Antigua is a lovely old city in the western highlands of Guatemala. This charming colonial town in the heart of Central America is hemmed in by live volcanoes and lush hills. While Antigua is often packed with tourists, other nearby destinations in the western highlands offer a great mix of outdoor adventure and natural beauty for visitors looking to head off the beaten path.
Antigua Volcano Hikes
Make sure to check out the volcanoes surrounding Antigua after you explore the town itself. Scale the rugged slopes of nearby Pacayá Volcano on a one-day excursion, or take a two-day trip to Fuego or Acatenango volcanoes. The trek is tiring, but the panoramic views from these lava-filled mountains are well worth the sweat. A number of tourist agencies will arrange guided tours. Sin Fronteras is one of many reliable companies in Antigua.
5 Av. Norte 15A. Antigua, Guatemala
Lake Atitlán in the western highlands of Guatemala is one of the most beautiful places in Central America. This scenic lake is flanked by three volcanoes on its southern shores. You can get to the area by bus from the city of Quetzaltenango, or you can hike there with Quetzaltrekkers, a nonprofit organization that funds charitable programs with the profits earned from top-notch hiking tours in the remote countryside of the western highlands.
Casa Argentina, 12 Diagonal 8-67, Zona 1. Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
Water-sports are also popular at Lake Atitlán. Rent a canoe or kayak for an early morning paddle. Just make sure to head back to the dock before the afternoon winds stir up the water.
Xela Mountain Biking
The city of Quetzaltenango is often referred to as Xela by locals and tourists alike. Go mountain biking in the hills and countryside surrounding this Guatemalan town. You will pass through traditional Mayan villages and take in sweeping vistas along the multiple off-road and on-road bicycle paths in the area. Guided and individual tours are available with Xela-based companies like Vrisa Bicicletas.
15 Av. 3-64, Zona 1. Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
Article Written By David Thyberg
David Thyberg began his writing career in 2007. He is a professional writer, editor and translator. Thyberg has been published in various newspapers, websites and magazines. He enjoys writing about social issues, travel, music and sports. Thyberg holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pittsburgh Honors College with a certificate in Spanish and Latin American studies.