Colonial Cities, Volcanoes, Hot Springs (7 days/ 6 Nights)
Explore Antigua, Pacaya Volcano, Acatenango Volcano, Santa Maria Volcano and Quetzaltenango on this 7 day trip!
Day 1: Arrive Antigua
Day 2: Tour Antigua (Multiple tour options) afternoon Pacaya Volcano
Day 3: Hike Acatenango Volcano (overnight camping)
Day 4: Summit Acatenango, travel to Quetzaltenango
Day 5: Hike Santa Maria Volcano; tour Quetzaltenango; Overnight hot springs
Day 6: Hike Zunil Volcano, travel to Antigua,
Day 7: Depart Antigua, Guatemala.
Dates Scheduled: varying October-April
Antigua is situated in a large highland valley surrounded by 3 volcanoes: Agua, Acatenango, and the active Fuego, and is full of vibrant culture, making it a beautiful setting for our adventures! Fuego Volcano is an active volcano and is best seen in an overnight trek up Acatenango Volcano.
Antigua is the crown jewel of Guatemalan history and culture. It was once one of the great cities of the Spanish empire (pre-1821) alongside of Lima, Peru and Mexico City, Mexico. Today Antigua’s cobble stoned streets are a haven of tranquility and provides a great base for exploring the rest of Guatemala, and today its international character is evident from expats and other worldly travelers (just like you!).
Antigua served as the capital for almost 400 years and many massive churches, monasteries, and grand palaces were built during its reign. A lot of these grand buildings were destroyed from earthquakes and left in rubble where they once stood proudly and others were rebuilt to their original glory. This makes Antigua a wonderful living museum for us to explore today. One could spend weeks exploring Antigua and its surroundings!
Pacaya Volcano is one of the smallest and most impressive peaks in Guatemala and is located a short distance from Antigua. It is one of Guatemala’s most dramatically active volcanoes. It is one of the few places in the world where you can get an up close and personal with the live lava.
Pacaya ranks as one of the most exciting volcanoes in Central America, and a trip to the inside of its cone is an unforgettable experience. The best time to see its eruptions are from one of evening tours from Antigua.
Acatenango Volcano is located just south of Antigua and sits a height of 3,975 meters (around 13,041 feet). Hiking Acatenango offers you the opportunity to travel through several of the eco-zones of Guatemala including jungle, pine forest, and rain cloud forest before summiting it and enjoying the sweeping views below all the way to the Pacific Ocean and surrounding Volcanoes.
One of the highlights of hiking Acatenango is being able to see the eruptions of the neighboring Fuego Volcano! This 6-7 round trip hike can be done in a full day or on an overnight giving you the best view of Fuego Volcano erupting!
Quetzaltenango, also known as Xela (pronounced shey-la), is another grand colonial city and is located in the beautiful fertile green Quetzaltenango Valley, which is in the heart of the Western Guatemala Highlands. Its character is a bit different than Antigua’s in that its architecture in the main plaza is more neoclassical as its prominent buildings were rebuilt after the large earthquake of 1902.
Many indigenous Mayan cultures have Xela as a commercial center. Xela has a mild climate as it sits at the base of Santa Maria Volcano. Xela serves as a base for many eco-adventure including visiting local indigenous villages, cacao farms, Coffee plantations, hiking volcanoes, and just wandering the local streets.
Santa Maria Volcano
Santa Maria Volcano towers of the city of Quetzaltenango at an elevation of 3,772 meters and is a 6-7 round trip hike from the indigenous villages sitting below it. The summit provides spectacular views of the 360* views of the valleys below and also the neighboring volcanoes, especially Tajumalco and Tacana Volcanoes near the Mexican and the volcanoes surrounding Lago Atitlan and the Volcanoes surrounding Antigua. A highlight of hiking Santa Maria is being able to see the smaller active volcano Santiaguito, which has been in constant eruption since 1902 when it first appeared, a story in it’s own!