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Antigua Guatemala Sightseeing on wheels

Our most recommended Antigua Guatemala Sightseeing on wheels

Acatenango Volcano 2-Day Hike

1. Acatenango Volcano 2-Day Hike

This 2-day/1-night hike brings you up the slopes of beautiful Volcan Acatenango to our private campsite – bench-cut into the side of this towering mountain. From here we enjoy our camp meals, incredible views, and plenty of room to stretch out. In camp there we will have ample time to appreciate the sights and sounds of nearby Volcan Fuego’s violent volcano eruptions. On the morning of the 2rd day, our group will summit Acatenango’s peak (3,975m/12,720ft - the third highest volcano in Guatemala), taking in panoramic views from atop the summit. Finally, we will descend back down through a myriad of microclimates to return to Antigua by early afternoon. Day 1: Hike To Camp Our group leaves from the Old Town Outfitters Shop at 8:00am, where you can fill up your water bottles and purchase any additional gear you might need. Hikers should eat breakfast beforehand and pack a small snack for the road. A one-hour drive takes us from Antigua to the sleepy mountain village of La Soledad, perched on the ridge of the Pacific slope of Volcan Acatenango. The trail up Volcan Acatenango has four distinct microclimates, each of which will take you about an hour to traverse. We’ll begin by walking up a steep trail through local farm fields - the same trail used by local villagers each morning to access their corn, snow pea and lily fields. Our first hour of hiking will help you acclimatize and warm up the leg muscles for the day’s hike. The second phase of our ascent passes through old-growth tropical cloud forest. In this environmental zone, we find some of Acatenango’s oldest trees, an incredible biodiversity of flora and fauna, fresh mountain air and the sounds of local birds and wildlife. This type of high-alpine cloud forest is found on the upper slopes of many of Guatemala’s tallest volcanoes and mountains, and is home to the famous Quetzal. After exiting the cloud forest, we will be rewarded with fantastic views of the other highland volcanoes (Atitlan, Toliman, San Pedro, Santa Maria, Santo Tomas, Tajamulco), along with glimpses of the Cuchumatanes mountain chain. A fresh picnic is prepared mid-day for our group to enjoy. Temperate coniferous forest and tropical dry forest characterize the 3rd phase of our ascent, which will lead us to the storm-beaten tree-line of the volcano. Our campsite is perched just below tree-line with sweeping views of the Antigua valley and Volcan Fuego. After setting up camp, hikers are free to rest, relax and enjoy their surroundings while our guide prepares a fresh camp dinner at ~3750m with hot tea and coffee. Day 2: Summiting Acatenango In the morning, after an early camp breakfast, our group embarks on a 45-minute ascent to the summit on a sand and gravel scree-trail dotted with dwarf pine trees and high alpine mosses. The trail up to the summit is the steepest we will have seen, and leads to the rocky summit exposed to the gusty and cold winds which constantly pass over Acatenango’s peak. At the summit, our group will rest and enjoy unparalleled 360-degree views of the entirety of the Guatemalan highlands – all the way to the border of Mexico. After 45min at the top (depending on conditions and time considerations), the group will begin the 3-hour descent back towards La Soledad. Our group has the opportunity to descend through an alternate route down Volcan Acatenango, experiencing a variety of microclimates and beautiful trail. From La Soledad, we will transport back to Antigua, arriving in the afternoon with plenty of time for you to enjoy the delights of the old Spanish colonial capital (~13:00hrs).

Antigua Guatemala: Gastronomic and Cultural Half-Day Tour

2. Antigua Guatemala: Gastronomic and Cultural Half-Day Tour

Meet your guide at the meeting point and start the tour at the Central Park with an introduction to the Guatemalan gastronomy history. You will walk to Antigua's food market to learn about the history of the grains, vegetables and fruits used in traditional cooking. Admire the architecture of the colonial city of Antigua as you walk through the streets. You will have the opportunity learn how to make corn tortillas from local people. Then you will taste local dishes and learn about their history, and the fusion of pre-Columbian cuisine with ingredients of Spanish and Arabic origin. Most of the dishes are made with vegetables, meats and spices. Visit a famous restaurant known for its variety of local dishes. Discover what kitchens were like in ancient times, and taste a delicious Guatemalan dessert. Then you will continue to a typical Guatemalan candy shop where you can taste handmade candies and made from local ingredients. Afterwards, you will walk to the Santa Catalina Arch. Next you will visit La Merced Church, an amazing Baroque church and one of the most recognizable buildings in Antigua. At the end of your tour, you will be transferred back to your hotel.

