The Living in Antigua Guatemala Guide is Finally Here!

Living in Guatemala Guide

At last! The “Slow Travel Guide to Living in Antigua Guatemala” is finally here!

After what now seems like ages ago, I set out to create a guide to help fellow travelers and future expats make a smooth transition into Antigua Guatemala and provide up-to-date information about the cost of living in Antigua Guatemala.

I figured writing a guidebook would be just like writing a series of blog posts with a few pictures thrown in – boy, was I massively wrong. Writing and preparing this guide, at least the way I envisioned it, was a lot more work than I originally bargained for.  What started as an outline for a book that would be about six or seven chapters long ballooned to a massive eighteen chapters!

Suddenly, the pictures I had planned to sprinkle throughout the book did not cut it anymore.  I upgraded my camera, learned about photo composition and a bunch of other useful things needed to take great pictures. A few months ago I discovered that amazing photos could be taken using a technique called High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography. The OK photos from my point-and-shoot cameras weren’t going to cut it anymore, so I invested time and effort into becoming knowledgeable in the art of HDR photography.

I’m no expert on HDR photography yet, but the photo below won third place in the local magazine’s – Revue Mag – monthly photo contest, for which I was super excited. I can now say I’m a “published photographer,” which is cool. Well, so the photo is on page 88 and terribly cropped, but no matter. It’s always special to see one’s work in print for the first time.

San Felipe de Jesus church Antigua Guatemala

My writing also improved. Nothing like editing and revising a 450-page book to sharpen skills a bit.

I also became a lot more knowledgeable about Guatemalan bureaucracy and the many hoops it makes even short-term visitors jump through. Thankfully, I documented those situations on the spot, since I knew I’d be writing a book eventually.

While it was very hard work – I felt like giving up a couple of times – I stuck through it. The result is what I hope is a massively useful book that helps a lot of people making a move to Antigua Guatemala.

Cost of Living in Guatemala

Many people say living in a Central American country is cheap. Well, that’s not true, especially of Antigua, which can be very expensive depending on which Real Estate agent you talk to. In the book, you’ll learn how to stay clear of expat traps, which is why I made an effort to lay out prices for everything I could think of so that you would have a clear idea of what items cost and how to set up a budget before you get here. No pie-in-the-sky numbers, but real information.

I’m thankful for all the people who have written in, via the blog, Facebook, or through e-mails with your questions. You were really helpful in giving me an insight into how varied the reasons are for people wanting to leave their homeland, move to a foreign country and what sort of thing they were looking for. I’ve already met some readers that have visited on scouting trips and even helped some that have made the move already.

I’m already looking for ways to improve the book, so if you do buy it (wife, daughter and I thank you profusely!), reach out to me if any crucial questions for you went unanswered in the book. Download a sample chapter of the book by clicking the ad-box above. This book is iPad-ready and comes in PDF format, which should be readable on any device, including the Kindle.

Looking forward to meeting with you in Antigua Guatemala!



  1. Living in Antigua Guatemala is the best book for day to day living in Antigua. I am getting ready to move to Antigua and had many question about day to day living (shopping, renting a house, doctors). This book while not answering everything went a long way in answering a lot of the questions my wife and I had. Well worth the investment. I am starting to follow some of the advice even here in the States.

    • Glad it’s been of help, appreciate the feedback! Feel free to e-mail me any questions you have not covered in the book and I’ll do my best to answer them.


      -Rich Polanco

  2. Hey Rich,
    Thanks for giving so much love for a beautiful town that I used to call home and I still get to visit from time to time. I love Antigua, really the most beautiful town I’ve ever been in in the Americas. During the two years I was there the only trouble I had was a stolen camera and some lousy street directions from well-intentioned but not very sophisticated locals. I’ll continue to follow your posts.

  3. Wow…this book is a work of art. Thoughtfully put together and full of great information. The photographs are exceptional. And even if you are just planning a visit and not planning to immigrate – this is a ‘must read’.

    • Thanks you Sandy! You’ve just given the book the highest compliment I can think of! I’m humbled by it.

      Glad you enjoyed it and would love to use your quote to promote the book. With your permission, of course.


Comments are closed.

Antigua Guatemala
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The Essential Guide to Antigua Guatemala
Living in Antigua Guatemala Guide

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