The currency in Guatemala (and Antigua) is the quetzal. Most places in Antigua will not accept dollars, although some places might depend on how often they deal with tourists. Please keep in mind that dollars must be in perfect condition in order for them to be accepted in Antigua. Any rips, tears, or creases in the dollars mean that locals will have a hard time exchanging them and therefore, they will often reject imperfect dollars. You will also have a hard time exchanging imperfect dollars at banks so save your ripped dollars for El Salvador, where the local currency is the dollar (or Bitcoin).
Guatemala’s currency the quetzal is denoted by the letter “Q.” The quetzal is a type of bird that can be found in Guatemala, and you will see a depiction of this beautiful bird on all the currency in Guatemala.
Guatemalan currency is broken into bills and coins. You will find 5Q, 10Q, 20Q, 50Q, and 100Q bills commonly in Guatemala. The coins are broken into 1Q, .50Q, and .25Q.
The exchange rate between U.S. dollars and Guatemalan quetzals fluctuates between 1 USD to 7-8Q. You can check the most recent conversion rate here.
Credit Cards and ATM Machines
Most places in Antigua will accept credit cards, although some places will have minimum spends and change a fee to use your card. Make sure to have a photo ID with you when you use your credit card, as some places will not accept your card without proof of identification.
ATM machines are plentiful in Antigua. You will not have a hard time finding a machine to withdraw cash from. Please keep in mind that the ATMs charge a fee to use the machine (this is in addition to whatever your bank charges you in foreign transaction fees). Also, make sure to always count your cash after you withdraw money from an ATM machine as they are notorious for giving you the wrong amount and overcharging you.