The most popular tourist city in Guatemala, Antigua is not only a great place to explore itself, but also provides a fantastic jumping off point for plenty of historic and cultural attractions outside its borders. From touring historic sites and ruins to getting outside for some fresh air and killer views, the options abound for a three day visit to Antigua and its surrounding areas.
Day One: Explore the Area
Lace up those hiking boots and hike an active volcano. Start the early morning off with a trek up Pacaya. The two hour hike is not too difficult and treats visitors not only to spectacular views, but also to hot lava. Then, head back to town and do the 30-minute walk to the Cerro de la Cruz. Guided tours take place twice a day, and is the best bet to ensure you won’t be a victim of petty theft. After that, head to Parque Central to unwind and soak up some sun and snack on fresh tortillas. Then, get walking/bussing again and visit the Museum of Colonial Art and La Merced Cathedral. At sunset, hit up Café Sky for spectacular views.
Day Two: Check Out Lake Atitlan
For some seriously beautiful nature, wake up early and make a day trip out of this spot. The deepest lake in Central America, it is renowned for its stunning beauty. Surrounded by volcanoes, the lake and its surrounding areas offer a chance to become immersed in Guatemalan culture. On the way back to town, stop at Chichicatenango. If visiting on a Thursday or Sunday, be sure to pay a visit to the popular market which sells handmade wares and more.
Day Three: Visit a Coffee Plantation
Most tours take about two hours and put you into the mix of a live plantation where coffee is made. Then, head back to town and explore the ruins. Because of the region’s earthquake activity, much of the historic remnants have been damaged. However, they are still able to be visited. Check out the Convento de Las Capuchinas and Iglesias de San Francisco before calling it a day.