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Antigua Guatemala Small group activities

Our most recommended Antigua Guatemala Small group activities

From Antigua: Pacaya Volcano Trek

1. From Antigua: Pacaya Volcano Trek

Walk for 2 hours to the summit of Pacaya Volcano and enjoy stunning views. Leave from Antigua for a 1-hour bus journey to the volcano's base before immediately starting your 2-hour trek with your local guide. Hike through wonderful pine forests up to the trickier volcanic ash section and finally to the sulfur smoking cone. On occasion, you can even see small eruptions and lava flowing, depending on the activity of the volcano. From the summit, you can enjoy great views of the nearby volcanoes, Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango, the pacific lowlands, and all the way to El Salvador. To ensure your safety you won’t be able to visit the crater, but you will get an amazing view of red-hot lava flowing and steam baths created by the heat of Pacaya. Take a break and relax here as you take in more scenic views before hiking back to the base of the volcano, from where you will transfer back to your accommodation. 

Overnight Volcano Acatenango Hiking Adventure

2. Overnight Volcano Acatenango Hiking Adventure

Observe the sunset and the sunrise from Acatenango. Sleep overnight in the base camp located just in front of the Fuego volcano, facing it over an elevation of 3,700 meters above sea level. Begin with a shuttle from Antigua to La Soledad village in the morning with pickup from your hotel. Begin your hike, and climb until the sun begins to set to catch the views from high above. Sleep in the base camp overnight. On day two, rise early and take a quick hike to the summit. Take in an elevated view of the sunrise. Breakfast will be served back at base camp before the trek back toward the village. Finally, you'll reach the village before noon. Enjoy free time to look around before the transfer to Antigua, and enjoy the rest of your day in the city.

3 Day Acatenango & Fuego Volcanoes Doubleheader Hike

3. 3 Day Acatenango & Fuego Volcanoes Doubleheader Hike

This 3-day/2-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 - along with the sights and sounds of nearby Volcan Fuego’s violent volcano eruptions. We continue our hike across and up Volcan Fuego the next morning, and enjoy lunch beneath Fuego’s smoldering caldera on Day 2. After a return hike in the afternoon, we enjoy another evening at camp with fresh food and a warm fire (weather permitting!). Our group will summit Acatenango’s peak (3,975m/12,720ft - the third highest volcano in Guatemala!) on the morning of the 3rd day, and descend back down through a myriad of environmental zones to return to Antigua Guatemala by early afternoon. Day 1 Our group meets at the Old Town Outfitters Shop at 08:00hrs (5th Avenida & 6th Calle – 1 block south from Central Park) to board our private transport for the trailhead. 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 Guatemala’s volcanic mountain chain. The trail up Volcan Acatenango has four distinct environment zones, each of which will take you a little over an hour to traverse. We’ll begin by walking up 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 hikers acclimatize and warm their leg muscles up for the day’s hike. The second phase of our ascent passes through old-growth tropical cloud-forest. In this zone, we find some of Acatenango’s oldest trees, the biggest biodiversity of flora and fauna, fresh clean 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 northward of other highland volcanoes (Atitlan, Toliman, San Pedro, Santa Maria, Tajamulco), along with glimpses of the Cuchumatanes Mountain chain. A fresh picnic lunch is prepared around mid-day for our group to enjoy. Temperate coniferous (pine, fur, etc.) cloud-forest and dry-forest characterize the 3rd phase of our ascent, and it will lead us to the storm-beaten tree-line of the mountain. Our campsite is perched just below treeline with sweeping views of the Antiguan valley and Volcan Fuego. After setting up camp, hikers are free to rest, relax and enjoy their surroundings while our guide prepares a fresh vegetarian camp dinner at ~3750m with hot tea and coffee. Day 2 In the morning, our group will enjoy a hearty breakfast after a mesmerizing sunrise above cloud-line across from Volcan Fuego. With expansive views south towards Esquintla and the tropical Pacific coast of Guatemala, and east across the Antigua Valley to towering Volcan Agua, we will begin our 1-hour descent to the saddle between Volcan Acatenango and Fuego. After a short rest, we will wind our way up the 1½-hour push to the vertigo-inducing ridge of Volcan Fuego. At a responsible distance from the active summit of Fuego – teetering between the highland valleys and the Pacific slope - our group will rest and eat lunch as we wait for a chance eruption at close-range. Our group will spend the afternoon hiking back to our campsite to rest and relax. Another beautiful night on the mountain, and another delicious dinner prepared by your guide will help ease our tired bodies to rest. Day 3 In the morning - after an early camp breakfast - our group embarks on a 45-minute ascent to the summit on 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 attempt, and leads to the exposed rocky surfaces left by 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 3½-hour descent back towards La Soledad, and transport back to Antigua to arrive in town in the early afternoon (~13:00hrs).

Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan Tour From Antigua

4. Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan Tour From Antigua

Your 10-hour excursion begins with a drive into the western highlands of Guatemala. The region is home to quaint and colorful mountain villages, highland lakes, pine forests and the majority of Guatemala’s indigenous peoples. When you arrive at the Chichicastenango market you’ll begin your walking tour. The market is at the center of the town and is the heart of commercial life for maxeños, the natives of Chichicastenango. Every Thursday and Sunday merchants head to the central plaza to sell their products in this impressive indigenous market that has changed very little over the centuries. Explore the pathways of the market and admire the colorful handicrafts and produce offered by the local people of the region. In Chichicastenango, you’ll also visit Santo Tomás Church, built in 1540 over the base of a pre-Hispanic temple. This church is a splendid example of colonial architecture, and the Mayan and Latino influence is evident in both the interior and exterior of the building. After exploring the market you’ll enjoy a delicious lunch (not included in the tour price). Next you’ll continue to the town of Panajachel, located at the edge of Lake Atitlan. Take a walk along Santander Street and enjoy the spectacular views of Lake Atitlan, considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. The volcanoes Tolimán, Atitlán and San Pedro form a natural frame for the lake. Lake Atitlan has a surface of 125 square kilometers and sits 1,560 meters above sea level.

Lake Atitlan Tour Full Day From Antigua

5. Lake Atitlan Tour Full Day From Antigua

Take the road to The Western Highlands region, home to quaint and colorful mountain villages, highland lakes, pine forests, and the majority of Guatemala’s indigenous people. This is the region most travelers familiar with Guatemala think about when daydreaming of a trip to this beautiful country. Upon arrival at Panajachel, take a public boat to cross Lake Atitlan and visit San Juan La Laguna. Enjoy the vibrant colors and local flavor of this village. Santiago is the most popular lakeside settlement outside Panajachel, and many atitecos (as its people are known) cling to a traditional Tz’utujil Mayan lifestyle. Women weave and wear huipiles (tunics) embroidered with brilliantly colored birds and flowers, and the cofradías town’s maintain the ceremonies and rituals of tradition, the syncretic traditions, and practices of Mayan Catholicism. There’s a large art and crafts scene here as well. Back to Panajachel. In Panajachel, you will take a delicious lunch (NOT INCLUDED) Explore the village of Panajachel is a pre-Columbian town of Kakchiquel origin, settled next to the river with the same name and on the lakeside of Atitlán. The town witnessed the final battle between Spaniards and their Kakchiquel allies against the Tzujiles and it also was a settlement point for the Franciscan missionaries who founded a convent nearby. In the afternoon, you’ll be returned to Antigua Guatemala.

From Guatemala City: Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan

6. From Guatemala City: Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan

Explore the Western Highlands, the region of Guatemala that most travelers familiar with Guatemala think about when daydreaming about a trip to this country. The region is home to quaint and colorful mountain villages, highland lakes, pine forests, and the majority of Guatemala’s indigenous peoples. Arrive at Chichicastenango Market and begin your walking tour inside the market. It is the center of the town and heart of commercial life for the maxeños. The merchants go down to the central plaza every Thursday and Sunday to sell their products in this impressive indigenous market that has changed very little throughout the centuries. Explore the pathways of the market and view the colorful handicrafts and produce offered by the local people of the region. In Chichicastenango, we will also visit Santo Tomás Church, built in 1540 over the base of an archaeological pre-Hispanic temple. This church is a splendid example of colonial architecture, as the Mayan and Latino influence is mixed throughout both the interior and exterior of the building. You will have some free time for lunch (not included). Then, continue to the town of Panajachel, which sits on Lake Atitlan, where you will have time to explore. Visit Santander Street and enjoy a spectacular view of Lake Atitlan, considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Three spectacular volcanoes, Tolimán, Atitlán and San Pedro form the natural frame of the lake itself. It has a surface of 125 square kilometers and sits 1,560 meters above sea level.

