Recent Searches
Clear
Questions? (888) 651-9785(888) 651-9785

La Merced Cathedral Tours

49 Reviews
La Merced Cathedral
Canary yellow with white trim, the baroque La Merced Cathedral (Iglesia de La Merced) is one of Antigua’s few colonial churches to survive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Inside its thick walls are notable artworks such as a sculpture of Jesus carrying a golden cross, which is paraded through the streets on Palm Sunday and Good Friday.
 
The Basics
Built atop two 16th-century monasteries—both turned to rumble from earthquakes—the enduring 18th-century La Merced Cathedral is a marvel of ingenious design. Inside, admire the arabesque-patterned stucco and the dazzling gold-leaf retable behind the altar. Then climb into the bell towers for a bird’s-eye view of the UNESCO World Heritage–listed city.
 
Visit the cathedral as part of a walking tour of Antigua to discover the city’s colorful Spanish baroque architecture, and top attractions such as Casa del Jade and a working coffee plantation. End the day atop Cero de la Cruz or with a dip in hot springs heated by Pacaya, the most active volcano in Guatemala.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • La Merced Cathedral is an ideal spot for architecture buffs and the faithful.
  • Admission to the church is free.
  • Remember to wear modest clothing to enter houses of worship in Guatemala.
  • Follow the signs (in Spanish and English) for a self-guided tour.
  • Relax in the cloister within the ruins of the monastery where monks used the grandiose fountain—the largest in Central America—to farm fish for their meals.
  • The church is wheelchair accessible from the side entrances.

How to Get There
La Merced Cathedral is centrally located at the corner of Calle Poniente and 6a Av. Norte, on the north side of Plaza Mayor, the main plaza in Antigua. It is within easy walking distance of any part of the city.

When to Get There
The church is open from 6am to 12pm and 3pm to 8pm; the monastery ruins are open from 8:30am to 5:30pm daily. La Merced is at its most festive during Lent and Holy Week (Semana Santa), when the floors are decorated with colorful sawdust carpets depicting intricate religious scenes, and the church serves as the starting point for the seasonal procession through the streets.

Quake-Proof Architecture
After two cataclysmic earthquakes felled two monasteries on this spot, Spanish colonists employed the talents of Juan de Dios Estrada, who created a house of worship impervious to the whims of Mother Nature (so far). Starting in 1751, he lowered the traditionally airy baroque ceilings, and made extra-thick walls and buttresses. The only other place in the world with this style of architecture is the Philippines, where it’s known as “earthquake baroque.”
Address: 1a Calle Poniente and 6a Avenida Norte, Antigua, Guatemala
Admission: Varies
Read More

29 Tours & Activities to Experience

Category
Select Dates
Today
Tomorrow




Sort: Featured
Free Cancellation:Get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance on most experiences.See Details
Sort by:Featured
Day Trips

NEW TO VIATOR

Guatemalan Mestizo and Gourmet Food Tour in Antigua

For street food lovers in an evening setting, this is the perfect tour for you. This tour is a culinary experience dedicated only to the traditional and contemporary mestizo food of Antigua Guatemala. An adventure full of flavors and colonial history that you cannot miss!
...  More
  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$59.00
From  
US$59.00
Learn More
  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Day Trips

Iximché Ruins and Antigua City Tour from Guatemala City

Take a tour from Guatemala City that showcases the mix of Spanish and Mayan traditions that have influenced this incredible nation. Journey into the Iximche ruins—one of Guatemala’s most famous archeological sites—and then make your way to the iconic Spanish colonial town of Antigua. Follow your expert guide to all of the local sites, including churches, plazas and shops—before making your way back to Guatemala City after this exciting day trip.
...  More
  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$80.99
From  
US$80.99
Learn More
  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Cultural Tours

Antigua Guatemala City Tour

Located in the central highlands of Guatemala, this famous ancient city was once the capital of this diverse and colorful nation. Spend the day exploring the historic streets of this picturesque city and get an up-close look at the ruins of colonial churches and Spanish Baroque-influenced architecture. Your friendly, professional guide will unlock the history, culture and traditions of this popular destination and take you to all the top Antigua landmarks.
...  More
  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$60.00
From  
US$60.00
Learn More
  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Ports of Call Tours

