Top 5 Cafes for Digital Nomads in Antigua, Guatemala
September 7, 2019
by Katrina Cobb
Antigua, Guatemala is a beautiful little colonial city nestled between 3 volcanos just 45 minutes drive from Guatemala City. Once the capital of Guatemala, it is now a popular destination for tourists, expats and digital nomads alike, all attracted to the charm and ease of the town and the picturesque surroundings. There’s a reason it was named to UNESCO World Heritage list.
It’s not the most connected city in Latin America when it comes to wifi speeds and bandwidth, but it still has plenty of options for nomads and travelers who want to log on.
Many hotels and restaurants also offer wifi now, to cater to the growing trend of digital nomads and travelers who want to connect to back home while exploring abroad. There’s one coworking space as well, though I always found working from cafes to be one of the more fun perks of the location independent lifestyle.
That said, while good coffee is easy to find in Antigua, Guatemala, wifi in cafes is not a given. The ones on this list are the top cafes for digital nomads because they meet all the criteria you could ask for in a cafe, starting with wifi.
The locals are friendly, and cafes are easy to find in the walkable 7×7 block city center. Many even speak English if needed, and don’t mind you sitting and working for a bit. Especially if you tip generously and in proportion to the amount of time you were there, not just what you ordered.
Having spent 3 months exploring that small city, here’s what I’ve found are the best cafes for digital nomads in Antigua.
Best cafe with a view
Bella Vista Coffee. 6a Avenida Norte 1, Antigua Guatemala. This little gem is a women-owned, women-run coffee shop featuring a lovely roof terrace with perfect views of the volcanoes. For the digital nomads, there are plugs in the interior room of the terrace for power, and free wifi both on the terrace and downstairs on the first level.
They have great coffee, good food and lovely fruit smoothies (licuados) for when the weather is a little warmer. Wifi isn’t exceptionally fast but it is generally reliable. The views and the service made this a top spot to appreciate your location-independent lifestyle though, and take an epic picture of your digital nomad life to share to social.
Best cafe with a courtyard
Cafe Stela 3a Calle Oriente 43, Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala. Slightly off the beaten path on the east side of the city, this little cafe combines with a boutique and a hostel. It features a lovely open-air courtyard with greenery and a fountain, and more often than not the owner’s dog sunning himself.
The menu has a good selection of healthy food options, smoothies, and toasts which are delicious. Wifi is reliable, and the atmosphere is great for a creative afternoon, with murals and colorful paintings on the walls of the courtyard, including an excellent one of Frida Kahlo. Add to that the gentle sound of running water from the fountain and it’s a digital nomad oasis.
Best cafe without pretense
Y Tu Piña También 1a Avenida Sur #10B, Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala. This little funky cafe is casual, affordable, and offers simple no-fuss food that is tasty but without fanfare. They are a hot spot for expats and nomads alike, and great to pop in for a bit or to sit for a while and work.
A humorous take on many things, including pop culture, as its name indicates. A local street dog has adopted this cafe and if often around. They also host seasonal events and are often open on holidays, so if you need a place to pop in and feel welcome while traveling, this is it.
Best cafe for food and service
Union Cafe & Juice Bar 6 Calle Oriente # 6 Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala. This is a great little cafe right off of Parque Tanque la Union. A few small cozy rooms plus a small courtyard covered with a canopy give you plenty of options for atmosphere to sit and work. They have a wonderful little menu, including some gastro-twists on classic Guatemalan fare (their breakfast menu is excellent), smoothies, and all manner of coffee.
This quickly became a favorite spot to sit and work, and the baristas are so friendly and cheerful. Not often too busy in spite of a central location, the food is delicious and the vibe is just right. Reliable wifi. Comfortable seating. Definitely a must-visit for a nomad in Antigua.
Best cafe to meet English speakers
Fat Cat Coffee House No. 14 A, La, 4a Calle Oriente, Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala. This small coffee shop is not far from the main plaza and center of Antigua, on one of the more commercial streets. It’s tiny but always seems to attract English-speaking travelers. In spite of this popularity, you can usually find a seat and it’s a pretty quiet spot to work for a while.
Best known for their coffee, they do also have a food menu that is delicious although more limited. Good wifi and friendly staff, this is a spot if you want to have a little conversation during your travels while you park to get a bit of work done.
Digital nomad life in Antigua, Guatemala
Any of these cafes are a great choice to sit, connect to wifi, enjoy some great beverages or food, and work while you’re in Antigua, Guatemala. None necessarily have strong bandwidth for things like video conferencing, but for everything else, you’ll find yourself able to work as normal quite comfortably,
If you need more bandwidth, one option would be the primary coworking space in Antigua, Impact HUB. For a low fee, you can rent space at an open desk and their connectivity is more powerful. I also worked from Impact HUB during my stay so that I could handle a higher volume of video conferences, but for other work, I truly enjoyed exploring the cafes listed above.
Antigua, Guatemala is off the beaten path for many digital nomads, but it’s a great and growing option if you like beautiful scenery, being able to walk everywhere on cobblestone streets, and still being able to find great cafes for digital nomads to work and connect while traveling.