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How to Spend 3 Days in Antigua

How to Spend 3 Days in Antigua

While its colonial landmarks and UNESCO-listed historic center are a draw, the former capital of Antigua also serves as a gateway to some of Guatemala’s most impressive natural wonders and archaeological sites. See below for how best to spend three days in the city. 

Day 1: Volcanoes and Viewpoints

Spend your first day getting your bearings among the colonial landmarks of Antigua’s historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To get the inside scoop on the enclave, opt for a walking tour. Staple sights covered include the 16th-century Church of San Francisco (Iglesia de San Francisco), the butter-yellow La Merced Church (Iglesia de la Merced), Antigua Central Park, and the Museum of Colonial Art. 

Then, opt to either delve deeper into local culture on a market tour and cooking class or head to the outskirts of the city to climb to the summit of Pacaya, one of Guatemala's most active volcanoes. The hike to the top takes around two hours and is recommended for travelers of a moderate fitness level—tours typically include refreshments and round-trip transfers from your Antigua hotel.  

Day 2: Lakes and Local Life

Dedicate day two to one of the largest lakes in Latin America, Lake Atitlan. Located 60 miles (95 kilometers) west of Antigua, in the shadow of the looming Atitlan Volcano, the lake is one of Guatemala’s natural highlights. Day trips typically stop at the towns of Santiago and Chichicastenango (home on Thursday and Sunday to one of the continent’s largest markets)  and include both a cruise on the lake and free time to explore the waterfront villages. Tours typically return you to Antigua in early afternoon, giving you time to ascend Cerro de la Cruz (Hill of the Cross), from which you can see the Pacaya volcano and all of Antigua Old Town.

Day 3: Travel Back in Time

Devote your final day to ancient Maya ruins. Choose between visiting the archeological site of Mixco Viejo, which dates back to postclassic Mayan civilization and features more than 120 elaborately painted temples, pyramids, and palaces, or the well-preserved Maya kingdom of Iximche, where you’ll find ceremonial plazas surrounded by ball courts. Being the closest archaeological site to Antigua, Iximche tours are often coupled with a visit to the nearby market town of San Juan Comalapa. 

Alternatively, if you’re prepared to do more traveling, head out to the prestigious archeological site of Copán, an important UNESCO World Heritage Dite in Central America. Day trips include transport across the border to Honduras and offer insight into the 7th-century ruins. 

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12 Tours and Activities | All Antigua Tours

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Hike to Pacaya Volcano from Antigua

Hike to Pacaya Volcano from Antigua

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Pacaya Volcano is one of the most active—and most popular—in all of Guatemala. Stationed some 8,000 feet (2,500 meters) above sea level, this destination is an ideal spot for travelers who want an easy hike, epic views, and some memorable stories. This tour allows you the comfort and ease of pre-arranged transportation to ensure you get the most out of your hike.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$30.78
From
$30.78
Taking safety measures

IXIMCHE MAYAN RUINS TOUR from La Antigua

IXIMCHE MAYAN RUINS TOUR from La Antigua

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Get a glimpse of pre-Columbian life with a visit to archaeological site Iximche. Just 90 minutes from Antigua, this site was once capital of the Kaqchikel Maya Kingdom. Thanks to excellent restoration you can visit former palaces, temples, plazas, ball courts, murals, and a small museum of artifacts. Your guide will share background and point out historical details, such as signs of human sacrifice that linger at the site.
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  • 5 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$98.00
From
$98.00

Lake Atitlán Sightseeing Cruise with Transport from Antigua

Lake Atitlán Sightseeing Cruise with Transport from Antigua

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Spend the day discovering the gorgeous Lake Atitlán, along with the picturesque villages that line its shore, during this 10-hour sightseeing excursion from Antigua. Take in breathtaking views of this mountain lake, its southern shore ringed by volcanoes, as you visit the town Panjachel and take a boat cruise to the hamlet of Santiago de Atitlán. This Lake Atitlán adventure finishes with time for browsing the handicraft stands and businesses along Panjachel’s Santander Street. Your tour also includes a guide and round-trip transportation from your Antigua hotel.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$100.00
Price varies by group size
From
$100.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Pacaya Trek Volcano Round-Trip Transportation from Antigua

Pacaya Trek Volcano Round-Trip Transportation from Antigua

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Explore Guatemala City and take a voyage to the top of the Pacaya Volcano in Antigua on this guided, 7-hour walking tour. This active complex volcano first erupted 23,000 years ago. Recent years have included frequent, moderate eruptions, lava flow emissions and intermittent phases of lava fountaining. Choose from an early morning or mid-afternoon departure time. Then after a 1-hour bus ride to the base of the volcano, trek to the top and bring a camera to capture the moment. Hotel pickup and drop-off included.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$50.00
From
$50.00
Taking safety measures