Puerto Quetzal Shore Excursion: Colonial Antigua and Hot Springs with Lunch

Enjoy a day exploring the colonial confines of Antigua, one of Guatemala’s most historic cities, and visiting a relaxing hot springs spa during this 8-hour shore excursion. Spend the morning exploring the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city of Antigua, discovering its wealth of Spanish baroque architecture, cathedral ruins and colorful facades during a walking tour. Then transfer to Kawilal Hot Springs, a spa resort with 12 soaking pools, 25 steam baths and 3 hydrotherapy baths heated by fiery Pacaya Volcano. This Guatemala shore excursion includes lunch, a guide and round-trip port transport.
...  More
  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$99.00
From  
US$99.00
Learn More
  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Walking Tours

UNESCO JEWELS: Antigua Guatemala Walking Tour

Get a short introduction to the Spanish-colonial charm of Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage site, during this 3-hour morning tour from Guatemala City. This atmospheric city was the country’s capital for more than 200 years, creating a wealth of historic architecture and gorgeous scenery for you to discover during your walking tour. Tread on Antigua’s cobblestone streets as you explore sites like the Cathedral of Santiago, Central Park and the city's iconic Arch of Santa Catalina. Your Antigua visit includes a guide and round-trip hotel transport (except during Holy Week in April).
...  More
  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$19.99
From  
US$19.99
Learn More
  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Day Trips

Antigua City Tour from Guatemala City

Unlock the beauty and history of one of the oldest cities in the Americas during this Antigua City Tour from Guatemala City. Your full-day excursion includes stops at some of the colonial town’s top attractions, including the Museo del Jade, La Merced Church, and even a picturesque coffee plantation that’s still in operation. Take in epic views of the cityscape from Cerro de la Cruz and learn about the former capital’s colorful past while you listen to your friendly local guide as they lead you through the cobbled streets.
...  More
  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$69.35
From  
US$69.35
Learn More
  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Day Trips

SPECIAL OFFER

Past and Present Guatemala

Explore the old and new capitals of Guatemala on this full-day sightseeing adventure that combines both vehicle and walking tours of Guatemala City and Antigua. You’ll see major highlights like the Civic Center, Metropolitan Cathedral and the Central Market in Guatemala City, before heading to the World-Heritage listed city of Antigua. Wander the historic streets of this picturesque colonial town and stop at La Merced Church, Central Park and other highlights before enjoying a traditional lunch.
...  More
  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$58.50
US$65.00
US$6.50 savings
From  
US$58.50
US$65.00
US$6.50 savings
Learn More
  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Cultural Tours

Full-Day Tour of Antigua Guatemala

Explore the beautiful Spanish-colonial architecture and beautiful setting of Antigua during this 8-hour day trip. This UNESCO World Heritage-listed city offers a wealth of historic monasteries, churches and monuments to explore, all set among a landscape of towering volcanoes and cobblestone streets. During your trip you’ll visit a number of town’s most important buildings, check out some of the surrounding villages and have time to shop for souvenirs inspired by the ancient Maya. Your Antigua day trip also includes a guide and round-trip hotel transport.
...  More
  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$87.00
From  
US$87.00
Learn More
  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Cultural Tours

NEW TO VIATOR

Experience Antigua Walking Tour

Immerse yourself in the magic of Antigua, Guatemala. From the city’s distinctive cobblestone street to its 16th century mansions, churches and convents, the 500 yr. old city, nestled between 3 volcanoes, is just a walk away. Our Experience Antigua Group Walking Tour will grant you access to some of the most incredible landmarks of Antigua including: San Francisco church and ruins, Santo Domingo ruins, La Merced church and ruins, the street with the famous Arch, buildings around the Main Square (Municipality, Palace, Cathedral), and Casa de Jade's Jade Museum.
...  More
  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$25.00
From  
US$25.00
Learn More
  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Day Trips

Iximché Ruins and Antigua City Tour

Explore the fascinating Spanish and Mayan history of Guatemala on this family-friendly 8-hour tour to Iximché and colonial Antigua. Wander the atmospheric archaeological site of Iximché to discover the history of the Mayans. Then head to Antigua, former colonial capital, where you’ll visit the San Francisco Church, Calle del Arco, La Merced Church and the central plaza. Your excursion also includes round-trip transportation from your hotel, a guide and all entrance fees.
...  More
  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$80.99
From  
US$80.99
Learn More
  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Ports of Call Tours

