Parque Central Antigua

Situated in the heart of Antigua Guatemala, Parque Central stands as a testament to the city’s rich history and enduring charm. This central plaza, also known as the Main Square or Central Park, is not only a gathering place for locals and tourists but also a living testament to the city’s colonial past. City Hall to the North, the Palace of the Captains General to the South, the San José Cathedral to the East, and the lower-profiled building on the west with its strip of bakeries, cafes, and shops, providing the square’s perfect balance and harmony.

Guest Reviews:

“This park features plenty of nice photography shots. The shops around it are awesome, and the historic monuments are a must see. The palace is one of my favorite spots. At night the park has concerts, vendors, street food, street performers etc.” -Jose Alvarez

Really enjoyed this central hub of Antigua. We learned that the Spanish used to set up all their cities the same way, with military on one street, church on one street, government on one street and bakery on the fourth street/side. Really cool to walk through the park with the fountain that connects it all and truly is the heart of Antigua today.” -Thomas Sypkes

Parque Cental Day View Antigua Guatemala
Entrance Fee:
Opening Hours:
Always Open
Days Closed:
Always Open
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Parque Central, founded in 1543, is a historic focal point in Antigua Guatemala, around which the city spread. Originally a market square, it evolved into a cultural and political hub, where people gathered to share news, spread gossip, and witness hangings and whippings. It was also used for various recreational activities, including bullfighting and horse races.

For more than 150 years, the square was nothing more than a dirt square with street merchants selling their wares wherever they could find space. The fountain of the Sirens, that adorns the center of the square now, originally designed by architect Diego de Porres in 1738 and restored by sculptor Rodolfo Galeotti Torres in 1949, didn’t exist. The first fountain was set off to one side so that it didn’t interfere with the cultural activities mentioned above. In 1704, the first cobblestones would be laid and shortly thereafter the city adopted a more systematic and uniform approach to the merchants selling their goods.

As a result of the earthquake of 1717, the original fountain was damaged and for a time was left in disrepair. 20 years later, the City Council decided to remove the existing fountain and to construct a new one in the center of the square. The city commissioned De Porres, who, inspired by the Italian Renaissance and specifically the Fountain of Neptune in Bologna Italy, designed this new fountain with four sirens spouting water from their breasts. However, these mermaids are not the originals. They were reconstructed in the 20th century.

Looming above the square, el Catedral de San José and Palacio de los Capitanes Generales continue to stand as architectural gems, despite facing earthquakes and other calamities. And, Parque Central remains a vibrant gathering spot, offering relaxation, entertainment, food, and a glimpse into Antigua’s spirit, rich in history and natural beauty.

Please note that many of the entrance fees for landmarks, parks, and museums are subsidized by the government for Guatemalan citizens. You may notice a price difference for foreigners.