Antigua Guatemala: Morning Tour from Guatemala City

3. Antigua Guatemala: Morning Tour from Guatemala City

Antigua Guatemala, once the third largest city in all of Spanish Colonial America and for 200 years the capital of Guatemala, is today a peaceful, beautiful, and partially restored colonial city. Cobblestone streets wind through the city of majestic churches and monasteries. After pickup in Guatemala City, transfer to Antigua Guatemala to meet your local guide and begin your gentle 3-hour walking tour. Visit the Jade Factory and Museum to admire ancient Guatemalan carving traditions. Continue to the ruins of El Carmen church and browse for souvenirs at the craft market beside the ruined building. You will see La Merced Church of Guatemalan, which features an ultra-baroque style, as well as two bell towers. On the facade of the church in its upper part is a sculpture of San Pedro Nolasco, founder of the Mercedarian Order. You will also see Santa Catalina Arch, built to connect the nuns between cloisters to avoid being seen. After the earthquakes of 1773, the arch became important due to the alterations that were made. These alterations included the construction of a turret and the inclusion of a Lamy Amp Lacroix clock of French origin. You will then see Central Park, which is situated in the traditional grid pattern used frequently in urban planning in the Spanish colonies. The park is surrounded by the Palace of the General Captains, the Town Hall, the Cathedral of San Jose, and the Trade Portal. Here in the park, you will also find the Las Sirenas fountain. This fountain has a traditional folk story where the Count of La Gomera ordered the fountain to be built in memory of his daughters, who after giving birth, did not want to breastfeed their children. The count then ordered his daughters to be tied to a trunk in the center of a waterhole, where they died of thirst and hunger. Continue your way you will visit the La Unión tank, which is one of the most iconic laundries in this city (only the big houses had proper washing facilities). For this reason, most of the inhabitants (housewives) went to public laundries. This was inaugurated on February 3, 1853. At the end of the tour you’ll be transferred back to your hotel in Guatemala City.

Antigua Sip 'n Cycle Half-Day Bike Ride and Coffee Tour

4. Antigua Sip 'n Cycle Half-Day Bike Ride and Coffee Tour

On this half-day guided tour you’ll cycle from the center of colonial Antigua to a coffee farm called Finca Azotea, located outside of Jocotenango. Enjoy the beautiful scenery as you ride through the valley and learn about the history and process of making coffee from seed to cup. Visit the Mayan music and textile museums and admire the locally crafted jade, handicrafts, and coffees. You’ll get a taste of the best coffee in the Antiguan Valley! The ride to farm and back to Antigua is around 25 minutes each way, and there’s no technical riding involved. Beginning riders are welcome on the tour.

Half-Day Guatemala City Explorer Tour

5. Half-Day Guatemala City Explorer Tour

Visit Guatemala City (its official name is La Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción), the cultural, religious, and business center of Guatemala. On this day you will appreciate the panoramic view of the colonial architecture combined with modern buildings, important museums, and historical monuments. You will be picked up in your hotel in Guatemala City by your tour guide to start your sightseeing through the city. Below a brief summary of what to expect on your way. Start at Las Americas Avenue, named after the reform that led to the formation of the Organization of American States in 1948. Continue to Berlin Plaza for a view of part of the city and the landscape of the Pacaya volcano. You will also see La Reforma. This was inspired by the avenues of France and for this reason, various statues carved in stone, bronze, and marble were brought from Italy. You will also see Yurrita Church, which is a private chapel of mixed Baroque style, with Romanesque and Byzantine elements. The church was built as a votive offering by Felipe Yurrita, a native of Arevalo, Castilla, Spain, to the Virgin of Our Lady of Sorrows (patron of that town). This was in return for favors received — in particular, for the saving of her life during the eruption of the volcano Santa Maria. Continue onwards to the city's civic center, a mishmash of state buildings constructed in the middle of the 20th century, including the Supreme Court, City Hall, and the Bank of Guatemala; decorated with impressive high relief murals by Dagoberto Vasquez which detail's the country's history. You will then arrive at the Major Plaza of the Constitution, surrounded by important monuments such as the beautiful National Palace, the Metropolitan Cathedral, and Centenarian Park. Nearby is the abstractly adorned National Library and the General Archive of Central America. Finally, you will visit the Central Market, which is located behind the Metropolitan Cathedral, in the basement of the Tabernacle Plaza. At the end of this sightseeing tour you will be transferred back to your hotel.