Antigua on your own from Puerto Quetzal

Experience the history and natural surroundings of Antigua on a private tour from Puerto Quetzal.  Upon arrival, your chauffeur is waiting to whisk you away in private transportation. The drive is part of the adventure, as you take in the mountainous landscapes. Explore the UNESCO listed city center independently or hire a private guide to dig deeper into the city’s history. Return to the cruise terminal with time to spare.
...  More
  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$45.00
From  
US$45.00
Learn More
  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Day Trips

Antigua Guatemala Day Tour: From San Salvador

Get acquainted with the colonial delights of Antigua on a full-day trip to Guatemala’s prettiest city from San Salvador. After crossing the El Salvador and Guatemala border, you’ll marvel at top Antigua attractions such as La Merced Cathedral, the Jade Museum (Museo del Jade) and Santa Catalina Arch. From the elevated lookout point of Cerro de la Cruz, you’ll admire views of Pacaya Volcano and learn about Antigua’s colonial history from your guide. On this small-group tour, limited to 15 people, round-trip transport from your San Salvador hotel is included.
...  More
  • 14 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$127.00
From  
US$127.00
Learn More
  • 14 hours
  • Free Cancellation

City Tours

Antigua City Sightseeing Tour

Explore the UNESCO-listed colonial capital of Antigua, one of Guatemala’s most enchanting cities, on this full-day sightseeing tour – ideal for first-time visitors. Learn how Antigua is one of the oldest cities of the Americas as you follow your guide to landmarks like the San Francisco Church, the arch of Santa Catalina, Casa Santo Domingo and Plaza Central. After a typical Guatemalan lunch (own expense), admire the priceless gems on display at the Museo del Jade (Jade Museum), then visit a local coffee plantation to learn more about Guatemala’s most famous export.
...  More
  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$69.00
From  
US$69.00
Learn More
  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Cultural Tours

LA ANTIGUA CULTURAL WALKING TOUR - Morning

Step onto the cobblestone-clad streets of colonial Antigua for this flexible-length walking tour. Stroll the streets of this UNESCO World Heritage site as you visit top landmarks like the ‘Ayuntamiento’ (City Hall Palace), Palace of the Captain’s General, the main cathedral and Santo Domingo, a well-known hotel and cultural center. A final stop at a local jade factory provides additional insight into Guatemala’s Mayan culture.
...  More
  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$20.00
From  
US$20.00
Learn More
  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Ports of Call Tours

NEW TO VIATOR

Shore Excursion Antigua Guatemala from Puerto Quetzal

Make the most of your time on dry land with a private tour of Antigua. Your excursion to the UNESCO-listed city includes a guided tour of the central plaza, along with a visits to a jade factory and the Santo Domingo Monastery. Beginning and ending at the Puerto Quetzal cruise terminal, comfortable round-trip transportation ensures that you return to your ship in time for departure. 
...  More
  • 6 hours
From  
US$72.00
From  
US$72.00
Learn More
  • 6 hours

Half-day Tours

UNESCO JEWELS: Antigua Half Day Tour from Guatemala City

Experience the Spanish-colonial charm of Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage site, during this 5-hour morning tour from Guatemala City. This atmospheric city was the country’s capital for more than 200 years, creating a wealth of historic architecture and gorgeous scenery for you to discover during your walking tour. Tread on Antigua’s cobblestone streets as you explore sites like the Cathedral of Santiago, Central Park and Palace of the Captain Generals. Your Antigua visit also includes a guide and round-trip hotel transport.
...  More
  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$38.00
From  
US$38.00
Learn More
  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Multi-day Tours

8-Day Best of Guatemala Tour: Antigua, Pacaya Volcano, Lake Atitlan and Tikal Ruins

Experience Guatemala’s top attractions, marveling at its stunning natural beauty and exploring its fascinating ancient history, on this 8-day tour. Discover the colonial architecture of charming Antigua before chilling out along the stunning shores of Lake Atitlán and its idyllic villages. Then dive into ancient Mayan history at the ruins of Tikal and Yaxha before capping the trip off with a hike to the summit of the country’s Pacaya Volcano. This all-inclusive tour also includes 7 nights of accommodation, transport between all sites by private vehicle, entrance fees and meals as per the itinerary.
...  More
  • 8 days
From  
US$1,362.23
From  
US$1,362.23
Learn More
  • 8 days

