The colonial city of Antigua in the Central highlands of Guatemala has a thriving expat community. It’s no surprise that foreigners choose to live here full- or part-time. They enjoy the history-steeped cobbled streets, vibrant culture and the plethora of activities and international cafés, bars and restaurants. Visitors often extend their stay, swapping family home stays or hotel accommodation for short or long-term rentals in Antigua.
Real estate agencies and popular restaurant and Internet café notice boards advertise rentals in Guatemala. The market is overflowing with Antigua rentals, but standards and rental costs vary depending on location, amenities, furnishings and fittings…so shop around to see what’s available.
Many rentals in Antigua come furnished and many have rooftop terraces with spectacular volcano views. Some include Internet and cable TV, but check what utilities are included in the rental price. Also, it’s advisable to inquire on safety in the area, especially at night, although there are many rentals in secure gated communities, usually at a higher cost.
What you need to rent in Guatemala
For rentals in Guatemala, tenants pay the legal fees to draw up a contract. Costs vary depending on rental term and price. A copy of your passport, deposit (equal to one month’s rent) and the first month’s rent will be requested up front.
As expected, renting in or close to the city center in Antigua costs more, so if you’re on a lower budget look a few blocks away or on the outskirts—where you’ll be close to the convenience of the city’s amenities and still get around on foot.
Some sample rentals in Antigua
Furnished rooms rent by the day, week or month. One I saw advertised recently was charging $120 a month for a private bathroom, WiFi, shared kitchen/living room, garden and terrace.
Rentals for one-bedroom furnished apartments in town start around $300 a month. A cabin-style studio apartment with parking, in a safe, quiet area four blocks from the central park is renting for $350 a month including Internet, cable TV and all utilities.
A beautiful furnished three-bedroom house five minutes from the town center in a quiet gated community with living room, kitchen/dining room, two bathrooms, garden, garage and rooftop patio with gorgeous views, is advertised for $700 a month for a one-year contract.
If living in typical Guatemalan surroundings is more your style or you want more for your dollar, rather than renting in Antigua look at surrounding towns like Ciudad Vieja, Santa Ana, San Felipe or Jocotenango. All are a short bus ride away if you don’t have your own transport.
In Ciudad Vieja, you can rent an unfurnished two-bedroom condo in a gated community for $150 a month excluding utilities. Or, you can rent a furnished one-bedroom apartment in a secure residential complex with kitchen, dining room, cable TV, terrace with volcano view, shared patio and garden for $240 a month.
In the same town, an unfurnished three-bedroom house with living room, dining room, kitchen, two bathrooms, cable TV, garage, terrace and garden is renting for $275 a month.
Some agencies advertise rentals in Guatemala while others deal only in Antigua house rentals, including surrounding towns. Check out these English language websites for an idea of what’s on offer for vacation or long-term rentals:
Also check out the classified ads at www.aroundantigua.com/directory/classifieds.htm (for rentals in Antigua) and for rentals in Guatemala, see: guatemala.craigslist.org/hhh/. You can place wanted ads on both sites.
Other good local sources in Antigua are the classified sections of the local English language magazines Qué Pasa and Revue, where you can also place wanted ads. It’s also worth looking at their real estate section for rentals too.
Revue’s website covers rentals in Guatemala by area, including Antigua, Lake Atitlán and Guatemala City.
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