Volcan Pacaya: Outside of the city of Antigua is a collection of volcanos, Pacaya being the smallest of the group. Still an active volcano, you can take a tour to hike the volcano at either morning or sunset. Definitely something of value, especially if your not ready to scale the big guys.
Volcan Acatenango: The granddaddy of hikes in Antigua, this puppy is not for the faint of heart. Something I chickened out on last swing in Guatemala, I was determined to tick this off the list.
After two weeks of Spanish school, one week in the gym, a killer flu and some serious mental self-syking, we booked the tour, bought some energy bars and mittens and we were set to go.
Waiting an hour for the pickup and then another hour or so stuck in road works was not a great way to start the day. We bought some sticks from the local kids to use as hiking poles and off we go. What followed was a lot of panting, sweating, red-faced, questioning-our-sanity backpackers trudging up the side of a volcano.
We made it to base camp just before dark, in time to watch the sunset and set up our tents.
The view from base camp really makes you forget the last 5 hellish hours, especially as you sit around the bonfire drinking hot chocolate and watching the aptly named Volcan Fuego erupting next door, spewing its lava about every 20 minutes.
Volcan Fuego at sunset
At 4am the next morning, we were all woken up and led up to the summit of the volcano to watch the sunrise. It may be the coolest place for a sunrise, but the stiff muscles and freezing limbs are all that's on your mind as slide around getting to the top.
6am & -2 degrees
Obviously there are many, many more things to see and do in Antigua, including all of the top restaurants, chocolate stores, museums, churches, city bicycle tours, five star coffee shops and parks, but there is a limit to my creativity and your attention span. Without a doubt, Antigua never disappoints, there is something for everyone and I challenge you to tell me I'm wrong.