Pacific-side Puerto Quetzal is your starting point for one of Guatemala’s most popular destinations, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city of Antigua. Volcanic Lake Atitlán (Lago de Atitlán) and the well-preserved Mayan ruins of Tikal, in northern Guatemala, can also be seen on a day tour from the port. There’s not much going on around the port area itself, but if you aren’t planning a shore excursion, check out the craft market or take a taxi to the small fishing town of Iztapa, 6 miles (10 km) to the east.
Antigua Guatemala, as it’s formally known, lies 50 miles (80 km) north of Puerto Quetzal. Your best bet for making the scenic 1.5-hour drive past coffee fields and volcanoes is to book a shore excursion with port pickup.
The Spanish Baroque architecture is the main attraction of this colonial city, set 4,500 feet (1,372 meters) above sea level. Orient yourself with a leisurely walk along the cobblestoned streets, checking out the star sights.