Antuiga: Finca el Pilar Birdwatching Experience

6. Antuiga: Finca el Pilar Birdwatching Experience

Meet your guide and begin your tour with a drive to the Finca el Pilar nature preserve. Located in the heart of the Central America Volcanic Arc, Finca el Pilar is a hotspot for birdwatching. The preserve is famous for its hummingbird feeder and the variety of endemic, resident, and migratory hummingbirds that feed here.  Wander through the organic coffee plantation and trails of mountain and cloud forests. While exploring, you're guide will share information about the different bird species you can see here. Check off on your list the birds you were able to catch a glimpse of during your time in the preserve. Some birds you might see are blue and white mockingbirds, a bushy-crested jay, a blue-throated motmot, and more.  At the end of your experience, your guide will summarize with you the different bird species that were seen and those that might've been missed.

San Andrés Itzapa Half-Day Mountain Bike Tour

7. San Andrés Itzapa Half-Day Mountain Bike Tour

Enjoy a half-day bike ride of the mountain roads and paths of San Andrés Itzapa, northwest of Antigua, and marvel at the fertile soil that provides ideal growing conditions for corn, black beans, peas, broccoli, coffee, and many other vegetables. You will pedal single track cross-country dirt roads and old jeep tracks through an undulating terrain that is suitable for a variety of skill levels. The energetic 32-mile (50-kilometer) ride includes a visit to the Maximón shrine in San Andrés Itzapa, where you will have the opportunity to see the indigenous Maya ceremonies up close. Watch farmers at work in their fields and plantations, while enjoying panoramic views of the mountains of Guatemala’s southern Highlands.

Gastronomic, Cultural and Traditional Antigua Guatemala

8. Gastronomic, Cultural and Traditional Antigua Guatemala

Your tour will start with a transfer from your Guatemala City hotel to Antigua, where you will meet your guide specialized in Guatemalan gastronomy. Your tour will start with an introduction to the gastronomic history of Guatemala and the city's architecture. Then, walk to the Antigua Guatemala Market, where you will learn about the history of Mesoamerican food, such as corn, beans, squash, cacao, and chili. As well as discovering the past, learn how to make corn tortillas from locals. At the end of your visit to the market, you will visit the central park just a few blocks away in the heart of the city and surrounded by the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales (Captain General Palace), City Hall, the church of San José (formerly the Cathedral of Guatemala), the Archbishop’s Palace and the Portal of Commerce. Discover the Mermaid's Fountain, built by the Count of Gomera (a rubber plantation) in remembrance of a popular legend, which tells the story of a King and his daughters' children. Hear the stories and immerse yourself in the history of the city.  Next, you will have the opportunity to learn about the most important dishes of Guatemalan gastronomy. These creations of culinary art were born during the 16th century and represent the fusion of pre-Columbian cuisine with ingredients of Hispanic-Arabic origin. You will also visit an iconic restaurant, well known for its variety of local dishes, and learn what kitchens were like in ancient times. Taste delicious Guatemalan desserts made with local ingredients while appreciating the landscape from the terrace, with a view of the Santa Catalina Arch, La Merced Church, and other important buildings in Antigua Guatemala. Continue the walking tour and listen to the history of the Santa Catalina Arch. You will also the Capuchinas convent, where you can see where many of the native recipes of Guatemala originated. Finally, visit a typical Guatemalan candy shop, learn about its history, and see how these traditional delicacies are made by hand with local ingredients. At the end of the tour, you will be transferred back to your hotel.

