking Standard accommodation
  • Food & Drink
  • Mobile Data / Communications

CROSS REFERENCES:

For more detail, read about Antigua.Antigua Map

Click here to read about Retirement Locations in this country.

Click here for detailed Travel Information and more Travel Budgets in this country.

Read About – GRANDPAcking Costs if you don’t know how to interpret my figures.


SPREADSHEET SUMMARY:

Antigua GRANDPAcking Costs


MY ACTUAL 1 PERSON BACKPAcking COSTS:

Cost Of Existence (COE):

My costs are purely provided for information purposes. I do not always follow ‘GRANDPAcking Standards’. In fact, I deviate from them all of the time! But, my costs are real costs and they may help you formulate your own budget.

In Antigua, I was BACKPAcking.

Accommodation:

My initial accommodation (the Frank&Fre Guesthouse) was BELOW ‘GRANDPAcking Standard’. It had a Shared Bathroom. I paid GTQ185 / night (US$27). I pre-booked just 1 night so that I could search for better value accommodation once I was in Antigua.Antigua - Frank&Fre - Rooms Antigua - Frank&Fre - Ensuite Antigua - Frank&Fre - Wardrobe Antigua - Frank&Fre - Beds

My longer term accommodation (the La Quinta Lucia) was, also, BELOW ‘GRANDPAcking Standard’. It had Shared Bathrooms. The Quinta Lucia does not have rooms with a Private Bathroom. I paid GTQ130 / night but had to pay a ‘premium price’ for New Year’s Eve. This meant that my average cost per night was GTQ143. I found this hotel by walking the streets.Antigua - Quinta Lucia - Rooms Antigua - Quinta Lucia - Shared Toilet Antigua - Quinta Lucia - Shared Shower Antigua - Quinta Lucia - Room Furniture

Transport:

I walked everywhere. You don’t need any transport.

Communications & Fees:

I had, previously, purchased a Tigo SIMcard for GTQ50. I paid GTQ99 for their 1 month 1.5GB ‘Mes Social’ plan with free Facebook, free Whatsapp, and unlimited calls & texts. With the shops ‘fees’, it totalled GTQ166.

This 1 month plan ran out whilst I was in Antigua. The in-room wifi at the Quinta Lucia was so bad that I had to top up with GTQ100 so that I could buy another 2GBs on a 1 month data plan.Antigua - Quinta Lucia - View of Vulcano 2

Tigo have a good 3G/4G signal in Antigua. Free WiFi is available around town but not in the cheaper places.

Food & Drink:

I averaged GTQ87 / day.

I, usually, had a ‘Desayuno Tipico’ Breakfast for GTQ15-25 down at the Local Market. This included a free coffee … but free coffee was available back at the Quinta Lucia anyway.ambergris-my-secret-deli-belizean-bz11-50

The latter was sufficient to allow me just to snack at Lunchtime (if I ate at all).

I ate a cheap Dinner each night at a Budget restaurant. Often, I would order the ‘Daily Special’ at the pub that I was drinking at during Happy Hour.

Summary:

My ‘Cost of Existing / Day’ was GTQ222 / NZ$45 / US$32 / €30 / £26.

Cost Of LIVING (COL):

My available ‘LIVING Funds’ each day were GTQ169 / NZ$35 / US$24 / €23 / £20. This was enough to LIVE on.

Visa: There is no Visa Apportionment. The 90 Day Visitor’s Visa is free.

Getting There: It cost me GTQ450 for an over-night Luxury bus from Flores to Guatemala City including a Minivan from there on to Antigua.Flores - Bus Seating 1Rio Dulce - Colectivo to El Estor

Drink / Partying:

I, personally, refuse to pay the GTQ25+ per 350ml Gallo beer that everyone is charging in Antigua. A bottle costs less than GTQ5 in the supermarket … So, I sought out 2-for-1 Happy Hours whenever possible.

My drink costs averaged out to be GTQ56 / night.Antigua - Frank&Fre - View of Vulcano

I had a couple of big party nights which cost GTQ249.

Personal: None.

Entertainment / Trips: None.

Shopping: None.

Other / Gifts: None.

My actual BACKPAcking costs came in at GTQ337 / NZ$69 / US$48 / €46 / £39 per day. This was 86% of my total budget … I had 14% left to play with … ONLY BECAUSE I SAVED MONEY ON ACCOMMODATION.


WHAT IT SHOULD COST 2 GRANDPAckers:

Cost Of Existence (COE):

Accommodation:

In Antigua, it is hard to find a decent ‘GRANDPAcking Standard’ Double Fan Room with Hot Water Ensuite online for less than GTQ200 / night (US$29). Under GTQ200 you are usually looking at below GRANDPAcking Standard rooms in Hostels and / or rooms with Shared Bathrooms.

Antigua has an all-year-round temperate climate. Even though May through to October brings some rain, it is not enough to make a big difference nor to create ‘seasonal prices’.Antigua Climate

I suggest that you start looking for Hotel ‘specials’ online (with someone like BOOKING.COM or EXPEDIA.COM or AGODA.COM) several weeks in advance and compare them with the Holiday Rentals found on TRIPADVISOR and AirBnB.

If you can find a decently located Vacation Rental online for under US$700 / month … give it serious consideration.

Otherwise, I would suggest that you pre-book 2 nights in the best priced / discounted hotel that you can find online. You should be able to get something for GTQ200 / night.

Once in Antigua, get online and see which hotels are offering good discounts for ‘last minute’ bookings. Look for rooms normally priced GTQ250-300 / night. Go to the hotels that you like and make an offer of GTQ175 / night for a 4 week stay. There is a good chance that one of those hotels will accept your offer..

Transport: I have budgeted for 2 people to take a weekly Day Trip to a nearby beach on the coast.

Communications: I have included a prepaid Tigo SIMcard with a 1 Month 1.5GB ‘Mes Social’ plan.

Food: I have budgeted for you to have a ‘Desayuno Tipico’ Breakfast (which should include a coffee) in the Local Market or cheap local cafe, a Lunchtime ‘snack’, and a Dinner from the lower quartile of a Budget Restaurant.Livingston - Gaby - Chicken Soup Q30

Water should be provided free at your hotel. If you are in a Vacation Rental, you will need to buy 5 Gallon bottles (these are relatively cheap).

Summary:

The ‘Cost Of Existence’ of 2 GRANDPAckers is about GTQ396 / NZ$81 / US$57 / €54 / £46 per day.

Cost Of LIVING:

This leaves you NOTHING to LIVE on (i.e. you are already OVER your GRANDPAcking budget).


CONCLUSION:

Antigua is expensive; accommodation costs will be your main concern.Antigua - Church

Antigua is nice … but, I am not sure that it is worth these costs. It is similar, in many ways, to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico.

Antigua has NOT made it into my Retirement REVIEWS.


Why not REGISTER to stay up to date with our Postings and Retirement Reviews.