Day Trips

Full-Day Tour: Colonial Antigua, Jade Factory and Textile Experience

Immerse yourself in the colonial history of Antigua, plus the idyllic landscape of small villages and farms just outside of town, on this 8-hour excursion. Explore the centuries-old traditions of the tiny hamlets like San Antonio Aguas Calientes, Ciudad Vieja and San Juan del Obispo just outside of Antigua, where you’ll also stop to visit a macadamia nut plantation. Then tread the cobblestone streets of Antigua on foot, visiting city landmarks including the Arch of Santa Catalina, Cathedral of San Jose and much more. This Antigua small villages and walking tour also covers a guide, and round-trip hotel transport.
...  More
  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$60.00
From  
US$60.00
Learn More
  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Walking Tours

Colonial Antigua Afternoon Walking Tour

Get acquainted with the colonial treasures of Antigua on a 3-hour afternoon walking tour. Replete with charming churches and brightly colored buildings, the UNESCO-listed city of Antigua is ideal to explore by foot. Alongside your guide, you’ll stroll past landmarks such as La Merced Cathedral and the Cathedral of San Francisco while listening to history-rich commentary. See, too, the recognizable yellow Santa Catalina Arch, backed by the mighty Agua volcano, and Palacio del Ayuntamiento. Receive personalized attention from your guide on this small-group tour, limited to 15 people.
...  More
  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$25.00
From  
US$25.00
Learn More
  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Day Trips

Full-Day Tour: Colonial Antigua, Jade Factory and Textile Experience from Guatemala City

Immerse yourself in the colonial history of Antigua and the idyllic landscape of the small villages and farms just outside of town on this 10-hour excursion from Guatemala City. Explore the centuries-old traditions of tiny hamlets like San Antonio Aguas Calientes, Ciudad Vieja and San Juan del Obispo just outside of Antigua, where you’ll also stop to visit a macadamia nut plantation. Then tread the cobblestone streets of Antigua on foot, visiting city landmarks including the Arch of Santa Catalina, Cathedral of San Jose and much more. This Antigua small villages and walking tour also covers lunch (optional), a guide, and round-trip hotel transport.
...  More
  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$60.00
From  
US$60.00
Learn More
  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Historical & Heritage Tours

LA ANTIGUA CULTURAL WALKING TOUR- Afternoon

Get a glimpse of Guatemala’s colonial past with this walking tour of Antigua. This former capital is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, beloved for its cobblestone streets and majestic church ruins. Meet your guide in the Central Plaza and visit sites like a jade factory, City Hall Palace, and Santo Domingo, an elegant hotel and cultural center. As you walk, your guide will share information on Antigua’s history and architecture.
...  More
  • 3 to 4 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$34.99
From  
US$34.99
Learn More
  • 3 to 4 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Day Trips

Colonial Antigua Guatemala walking tour & Hot Springs from Guatemala City

Explore Antigua then relax at a natural hot springs resort during a full-day tour from Guatemala City. Your guide takes you on a leisurely 3-hour walking tour of Antigua where you learn about its history and culture. Continue to Santa Teresita Hot Springs where you have lunch and free time to soak in the hot springs pools before returning to Guatemala City.
...  More
  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$99.00
From  
US$99.00
Learn More
  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Kid Friendly Tours & Activities

Antigua Guatemala Stopover Tour

You'll visit the Colonial City of La Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is surrounded by wonderful landscapes with Spanish colonial enviroment. You will learn about the history of the Former Capital of Spanish Guatemala while enjoying the colonial architecture of La Antigua Guatemala.
...  More
  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$75.00
From  
US$75.00
Learn More
  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

City Tours

Antigua Guatemala, Full Day Tour from Guatemala City

Located less than one hour from Guatemala City, Antigua is the perfect place to spend a day away from the busy city streets. Offered in seven different languages, the 7-hour tour begins with complimentary hotel pickup. Experience unparalleled views - and free entrance- at El Cerro de la Cruz, then tour the historic city center with your guide. After visits to the Coffee and Mayan Music Museums, unwind during your return to the city.
...  More
  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$100.00
From  
US$100.00
Learn More
  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation


Book online or call
(888) 651-9785
(888) 651-9785