Antigua Tours by Elizabeth Bell

Antigua Tours LLC has specialized in Cultural Tourism in Guatemala since 1992. We offer personalized itineraries based on traveler’s needs and requests. We offer efficient travel throughout the country with new vehicles, licensed guides and great rates on hotels and airlines.

++502 7832-5821 | ++502 7832-2046 4a Calle Oriente #39 La Antigua Guatemala [email protected]

Antigua Tours Main Office – 5a Avenida Norte 4A inside Casa del Conde, Antigua Guatemala. | in**@an**********.net

Fiesta time in Antigua Guatemala!

Celebrating each town’s patron’s saint day in Guatemala is some of the best fun ever! This month Antigua is celebrating its cultural fair for St. James Day as the city was founded as Santiago de Guatemala in 1543 – later called Antigua Guatemala when the capital moved to Guatemala City in 1774. With an entire month of fiestas including folkloric dances, marathons, school parades, Señorita Antigua, artisans’ and artists’ exhibits and concerts, the list continues as everyone in town celebrates with fun!

The highlights include the “Baile de Gigantes” in the Central Park on Tuesday, July 24th at 3pm when the fireworks begins! The photo is a “torito” (fireworks bull) that dances around the Park launching fireworks into the crowd as everyone scurries around followed by music and more fiesta! Wednesday, July 25th, is a holiday in all cities names after Santiago. Antigua starts with the 4am fireworks called “bombas” and the marimba concert at Cerro de la Cruz traditionally announcing the big day. Mass at 7am at the Cathedral is followed by the huge school parade and at 3pm the St. James Procession around town and, of course, the musical festival in the park beginning at 7pm!

These traditions have only gotten bigger and better or the centuries when the Spanish descendants formed towns in Guatemala in the 1540s. The Maya lived in a dispersed manner throughout ancient Mesoamerica before then when it was agreed by the Church and the Crown to form towns each with a saint’s name. Fiestas were essential in bringing the Mayas into church as we go from fiesta to fiesta.

Check our facebook page at as we will be posting all the fun!

Elizabeth Bell, an expert in the cultural history of the UNESCO site of Antigua Guatemala, opened Antigua Tours in 1992 and loves touring participants around this magical city. Author of seven books, countless articles and award winning for her preservation efforts, Elizabeth brings to life special details through this blog.


  • Larry

    December 10, 2023

    Is there a reason why the bombas always go off at 4am? What’s the significance? Why not 8am when most are awake? Trying to understand if there is a backstory from a historical perspective that makes 4am a time of significance?


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