From Antigua: Pacaya Volcano Hiking Experience

7. From Antigua: Pacaya Volcano Hiking Experience

You will be picked up at your hotel in Antigua and transfer to National Park Pacaya. Upon arrival at the park, your local guide will be waiting for you and ready to fill you in with everything you need to know. Start hiking from the San Vicente de Pacaya Village and begin the adventure with a 1-hour ascent to the top of the Volcano. Around the middle of the trail, you will find the Lava Store. Here, you can get a beautiful souvenir of volcanic material that's been crafted by a local artisan. As you continue walking on the trails, you will soon leave behind the paths full of vegetation and leafy trees, arriving at a flat, open clearing. This means that you have reached the top of the volcano since, due to the continuous eruptions that the volcano makes, the plants can not bloom in this area. When we get to the top of the volcano, enjoy the experience of roasting marshmallows on volcanic rocks and sharing them with others. After the visit to Pacaya Volcano, the local partner will return you to Antigua and your hotel.

Antigua Guatemala: Gastronomic and Cultural Half-Day Tour

8. 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

9. 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 Guatemala: Half-Day Mountain Bike Tour with Guide

10. Antigua Guatemala: Half-Day Mountain Bike Tour with Guide

This ride begins with a shuttle from our shop in Antigua up to the trailhead at 8,300 feet (2,600 meters) on the alpine slopes of Volcán Acatenango. After a brief climb, we begin a singletrack descent that follows agricultural trails along a dramatic ridge with large views of the surrounding volcanoes. The trail drops 2,500 feet (760 meters) of pure downhill! The soft volcanic soil is fast and flowy with little rocks; however, there are some steep technical sections and creek crossings. At the base, we climb a 4x4 road through agricultural fields passing by the San Andres ruins, an earthquake-wrecked church from the 16th century. The climb follows a moderate grade until the final 656 feet (200 meters) of steep push. Don’t worry, the next descent is worth the effort! After passing through a lush forest you are rewarded with expansive views of 3 volcanoes and the Antigua valley as we descend down an ancient trail cut deeply into a ridge with large drops to either side. This final descent of 2,500 feet (760 meters) takes about 45 minutes to complete and is loaded with fun rocks, drops, switchbacks, and a half-pipe like aqueduct trail to finish the ride.

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Frequently asked questions about Antigua Guatemala

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Lake Atitlán

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What people are saying about Antigua Guatemala

The driver was excellent, safe, and patient. He knew where to go and was happy to let us chatter away. The van was spacious for 4 adults and clean / well maintained. He showed up on time at the location. The volcano hike was very challenging (I’m 45 and moderately active, live in nyc, walk a lot but do not gym since pandemic) but very worth the pain. The views are incredible. Our volcano guide was very nice and attentive and we met a lot of other nice locals on our hike. The lunch at the spa wasn’t great. The food was average. Overall ok after the hike but not something I’d rave about. Good coffee. The spa experience was disorganized but that is because it’s a local spa spot so they aren’t catering to one group or individual. Beware: no one spoke English at the spa and it felt a bit like we were intruding. The ladies in our group wore bikinis and were stared at and followed by multiple local men- it was fine, we were intruders… just know going in and set expectations accordingly.

A very nice experience that is worth it, with a guide of the kindest and at the top! The trek is not a walk in the park, I recommend good shoes (not white, they will collect dust) and a headlamp if you do the trek in the afternoon because it is dark on the way down The view was incredible, it is really worth it. It's not a walk in the park, you will walk for 2 hours and climb well but the view is worth the detour! Small downside: the shuttle picked us up 30 minutes late, without telling us, but that didn't change the great experience we had

Wow what an incredible experience. I got so do this epic hike with my 15 yr old son and it will be a memory etched into my soul for a life time. Watching fuego erupt multiple times and seeing the sunrise atop the volcano was magical. I would highly recommend hiking sticks and warm clothing. The food was also delicious. A must do if you have the time and leg power

The bus pick up was smooth, we stopped for coffee and snacks just outside of town and then met up with our guide at the park. She was Knowledgeable and fun. The guide provided marshmallows and sticks to roast marshmallows. The hike was beautiful!

Amazing experience - the views after the hike are breathtaking