Full Day Tour: Chichicastenango Maya Market and Lake Atitlan from Antigua

Full Day Tour: Chichicastenango Maya Market and Lake Atitlan from Antigua

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Discover the lively highland culture and beautiful scenery of Guatemala during this full-day visit to Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan from Antigua. Start by checking out the colonial architecture and sprawling market of Chichicastenango, where vendors hawk everything from colorful handicrafts to candles, food and machetes. You’ll then have a chance to explore the picturesque town of Panjachel on the volcano-rimmed shores of Lake Atitlan. Your Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan trip includes a guide and round-trip hotel transport.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$65.00
From
$65.00
Taking safety measures

2 Day Tour: Chichicastenango Market and Lake Atitlan from Antigua

2 Day Tour: Chichicastenango Market and Lake Atitlan from Antigua

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Discover the lively highland culture and beautiful scenery of Guatemala during a 2-day visit to Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan from Antigua. Immerse yourself in the fascinating market found in Chichicastenango, where vendors hawk everything from colorful handicrafts to candles, medicinal plants, food and machetes. You’ll then spend the night in the picturesque town of Panjachel on Lake Atitlan (accommodations at your own expense) before enjoying a scenic boat tour of the lake and visit to the village of Santiago Atitlan the next day. Your Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan trip includes a guide, round-trip hotel transport and lake cruise.
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  • 2 days
  • Taking safety measures
From
$150.00
From
$150.00
Taking safety measures

Lake Atitlan: Upper Mayan Trail from Antigua or Panajachel

Lake Atitlan: Upper Mayan Trail from Antigua or Panajachel

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Take a walk back in time as you explore the idyllic Mayan villages, ancient rituals and gorgeous scenery of Lake Atitlan on this strenuous day-long hike on the Upper Mayan Trail. Interact with the local Cakchiquel and Tzutujil Mayan tribes, visiting the town of Santa Cruz la Laguna and tracing a path along a steep path used by the tribes for centuries. You’ll also have the chance to observe the rituals of local shamans and visit the second largest market in the country. Your hike also includes round-trip hotel transport from Antigua.
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  • 10 to 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$91.99
From
$91.99
Taking safety measures

Historical and Cultural Walking Tour of Antigua Guatemala

Historical and Cultural Walking Tour of Antigua Guatemala

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Get a short introduction to the Spanish-colonial charm of Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage site, during this 3-hour morning tour from Guatemala City. This atmospheric city was the country’s capital for more than 200 years, creating a wealth of historic architecture and gorgeous scenery for you to discover during your walking tour. Tread on Antigua’s cobblestone streets as you explore sites like the Cathedral of Santiago, Central Park and the city's iconic Arch of Santa Catalina. Your Antigua visit includes a guide and round-trip hotel transport (except during Holy Week in April).
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$19.99
From
$19.99
Taking safety measures

Rest and Relaxation at Lake Atitlan from Antigua

Rest and Relaxation at Lake Atitlan from Antigua

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Get away from Antigua for a day of full rest and relaxation on the shores of the beautiful Lake Atitlan. Travel in private transportation to a resort on the Lake, where you can while away the afternoon relaxing in a hammock, kayaking on the Lake, or pampering yourself with the optional spa package for the ultimate stress-melting experience.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$71.29
From
$71.29
Taking safety measures

La Antigua Villages Tour

La Antigua Villages Tour

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Visit four traditional villages in one day with this day trip from Antigua to San Juan del Obispo, San Pedro las Huertas, Ciudad Vieja, and San Antonio Aguas Calientes. This tour packs in sightseeing at every stop: see churches, plazas, markets, and even a chocolate workshop, all while learning about the area’s Spanish and Mayan history from your guide as you go.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$60.00
From
$60.00

Mixco Viejo Day Trip from Antigua

Mixco Viejo Day Trip from Antigua

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Discover the mysteries of the ancient Maya civilization on this full-day tour to the archeological site of Mixco Viejo, including hotel pick-up and round-trip transport from Antigua. Follow your guide around the vast Mayan ruins and learn how the city was once the capital of the Poqomam Maya kingdom as you marvel over temples, palaces and ball courts. After lunch (own expense), you’ll enjoy free time to explore independently, before heading back to Antigua.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$94.99
Price varies by group size
From
$94.99
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Full-Day Tour: Colonial Antigua, Jade Factory and Textile Experience

Full-Day Tour: Colonial Antigua, Jade Factory and Textile Experience

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Immerse yourself in the colonial history of Antigua, plus the idyllic landscape of small villages and farms just outside of town, on this 8-hour excursion. Explore the centuries-old traditions of the tiny hamlets like San Antonio Aguas Calientes, Ciudad Vieja and San Juan del Obispo just outside of Antigua, where you’ll also stop to visit a macadamia nut plantation. Then tread the cobblestone streets of Antigua on foot, visiting city landmarks including the Arch of Santa Catalina, Cathedral of San Jose and much more. This Antigua small villages and walking tour also covers a guide, and round-trip hotel transport.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$60.00
From
$60.00
Taking safety measures