Antigua Guatemala: Stopover Tour

9. Antigua Guatemala: Stopover Tour

Antigua Guatemala is a town where time stands still. Once the third largest city in all of Spanish Colonial America and for 200 years the capital of Guatemala, today it is a peaceful, beautiful and partially restored, colonial city. Cobblestone streets wind through the city of majestic churches and monasteries. Your tour will begin with pick-up at the Guatemala City airport, before you are transferred to Antigua, Guatemala to begin your walking tour. You will start the tour visiting the church of La Merced of Guatemalan. This ultra-baroque style church features on its upper facade, a sculpture of San Pedro Nolasco, founder of the Mercedarian Order. Continue to see the Arch of Santa Catalina, built to connect the nuns between cloisters. This was designed so that they could avoid being seen due to the votes that the religious Order took. Central Park is located at the heart of the city, surrounded by the traditional grid pattern frequently utilized in Spanish urban planning of the colonies. The park is surrounded by the Palace of the Generals Captain, the City Hall, the church of San José (formerly the Cathedral of Guatemala), the Archbishop’s Palace, and the Portal of Commerce (or the Bakers’ Portal). Here, visitors will also find the beautiful Mermaid´s Fountain. The Count of Gomera fountain was built in remembrance of a popular legend, which tells the story of a King whose daughters gave birth but did not want to nurse their children. Learn about this famous story as you immerse yourself in the legendary colonial city. You'll also visit the La Unión tank, which is one of the most representative laundries in this city (only the big houses had their own washing facilities). At the end of the tour, you’ll be transferred back to Guatemala City airport.

From Antigua: Lake Atitlán Mountain Biking Adventure

10. From Antigua: Lake Atitlán Mountain Biking Adventure

Get your adrenaline pumping with a mountain biking adventure through the Guatemalan countryside. Meet your guide in Antigua and set out for the 2.5-hour drive to Panajachel, stopping along the way for a coffee and restroom break. Upon arrival in Panajachel, get fitted out for your mountain bike followed by a quick safety briefing before your adventure begins. Start the trail on a downhill country road and ride towards a quiet lake. Follow a route that combines backcountry dirt roads and jeep tracks as well as tight technical singletrack climbs and descents. Enjoy biking through a landscape of rolling pine forests, intermixed with local agricultural plots of corn, beans, and squash. After a couple of hours of riding, take a 2-kilometer climb to a viewpoint located high above Lake Atitlán where you will enjoy a healthy and well-deserved fresh picnic lunch as you admire spectacular views of the lake. After lunch, continue cross-country and downhill on the technical cliff-side trail that traverses some 2000 vertical feet above the lake. Complete your day with a ride on some of Guatemala’s best singletrack, from the rim of the vast caldera down to Santa Catarina Palopó, finishing with an awesome staircase into this lakeside Mayan village. Take some time to recover with a swim or a stroll through the village before heading back to Antigua.

Frequently asked questions about Antigua Guatemala

What top attractions are a must-see in Antigua Guatemala?

The must-see attractions in Antigua Guatemala are:

What are the best day trips and excursions from Antigua Guatemala?

The best day trips and excursions from Antigua Guatemala are:

Lake Atitlán

Other Sightseeing Options in Antigua Guatemala

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What people are saying about Antigua Guatemala

We absolutely loved our private experience learning about Guatemalan history. Our guide was extremely accommodating, knowledgeable, and truly made us feel welcomed. We especially enjoyed trying the different local foods and learning which places we should come back to for a great meal. We look forward to visiting and touring with you again.

My tour guide was Aldolfo he was very very knowledgable about mayan culture, history, etc. His english was perfect and he was easy to understand. He was also funny and made the trip enjoyable.

Incredible to see the force of nature at this level. Very well organized. I would just like to warn you that it is a tough excursion and you need technical shoes, not just comfortable ones.

Old Town Otfitters gives the best tours! I cant be more grateful for this life experience, he was kind, respectful, funny and very patient. You are not going to regret it.

Flawless round-trip transportation. We loved the cultural and gastronomic route and both the guide and the organizer were charming and very professional at all times.