Using A Vacation Rental As A Homebase

When we finally decided in January 2019 that we were not going to stay in Costa Rica and decided on Antigua, Guatemala we needed a plan. We knew we wanted to live in the center of town.

We started searching for short term rentals and I figured 1 month would give us enough time to find the area we wanted to live and the apartment that fulfills our wants and needs.

My wife does not drive and I prefer not to need to own a car. I have been through selling my stuff to move and at my age I do not want that anymore. I want to be able to leave within 24 hours if desired or if needed, vanish like a fart in the wind.

Our Vacation Rental Search

You don’t have many points of reference when you don’t know an area. The only thing we knew to reference was Parque Central. We knew we wanted to be within walking distance of the park. That was the reference point for us to start our search.

I found a site called Antigua Rental Services and rented a 1 bedroom with a small kitchen 2.5 block north of the park.


They even sent a van to pick us up at the airport and bring us right to the front door.

Here are some photos of the exact apartment we stayed in.

Semana Santa In Antigua

This Is The Worse Time of Year To Find A Long Term Rental

We found a long term rental but it was not available until the Monday after Semana Sant….UGH!

Talk about a giant pain in the butt. We packed everything up and we got transportation from Hernan and his team door to door and ended up near El Benecito. This property has now turned into a Chabad House.

All Suites El Marquez

All Suites El Marquez is a vacation rental complex that has about 4 apartments rented out on a full time basis and the rest usually only fill up on the weekends. This was a loft style apartment with 24 hour security. Not knowing the area and under a rush to get a place we ended up over paying. You can check monthly rental prices on El Marquez website.

El Marquez is 5.5 blocks south of the park.

There was two issues I didn’t like.

First was that the last block and a half is pretty empty after 7PM. Though I never had a bad experience I could see it in the future as thieves would assume we are tourists as the last stretch is mainly small boutique hotels.

Second issue was the amount of the exchange rate. I had paid the first month and deposit at buy instead of the sell rate which at that amount is about a $50 difference.

I stayed with the original amount I paid and the owner wanted the extra $50. After two months of the landlord and I bumping heads over this the management company called me the week before rent was due.

Long story short, I forfeited my deposit, and moved out on Monday. My guardian angel was looking out for me as I found a place 4 blocks north of the park off the same street, bigger, nicer, and $200 per month cheaper.

As my friend Andy Graham, The Hobo Traveler, says at the end of his videos…”I’m here, you’re not, why not?”

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Steve Graham

I am an entrepreneur living since 2005 in Central America. I have educated two daughters here and operated four different businesses in three different countries in Central America.

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